Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, August 16, 2010


Constant rain just wasn't in the glossy brochure, but it arrived none the less, and not all of it stayed outside. That's why we have guest berths of course, to catch the rainfall as it comes inside. We woke in Hesse in the pouring rain which fortunately was exactly where we were when we went to bed, and found Laurent who is in charge of Alain, the Alain who knows how to fudge our electrics till Michel can install a new magic black box over winter. Naturally he sent Marc to look at them for us.

Marc suggested we really do need a new magic black box but really it's lunch time now and wished us "Bon Appetit".

We were grateful for his wishes and the late start given the conditions, and set off on our merry way with a few kilometres of tunnel ahead where at least we'd be out of the rain. We've been through a few tunnels before, but the ride through these was indescribable. On a day with no traffic the water in the tunnels was so perfectly still that the surface of the water was completely invisible, instead, we were faced with a perfect reflection of the ceiling. As we edged forward at four kilometres per hour we appeared to hang suspended in the centre of a monster pipe with lights every fifty metres or so giving the thing ribs. A bizarre sense of weightlessness assaulted our senses and for a few kilometres it seemed that we were actually travelling through the space time continuum. Perhaps we were.

Eventually of course we "landed" back outside in the rain, and made the descent down Arzvillier on rail tracks in the bathtub shared with two other boats to the joy of a throng of tourists who'd paid good money to stand in the rain and watch, and now we are here. Arguably we are in the middle of the most spectacular twenty kilometres of canal in France, sitting in a valley among the forest, chateau above us, the sound of relentless rain on our roof.

We are near Germany, in France, in a town that could have been designed by Walt Disney on a waterway that runs to the river Rhine, and we are trying to convince ourselves that it's all not a dream. With a bit of luck our battery will fail in the morning cold and we'll be forced to stay here a while longer.


Ann said...

Amazing shot.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Looking at the photo I can see chugging down that tunnel would have been very disconcerting

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