Saverne to Hochfelden

We woke up early as the barge we had parked in asked us if they could leave at 8:00. Despite us opening the curtains and walking outside they pretended not to see us. Eventually they left at 8:45 and we had breakfast. At 9:30 we walked into the old part of the town, starting at Place du Général de Gaulle. This pedestrian only zone had lots of nice looking shops, many of which were closed. We walked to the end of the old town, then back to the Carrefour Express where we did some of the shopping. At the start of our walk was a coffee shop so we went back to Haushalter and had coffee and tarts. Dave and Eric went back the way we had come via the charcuterie and boulangerie. Bev and I walked to the other end of the old town and found the Super U. We did the rest of the shopping and walked to the barge a different way from which we had come. We got everything unpacked and left Saverne at 12:15. Dave was told by the harbour master that locks 26 and 27 were closed for the next 2 days due to being broken. We entered a pull chain series of locks at lock 32 and came out at lock 36 in Steinbourg at 13:35. There is a holding pound between locks 34 and 35. Lock 37 starts the next chain and after it we tied up at 14:10 for lunch. At 14:45 we went for a walk into Dettwiller. If you are looking for the shoe factory you need to tie up after lock 36. There was not much to see in the town and I could not make out the Devil’s Claws on the Church. We got back to the barge at 15:25 just as a large cruise barge went past us. They got to lock 38 first, meaning we could not get through the lock we had triggered. On this route I don’t suggest stopping in the middle of a chain as the automatic system does not seem to be working. At 15:55 we got through to the lock keeper who said he was sending someone. Half an hour later Dave called back to be told lock 42 was broken and they would send someone to us when it was fixed. 

Dave and Bev went for a walk, Eric went to do the puzzle and I went to start cooking, so we missed the lock keeper who took all of 30 seconds to reset the lock. A couple of minutes after he drove away we were off again. It took us from 17:00 to 18:20 to get to Hochfelden to tie up for the night. There are no services here so we used the generator for heating. We went for drinks at Le Rondez-vous du Canal. They have the longest wifi password I’ve come across with 30 digits/letters to enter. We had a late night playing canasta with Bev in the lead. We walked 5.5km today. 

Posted in Italy | Leave a comment

Niderviller to Saverne

Dave woke up and went to the bakery to buy croissants, baguettes and pastries. After having croissants for breakfast we left Niderviller at 9am. We went through the Niderviller tunnel at 9:25. It was a short one at 475m long. We entered the Arzviller tunnel at 9:35. That one is 2.306m. At 10:30 we tied up at Arzviller and walked around. The museum has a 7600 piece replica of the lift. 

At 11:35 we entered the lift and were lowered a fair distance which would have been 17 locks. At 12:15 we entered lock number 18 heading down, which we had to wait for. We went straight in to the next two locks and then tied up for lunch at 13:10 in Lutzelbourg. We walked around the village and sadly the crystal cutter was closed as there were some lovely things in his shop. We had an issue with triggering the automatic system at lock 21 so I called the lock keeper who came to manually trigger the gates. We set off at 15:10 and in the next luck we triggered the gates too soon but thankfully the lock keeper drove past on his way back as this happened. At lock 23 there is a small self service farm stall selling preserves and baked goods. At lock 29 we went in too soon. I told Eric to go while the light was red so totally my fault. But the gates were open. The light changes are very slow. So, we called the lockeeper keeper. Thankfully it was a different person. The last lock for the day was very slow. It took us into Severne and we tied up at 18:00. The cost for the mooring is €15.88. We went for drinks at La Licorne and then came back to the barge for a delicious dinner. A really great day on the barge and we managed to walk 4.3km. 

Posted in Italy | Leave a comment

Heading off on the barge

We had a very slow start to our morning. After breakfast and checking out of the hotel we left Eric sitting in reception with all the luggage. He has a sore throat and felt confident we could do the shopping without him. Dave, Bev and I walked to the Carrefour and bought what we need for the first two days on the barge. After that we stopped for coffee and I bought some Bach night rescue pastilles. 

We walked back to the hotel and waited for the taxi we had booked to collect us.  Once we got to Hesse we had lunch and waited for the Le Boat office to open. We unpacked and left the barge basin at 15:30. At 16:20 we tied up at Niderviller for the night. The cost is €22. We’ve tied up here to get shore power for the night as it’s really cold. We walked into the village and visited the porcelain factory which has been operating since 1735. It was then back to the barge and we had snacks and drinks. Dave made supper and we had strawberries and cream for dessert and cheese and crackers to end our meal. Today we walked 7.3km. 

Posted in Italy | Leave a comment

Heading to Sarrebourg 

We woke up very early for a holiday morning to news of a killing of a police officer in Paris. Eric and Bev were in the midst of all the drama but thankfully unaffected. It took an hour and a half to pack up and in that time I walked 1.8km! We left the apartment at 9:30 and drove to Olbia. There we had espressi at Café Bellavista and then gelato from Panne & Caffé. Pistacchio di Bronte for Dave and liquirizia for me. We walked through part of the old city before heading to the airport. 

We put in 30.28L of fuel at a cost of €46.60 after travelling about 478km. We arrived at the airport 2 hours before our departure and waited to check in. Volotea have one counter at the airport and were offering free check in of hand luggage as the plane is full. We declined and our luggage showed something suspicious on the X-Ray so was checked. After we were cleared we went straight to the lounge to relax before our flight. 

