Thank you for joining me on the next leg of my imaginary literary European tour! At the time I was wrapping up my stay in Belgium, I was extremely fortunate to run into Roger Pilkington, and his wife Miriam. We talked about my journey, and their plans to navigate their yacht, the Thames Commodore, to Luxembourg, with the result I was extended an invitation to join them! Of course, I jumped at the chance to see a different side of the countries than is available by bus or train, and who could turn down the wonderful opportunity to experience life on a small boat!
While traveling through the country, I learned more boating lingo than Lëtzebuergesch (or Luxembourgish). I got a crash course in boating, firsthand - hearing all the terms until my head swam! I learned that when we enter a lock, a hawser is thrown over a bollard to anchor the boat, and when entering a new country we replace the courtesy flag. Their British ensign is always flown, and the flag of the current country is flown as a courtesy.
The Thames Commodore was the first boat to fly the Red Ensign in Luxembourg - meaning they were the first British boat to reach the country!
When the Grand Duke and Duchess opened the port at Grevenmacher, the Pilkingtons dipped the ensign at the Thames Commodore's stern out of respect. For which they were saluted by an officer, and smiled upon by the Grand Duchess.
As we navigated through the canals and waterways, I learned much about the landscape and history at each point along the shore. We took time out from boating to explore further. Tucked into the hillsides, rocky cliffs, and adorning cottages was flora of many pretty types.
Campanula, Dewberries, Loosestrife, Floribunda roses, Saxifrage, and Marguerites
To be sure, we worked up quite an appetite while exploring, and one day we stopped in a village inn for dinner before making our way back to the boat. We were served the richly delicious traditional dish - F'rell Am Rèisleck or Trout in Reisling Sauce. In appreciation for allowing me to join them on their voyage, I attempted to replicate the dish for dinner one evening on the Thames Commodore. I adapted this recipe. The slightly dry and citrusy riesling, used in the sauce, made a perfect accompaniment.
In Luxembourg, we followed the "Sentier de la Moselle" a footpath that leads from one end of the country to the other. The trail begins in Schengen and ends in Wasserbillig, passing through the lovely valley and many stone villages. Near the origin is Schwebsingen, a tiny village set off the Moselle River, where each August, the wine, that has been grown and made there since the roman times, flows from a fountain by the church. Passing through other picturesque towns and villages ...
Stadtbredimus, Enhen, Remich
... one finally arrives at Wasserbilling, where the river leaves the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Once there, we turned back north, the Pilkingtons to navigate their boat on to the Rhine, and me to continue my journey - traveling on from Luxembourg to France.
Unfortunately, this gem is out of print. I was able to obtain a copy from my library. You may be able to find a copy from a used book seller. Several are available on abebooks.com at this time.