Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Strasbourg, May 23-26

We wanted to get to Strasbourg early in the day Wednesday to get the technician started on the water pump as every day staying there was going to cost us. We arrived about noon only to find out that he would be gone for the day. The Port Captain told us the mechanic would come down to the boat Thursday morning to get started diagnosing the problem. We used the afternoon to wander around the area and find the nearby supermarket. We did walk into town but it’s quite a hike from the marina so we figured in subsequent visits we’d ride our bikes in and park them to walk around. We did make the obligatory visit to the cathedral and made the hike to the top.

The cathedral is so tall it takes
two pictures to get it all in.

 For 3 euros you can take the many steps to the “porch”
where you get a view across the city,
including the European Parliament building

Thursday morning we found our guy but he said he was busy and would be down to the boat before lunch. We sat around waiting. When he hadn’t arrived by noon we went to find him. He was in a meeting but said he would be down as soon as he could. Around 1 he finally showed up and we demonstrated the problem, bang, bang bang! He said he would have to contact the distributor to get access to parts (we had already supplied contact information for the distributor and a maintenance and repair manual) and he would have to wait until after 2 (lunch time in France, of course!). Off to the city we went again, this time to the old quarter, Petite France, and the river L’Ill.

Upon our return the mechanic said he had talked to the distributor and he was unable to access parts. If we wanted to fix the pump it would have to be sent back to the manufacturer in Germany. The thing is cast iron and weighs a ton and we’d be without water for who knows how long, stuck in the Strasbourg marina, by now not our favorite place. The alternative was to buy a new pump from the marina chandlery (not inexpensive, of course!) and, because the mechanic was so busy, unless we wanted to wait until Monday, paying the moorage charges and then the mechanics time, I would have to install the new pump myself. Not entirely helpful. 

Friday morning, the new pump purchased, I dove down into the “basement” and began the project. Luckily a large plumbing supply store was just across the canal and a visit there supplied the parts necessary to adapt the new pump to the old system. The project was completed in just a little over the two to three hours the instruction manual said it should take. The afternoon was spent stocking up on groceries.

Saturday morning we decided to leave, only to discover that the Port office was closed Saturday and Sunday. A phone call to the Capitane brought him down to the office about 10 and, with our credit card exercised and a sigh of relief to be out of there, we began to retrace our trip on the canal, this time headed west.


  1. Oh dear. Not such good memories to take with you. The city looks pretty fine, though! I'm glad you got your pump fixed in any event!

    1. Strasbourg is fine and a very nice city, the usual European blend of the old and the modern. The marina not so much. Ah well, the pump is fixed. Hopefully this time, it will stay fixed!


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