I think I have a new favourite city! Metz fulfilled all our expectations. 

On arrival the sidearm of the Mosel ( in France: the “Moselle”) widens to a lake. The marine is on the town shore next to a rowing club and paddleboat hire. The lake is full of ducks and swans, and the whole area surrounded by parkland.


The capitinière has a common room for Wifi and TV, large clean showers and a washing machine and dryer - all inclusive for 13 euro + 0.25 tax per person per night.

What can I say about the town!? I am not going into the 3000 year history, don’t worry! I am just enjoying the place and it’s diversity. The French, Roman and German influences are very apparent. It’s like Paris, Rome, Worms and Berlin put into a bowel and mixed together.


This weekend Metz had a special celebration, called Journées Europeennes du Patrimoine, highlighting the cultural, historic and natural heritage of the town. This included festivities, open days of several official buildings and free entry and concerts at the major sites. The parkland around the marina was abuzz. 


We had several times people, especially young French ladies, posing for a photo leaning against the Freshwater who was moored close to the public walkway. You could see Aussie’s fatherly heart swelling as he watched his “baby” being admired and photographed!  


A group of canvass stalls in the centre of town attracted our attention. In each stall, young apprentices were busy creating parts of a small gazebo. They used the old hand tools to carve stone feet, fire and anvil to forge metal supports, slate for the roof and carpentered the framework, all without electric tools etc. 


This project was to interest young people into a journeyman type apprenticeship to learn trades and skills while being sent to a different town every 6 months. What a fantastic idea!


Being an epicurean I especially loved the covered markets, a huge horseshoe shaped building which originally was to be a bishops residence. But then Napoleon arrived and said ”Nonsense - only over my dead body! Let’s have a market!”

Sometimes even small angry men have good ideas!

© Austin Robinson 2019