Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, July 01, 2018

At a Snail’s Pace
Tuesday 19 June - Commercy to Sampigny

It’s holiday time and we are heading in the wrong direction on what our friends call “la route de la choucroute” - (the sauerkraut route) named because scores of German (and Dutch) holiday makers come screaming up the Meuse River, turn left then pedal to the metal until they reach the Rhine, where they roar down that as fast as they can in order to get home in the two or three weeks holiday time they have been allowed for the year.    

Typically because navigators of this ilk are in a hurry, they tend to travel long distances in a day, congregating in the major centres for a single night before racing off to be the first to the lock in the morning.  As a consequence, the quays and pontoons in the major centres are rather cramped affairs at this time of year, while all the smaller lesser known villages are blissfully overlooked.   

Having spent a few days in Commercy in the past, we had no compelling reason to remain double-stacked for more than one night.  Therefore alone in our contra-direction we managed a delightful early start and to arrive where we were going quite possibly before the tangle that we had left was fully unravelled.   There is something to be said for having morning tea at the end of a day’s work.  It’s even better in the shade of a lovely tree with a nice pontoon and an entire park all to ourselves quite near an almost abandoned village.

Oddly, we don’t think of ourselves as tourists, in our minds we live here.  Our boat is our little shell, so we have a sense of something akin to “belonging” where ever we are.   Those others racing past, they are the tourists.  There is no logic in that, but that is the way it is.


Al Runnells said...

And how many 'broken' wives were in the group rocketing past?

bitingmidge said...

@Al - we relayed that hilarious tale to our dear German friends just the other day! I suspect a few! Although there is a noticable movement afoot wherein those caricature Amazonians take the helm, apparently forcing their tiny little husbands into the pointy end where they must take the brunt!

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