We caught a Boeing 717 on Volotea airlines to Strasbourg, arriving 20 minutes early. We were second in line for passport control which was a good thing. After collecting our suitcases we made our way to the station to buy our train tickets. The machine was in French so thankfully someone helped us. We caught the 15:06 train into Strasbourg and missed the 15:19 train to Sarrebourg so had to wait an hour for the next one, which left from track 30, which is between tracks 4 and 5 😂. While waiting we had petit caffé. From the train we could see the canal we are going on. We arrived at the station just after Bev and Eric which was great timing. We caught a taxi to the hotel, checked in and went for coffee at Maison Oswald. Eric bought a quiche which turned out to be rhubarb tart and when we left they gave us 4 croissants. Then to the Lidl for a few things before going back to the hotel. There we had a couple of whiskys before going for dinner at the restaurant attached to the hotel. I had deer and thought the meal was excellent. Today we walked 6.2km. 

Posted in Italy | Leave a comment

Isola Maddalena

We woke up to a thunderstorm which was unexpected.  After breakfast we went to the laundry to do a load of washing. Got that hung up and left the apartment at 10h50. We drove to Palau and bought ferry tickets. We parked the car and walked to La Vecchia Fonte for espressi. We bought pastries at La Dolcezza Napoletane and then went back to the car. 

The ferry docked at 11:41 and we left Palau at 11:55 and docked at La Maddalena at 12:13. We drove straight to Carfera which is a large national park with some signs of habitation both current and old. There are a lot of ruins on the island and we walked around Fortificazione Poggio Rasu. We ate lunch in the car in the middle of the forest. 

On our trip around Isola Maddalena we bought strawberries at a fruit stall on the side of the road, Il Paradiso della Frutta. We could see on side of Corsica from the island. We then drove back to La Maddalena and tried to get espressi at Bar Madrau but no-one wanted to serve us so we went to Caffé Sporting where they were more friendly. To end our Italian holiday we had gelato at Dolci Distrazioni. Pistacchio for Dave and biscitto for me. While walking along the boardwalk enjoying our gelato we noticed the ferry hadn’t discharged the cars yet with 9 minutes to go before it was meant to depart. We headed for the car and managed  to get onto the ferry which left 5 minutes late. That saved us an hour and fifteen minutes wait. 

From Palau we drove to Santa Teresa di Gallura. The ferry to Corsica leaves from here and we got another view of the Island.   It was then back to the apartment where I beat Dave at backgammon. We had a huge dinner, finishing up all the vegetables we cannot pack with us. It was early to bed, having walked 6.7km despite the child weather and the rain. 

Posted in Italy | Leave a comment

Markets and more

We are back to weekend waking times.  After breakfast we went to Arzachena to shop at the market. This is our best way of getting fresh produce when overseas. 

We had espressi and pastries at Panetteria Caffetteria del Corso and then walked around the smallest museum in Italy. Describing the history of Arzachena it was interesting to note that the village was occupied from before the Stone Age until 1421. The Saracens invaded the area and the people in the area died from a plague. The village remained devoid of life until the 1700’s. After the market we walked to the archeological museum which was closed. We bought a few things at the supermarket and then went back into the old city for espressi at Margó Café. We then drove through San Pantaleo to Porto Rotondo and Golfo Aranci. Both of which were fairly closed up waiting for the summer tourists to arrive. We ate our lunch in a lay by in the car. 

Our next stop was a wine farm. We could have had 3 tastings and an anti pasti platter at Vigne Surrau for €25. Instead we opted to go to Li Finistreddi, an upmarket hotel with its own helipad, for Prosecci. 

After that it was back to the apartment. Dave is becoming the backgammon champion. He made pasta con vongole for dinner followed by the strawberries we got at the market. We’ve been drinking a local grape varietal called Monica. Today our walking distance was only 3.8km due to the rain. 

Posted in Italy | Leave a comment

Archeological Sardinia

We had a late start to our morning which I suppose is the whole point of being on holiday. While I was getting dressed I noticed a dolphin charm in the suitcase. I’m so glad I saw it as I would be devastated to lose a charm. Hopefully the jeweler can reattach it. We left at 10:20 and our first stop was Tomba dei Giganti Moru. This funerary monument is part of the archeological sites in this area from the Nuragic Age and belongs to the Nuraghe Albucciu, a village of huts. 

This included quite an impressive fortified home of the village chief. 

Our next stop was the Coddu Vecchju Tomb which is the collective burial site for the Nuraghe La Prisgiona, a kilometer away. 

This village covered several square kilometers with complex architecture. These archeological sites were settled between the fourteenth and ninth century BC. The cost for visiting the sites depends on how many you want to see. We chose only 4 as two are closed and one didn’t seem worth visiting. The cost was €11 but if you only want to see one I recommend Ls Prisgiona and that will cost €3. After our exploration we drove into the mountains and stopped in Luagosanto for espressi at Moak. Only the bars were open when we got there. We headed towards Palau and detoured via Port Rafael. The Fortezza di Monterey Altura looks very impressive. But it was too windy to walk around this military fort from 1889. Instead we drove into Palau for prosecci and snacks at Bar Vecchia Fonte. Then we headed to Cannigione and had an hour to kill before the supermarket opened at 16:30. We started by getting gelato at Ls Dolce Vita. Tiramisu for me and limone for Dave. This is a great place if you are looking for dairy free and sugar free ice cream. After a quick espresso at Linus we did our shopping and came back to the apartment. Dave white washed me at backgammon 5:0. Dinner was pasta with a simple sauce followed by Gorgonzola. There were no strawberries to be found on the island today. We walked 5.4km. 

Posted in Italy | Leave a comment