Gerardin Travels        

Folk dance performance

Fontenoy folk dancers

You can see JoLi's american flag just

behind the man with the red sash.

We took this family for a ride. The little

boy had never been on a boat.

This pont canal photo is the same one we

crossed in 2001. What a difference a few

years and good weather can make!!!


Pepiniere Park

Place Stanislaus

Place Stanislaus at night

The Baccart boutique at the corner of

Place Stanislaus

One of four magnificent gates at Place


Dinner on deck with friends

Side-tied enroute with friends from our

winter mooring.

Downstream approach of 15 metre lock

Entering the 15 metre lock

View from the top looking down

JoLi' moored on the right at the exit of the

Tunnel before the Arzviller Lift.

JoLi' entering the Arzviller Lift chamber.

The chamber is midway on the lift.

View from JoLi' looking up.

Lockkeeper checking our documents on

the way down.


View of JoLi' from Chateau

View from Chateau

14c Chateau

View from Chateau

View from Chateau

14c Chateau

14c Chateau

14c Chateau

View from Haut Bar

Patty & Don

Hotel de Ville Saverne



Restraunt Krantz

Saverne Cathedral

St Vitt

St Vitt

St Vitt

August 2005 -- Corre to Saverne

        Welcome! 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Net Result Apr/May June July August September October Scenery November 2004 2003 2002 2001 France 2001 Net Result 1999-2000 Net Result

We got a little help in slowing our cruising pace down from a collapsed lock wall on the Canal des Vosges between

Corre and Epinal. A lockkeeper came to fix a lock that we were passing through that was having problems and

suggested that we stop at the next village of Fontenoy le Chateau as they were having problems with a lock further up

and there was a very good possibility the canal would be closed for a number of days. He said the village had a nice

mooring where we could get electricity and it was pleasant enough of a stop to wait a few days. When we arrived, we

checked with the canal control and they confirmed that the canal would be closed to all navigation for at least eight

days. Imagine an important freeway/autoroute/motorway being closed for a week. The Canal des Vosges is one of two

North - South water routes in France, and therefore has a moderate amount of commercial traffic.

…continued below photos

The VNF must pay the commercial vessel a fee for each day that the vessel is unable to travel because of canal

closures. I think there were about 15 commercials waiting to travel by the time the lock was repaired. We took

advantage of the closure by doing small projects on the barge, taking long bike rides along the canal each day, and

relaxing and visiting with other boaters involved in the delay.

Fontenoy le Chateau is a small village with minimal services, but there was a boules court in the port, as well as a

play area for children. One night when we were finishing dinner up on deck, we noticed there were many more people

in the port than usual. Then we heard drums and saw a line of people in costumes entering the port. They performed

local folk dances and we enjoyed the entertainment. About three days before the canal reopened, a rental boat came in

to the port and I (Lisa) took their lines as they came in. The man onboard was speaking german to another boat that

they appeared to be traveling with but since I didn't speak any german, I asked them in french if they knew about the

canal closure. He looked at me oddly and so I said in french, "french or english", and he said "oh, english please". I

asked him if he was american, and he said "yes". I asked him "where from?" He replied "California". I said, "oh, so are

we, from where?" He said "a small town in southern California". Oh, oh, this is sounding a little too familiar. OK, I'll

bite. "Where? Us too" I said. His reply .... Ojai! "Nooooo, where in Ojai!" His reply ... a street that's about 100 metres

from us, and I even knew that he had a St. Bernard dog. Now that's a small world story!

We stayed put for one day after the canal reopened to let the crowds pass through and then continued on to Epinal

and Richardmenil. From Richardmenil we took the Embrancement de Nancy and stayed in Nancy for almost a week. It

was wonderful to be walking distance from the Place Stanislaus and city center. Nancy is filled with museums and

boutiques of every sort. The Place Stanislaus is a pedestrian area that is lined with cafes and magnificent buildings. We

describe the Square as a blend of St. Marks Square, Venice and Versailles. Magnificent and not to be missed, though it's

a pity the port isn't more conducive to boats over 15 metres. The larger ones that are in the port are in derelict states

and probably rarely, if ever, move.

We then traveled from Nancy on the Canal du Rhône au Rhin towards Strasbourg. We really enjoyed this part of our

trip. We had some pretty exciting locks that we transited. One was 15 metres in height, and we also had the Arzviller

Lift, which was really exciting. Traveling towards Strasbourg, one passes through two tunnels and then you arrive at a

waiting area at the top of the lift. The Arzviller Lift replaced 17 locks and makes a 45 metre elevation change in 10


Instead of a lock where the water inside the lock goes up and down, one goes in to a water contained structure, like a

tub, that is then sealed and you travel down the side of the hillside inside the water filled chamber. When you get to the

bottom (or top) you simply drive out of the chamber and continue traveling on the canal. Because the chamber is the

standard size of a lock there can be waits for up to three hours during peak times in the summer. We were fortunate

both times with minimal waits. Since there are no lines to tend in the process, you can enjoy the scenery during the


There is a paved bike path that starts at the bottom of the lift and goes all the way to Strasbourg. There are many

well marked hiking trails in this area also. Lutzelbourg is a lovely little town that has more of a german feel than

french. Matter of a fact, there are many people in this region that don't speak french, only german, as this part of

France changed hands 7 times in the 1800 and 1900s. The area is rich with history and has a totally different feel to it

than many parts of France. We slowly made our way from Lutzelbourg to Saverne.

Saverne is even more flowered than Lutzelboug and a little more populated. The center is a cobble-stoned

pedestrian area lined with beautiful timbered homes with blown glass windows. There's lots to see and do in this area.


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