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German and French Canals to visit by road or rail


magpie patrick
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Just a quick query really

 

Events (quite literally events - festivals) may well take us to Frome's twin towns of Murrhardt and Chateau Gontier on dates just two weeks apart next summer, and we are wondering, rather than returning home and going out again whether to travel from one to the other and what we might see, especially waterway related if we did. Only CG has a navigable waterway itself, but Murrhardt seems to be not that far from the Neckar and possible routes by car take us through places such as Mannheim, Metz, Riems, Paris and Le Mans. Another route goes rather further south via Stuttgart, Baden-Baden, Neufchateau and Troyes.

 

Any suggestions for places (with or without canals) to call on?

 

Whilst we're at it, the World Canals Conference is in Leipzig next year - I can't actually find a canal there, but it's bot that far from the Elbe, and not too far from Berlin - any suggestions for that? 

 

The one remaining twin town is Rabka in Poland, we haven't found an excuse to go there... yet...

 

 

Edited by magpie patrick
coz I can't spell Murrhardt
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Metz, Reims and Chalons en Champagne are all worth a visit, not necessarily in that order. Chalons has music outdoors weekends in July and is generally very agreeable. Verdun isn't far off your route and is on the Meuse and canal de l'est. I'd happily miss Epernay which, other than a street of vulgar champagne houses (one can see why the stuff is expensive) is rather a dump. Chateau Thierry is on the Marne and is pretty. If you're avoiding Paris to the south, Troyes is lovely but not on a navigable waterway, Nancy & Toul are on the waterways and good places to stop. Nancy is big but has a spectacular son et lumières every summer evening, Toul is a good place for a night or so.

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You’ll probably cross a small waterway called the Rhine.

 

When in Germany maybe take the train up the Geislingen Steige - a proper railway not some tourist novelty - and visit Ulm Minster, the world’s tallest (completed) church.

 

You have the Schwarzwald and Champagne - plus a host of other places - between your destinations. There’s no way I’d come home in between. Go on a road - or better still rail - trip and stay in convenient towns.

 

JP

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Reims is well worth a stop. There’s a light show at the cathedral and the canal is right by the highway and the canal still has some commercial traffic. The motorway now goes round the Centre but there is an exit for the center when coming from the south. 

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On 08/12/2019 at 20:53, Captain Pegg said:

Ulm Minster, the world’s tallest (completed) church.

 

 

 

JP

I didn't know that, but your comment has aroused my curiosity: which is the world's tallest incomplete church?

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14 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. It is concentrated so I guess it is really the tallest church in the world.

I had a look on Wiki. It looks very exciting architecturally. I had imagined some ancient abandoned ruin rather than a current work in progress.

Not sue in what way it is "concentrated"? Perhaps its spires are concentric?

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23 minutes ago, Cloudinspector said:

I can thoroughly recommend Briare in the Loire valley. No shortage of canals to explore 

We hired from there earlier this year. Certainly plenty of waterways: Canal de Briare, Canal Latéral a la Loire and the Loire itself, and of course the spectacular aqueduct. The remains of the mainly unnavigable but apparently well-preserved Canal d'Orléans aren't far away either. We weren't greatly impressed by the town.

Edited by Athy
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12 hours ago, Dav and Pen said:

Reims is well worth a stop. There’s a light show at the cathedral and the canal is right by the highway and the canal still has some commercial traffic. The motorway now goes round the Centre but there is an exit for the center when coming from the south. 

In Reims, the Veuve Cliquot visit is worth it for the trip down to the cellars. About €20 with a couple of glasses, book a couple of days ahead. Their fizz is cheaper in Tescos though. There's a good pie shop just across the roundabout outside. Usually there is free music in the Place du Forum at weekends in the summer.

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The Neckar is a beautiful river, and reasonably heavily used, as seen in the first photo from 1993. If you continue a bit further beyond Murhardt, you will get to the Fossa Carolina, a waterway built by Charlemagne in 793, and 30km or so beyond is the Rhine-Main-Donau Canal and Ludwig's Canal. There is an inland shipping museum at Regensburg. When we did the trip a few years ago, we went via Trier, where there is a preserved treadmill crane used for transhipping cargoes for tax purposes (one of several in Germany. There were over 20 such cranes between Rotterdam and Trier in the middle ages), and the incline at Ronquiere, and returned via the tunnel on the St Quentin Canal, and the waterways around Bergues.

 

If Rabka is the one in the Tatra Mountains, you could go via Gliwice and Zabrze where there are early canals, the latter being underground in a coalmine, and was based on Worsley. On the other side of the Tatra is Solvakia, and the Vah Navigation, a major 1930s scheme for hydro power and navigation. It was never completed, but there are a couple of locks which can be operated.

 

Leipzig did have a canal, but it was never properly completed, though some warehouses remain. The photos from 1995, and the area has since been improved. Close to Leipzig were major brown coal opencast mines. These have ceased working and are being reclaimed as areas of water, some being navigable, and they have created a waterway into the city centre. To the west is the Unstrutt, which was an early 18th century navigation.

1993 Neckar 066.jpg

Trier crane 1.jpg

1995 Leipzig 228.jpg

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40 minutes ago, Pluto said:

If Rabka is the one in the Tatra Mountains, you could go via Gliwice and Zabrze where there are early canals, the latter being underground in a coalmine, and was based on Worsley. On the other side of the Tatra is Solvakia, and the Vah Navigation, a major 1930s scheme for hydro power and navigation. It was never completed, but there are a couple of locks which can be operated.

It is that Rabka, so when I get the chance to go there I shall makew sure to book a week or three afterwards...

 

41 minutes ago, Pluto said:

Leipzig did have a canal, but it was never properly completed, though some warehouses remain. The photos from 1995, and the area has since been improved. Close to Leipzig were major brown coal opencast mines. These have ceased working and are being reclaimed as areas of water, some being navigable, and they have created a waterway into the city centre. To the west is the Unstrutt, which was an early 18th century navigation.

 

 

1995 Leipzig 228.jpg

I'm guessing that's what I can see on Google Earth,

 

I can see the Leipzig trip growing a bit as well then - I will need to find SOME time to go to the office in 2020!!!

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5 hours ago, Athy said:

We hired from there earlier this year. Certainly plenty of waterways: Canal de Briare, Canal Latéral a la Loire and the Loire itself, and of course the spectacular aqueduct. The remains of the mainly unnavigable but apparently well-preserved Canal d'Orléans aren't far away either. We weren't greatly impressed by the town.

In Briare's defence the church is worth a visit, as are the museums de deux-marines and that of mosaics and enamels with its displays of baubles used by missionaries to bribe "the natives". The canals and timber ponds are obvious, but less so is to cross the Loire to Châtillon and explore the disused section of the Latéral Canal where the craft used to cross the river by use of ropes and winches before the pont-canal was built, to continue their journey to the Saône.

 

Tam

  • Greenie 1
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Architecturally it looked pleasing, though we did not go right into the town centre. We passed the mosaic museum twice but it was closed on both occasions.

But what cheesed us off was arriving at the Locaboat base, inquiring about shopping, and being told that there wasn't a decent alimentation in the centre. Instead we had to go over a mile to an edge-of-town supermarket. No 'bus or taxi information was proffered, so we had to walk both ways - not so bad going, but irksome coming back with heavy shopping. That did rather prejudice us against the place.  Starting our return journey, we found that the railway station was devoid of any food or drink facilities too - no welcoming Café de la Gare, as so many provincial French stations have. As we had an hour and a half's wait for the next train to Paris, a cuppa would have been welcome.

Edited by Athy
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