Well, sorry it’s been so long since I posted! (Our internet allowance outside France is only 25Gb so no photos on this post. I’ll do a catch up pictorial post when we have more GBs). We’ve had an interesting time including breaking down, getting a rope caught up in a lock while descended and spending an unexpected 9 days in Konz, Germany.
It all started after we left France behind and cruised into Luxembourg. Maybe the boat wasn’t happy about leaving France. We heard there is cheap diesel in Luxembourg so after the debacle with the rope (we had to cut it with our serrated knife as it caught up on the cleat and the boat was hung up momentarily), we passed Schengen (as in the Schengen Agreement) and stopped in Scheebsange in Luxembourg for a night and to fill up. Fuel was €1.10 as opposed to France’s €1.55 so well worth the stop. We had lunch in the port restaurant and tried to cool off but there’s a heatwave on and the temperatures are in the mid 30s+ everyday.
After Schwebsange we headed down the Moselle further into Luxembourg and that was when the engine started making a funny noise (technical boating term) and puffing some smoke. Not good. We struggled to find somewhere to moor and as this waterway is busy with commercial traffic and cruise liners we needed somewhere secure.
We limped into Wasserbillig, onto a rickety old wooden quay and tied up. We found the ‘harbourmaster’ who told us there were no mechanics nearby. It wasn’t ideal but we would have to continue up to Konz. But first we decided to stay put for the night and have a look around Wasserbillig, a small town with a convenient train link to Trier and Luxembourg city. One we would have used from here if we weren’t in urgent need of a mechanic. So the next day we headed out, very slowly, and a very nice Belgian couple, also heading that way, followed us just in case the engine stopped. As I said this waterway is both busy and winding and the thought of having to put the anchor out in the middle of the river and call for help was very scary!
Anyway we puttered up over the border from Luxembourg and into Germany, to Konz, waved goodbye to our Belgian escort and moored up in the Yachthafen marina, our home for the next 10 days.
With help from a very nice (and English speaking) local guy, Tassilo, we finally got a mechanic out to the boat (from 40kms away) the following Wednesday and he diagnosed a fuel injector problem. We needed a new one.
During the wait and phone calls we made use of our time. Apart from exploring Konz, we took the train to Trier, a beautiful old city, settled by the Celts 4th century BC and then conquered by the Romans 300 years later. It might be the oldest town in Germany. We travelling into Trier with some fellow boating Kiwis in port for a couple of days, Mike and June on Contessa and Allen and Sue on Suzette. Evening drinks in the port bar were well deserved after a long hot day sightseeing!
Another day we biked back into Trier, a 23km round trip in 36° heat probably wasn’t that great an idea but we did it anyway. The bike path along the Moselle is excellent and mostly shaded.
On Saturday we took a train in the opposite direction, back into Luxembourg and to the capital, also called Luxembourg, 45 mins away. A wealthy city with lots of building going on and lots of history to explore. It was 37° but we still checked out the sights including the Palais de Grand Duke (Luxembourg is a Grand Duchy), the fortifications, towers and beautiful squares. There was a market on in the main square opposite the Hotel de Ville and we stopped for un cafe and to people watch.
Parked next to us in Konz was a couple, Georg and Viviane on Georiane, who live in Luxembourg and spend weekends on their boat in Konz, Germany. Just lovely people and so helpful, giving us info on the Saar river, next on our trip. Excellent English too which helps since our German is atrocious.
Finally today, Sunday, we headed out of Konz port and up the Saar river. The first lock was 11.75m deep, quite confronting when you tie up at the bottom and watch a massive concrete door close in on you. But these big locks fill from underneath so the passage up the 11.75m is easy. There are inset bollards which we tied our front and back ropes on and just moved them up to the next one as we rose. No dramas. The engine seems to be ticking along very nicely now.
We arrived at Saarburg and moored in the small port, just off the river. We biked into the beautiful town with a little canal running through it, lots of outdoor restaurants and bars. Later on we had drinks in the bar at the marina with fellow boatees.
Next up we head south, further up the Saar river, towards France.
Stats since last post
Basse-Ham (France) to Schwebsange (Luxembourg)–
Engine hours: 3.7
Schwebsange to Wasserbillig (Luxembourg)-
Engine hours: 4.1
Wasserbillig (Lux) to Konz (Germany)-
Engine hours: 1.2
Konz (Germany) to Saarburg (Germany)-
Engine hours: 1.8
Total so far this year:
Engine hours: 92.1
Lifting/swing bridges: 4