Toul was amazing, and the canal wraps around the city walls, giving a perspective not available except by boat. We carried on and along the Moselle River for a bit, and what a difference! The river is used commercially, with large barges I haven’t seen since Belgium, as well as river cruise boats. We were only on the Moselle for a couple of hours, then turned off onto the Canal de la Marne au Rhine Est at Frouard. There is a large commercial port here, with grain, coal, aggregates, sand and other commodities being loaded and unloaded. The pleasure boat route skirts the port, and heads upwards to Nancy. We had planned to stay of the Port de Plaisance, but it was absolutely full, and so moored in pleasant city-side moorings very near a large shopping complex. After provisioning, we continued up the canal to a campsite/mooring at Parroy. Little there except a sleepy village, and with a bakery that burned down last week!
Then, up to the summit of this canal with a VERY large lock that replaces a flight of 6. The moorings were certainly thin and not attractive along this stretch, though there were several rural places we could have stopped, but we persevered, and moored in Hesse which is the first of the significant number of rental boat bases along this canal.
The next day was remarkable: two tunnels, one 475m and the other 2306m. We had to follow a slow rental boat through the long tunnel, and he clearly was nervous and having difficulty avoiding the sides. Finally, we arrived at the Arzviller inclined plane, which provides a fast, exhilarating ride in a large tub, sliding down 44.5m in about 10 minutes. It is modern and replaces 17 locks that took most boats a full day.
On to Saverne, where I said goodbye to Dan and Kathy M, after we had spent a daytrip by train to Strasbourg and back. Many thanks to them for a very enjoyable time to cruise through and visit some really memorable places.
Saverne is a lovely town, with a very pleasant marina (another hireboat bast- but MUCH friendlier than others!). I am here for a while because of a stoppage due to a breach in the canal some 20km ahead. We will see when that reopens!
Happy Easter to all.