Friday, April 9, 2010

Colmar by Skiff

La Petite Venise, one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Colmar, was built around the Lauch River. So one of the fun things Susie and I did during our day in Colmar was to tour this area by boat. In Paris, Metz or Strasbourg, you would ride on a bateau mouche that seats 100 or more people. In Colmar, because the river is small and its bridges low, you ride in a skiff that seats six in a pinch and that is powered by a battery.

The boat ride first heads south toward the newer area developed after the annexation, something like the Imperial Quarter in Metz. Ivy-covered banks and budding trees create a bucolic feel in the heart of the city. To preserve the area's calm, a section of this part of the river is a "no-commentary" zone.

Our guide was a charming young woman who provided commentary in English for us. Although her umbrella was at the ready, we managed to make it through the tour without being rained on.

Some of the bridges were really low. You had to duck seriously. And speaking of ducks, as we left the little dock, a half-dozen ducks flew out from under a bridge, coming very close to us. We joked that these must be the famous killer ducks of Colmar.

After turning around and heading down-river, we reached the quaint haunts of Petite Venise. Other tourists, on bridges, took pictures of us on our skiff as we passed.

In earlier days, the main fish market bordered the Lauch. Boats would tie up to the market using iron rings like this one. For a while the market was being used as a parking lot, but it's now being renovated as a covered market.

This building is a former convent. Deliveries would be made by boat.

Here are your intrepid boaters on the Lauch.

Our ride on the skiff gave us wonderful views, that we would not otherwise have had, of spring in full swing in Colmar.

No comments:

Post a Comment