Saar Canal: From Niderviller to Saargemünd
The Saar Canal, with a length of just over sixty kilometres, connects the Rhine-Marne Canal with the Saar at Saargemünd (Sarreguemines). Its towpath is a well-developed cycle path that takes you quickly to the bathing places at the lakes along the canal. Nestled between meadows, forests, small ponds, large lakes and sleepy villages, the canal winds its way leisurely through Alsace-Lorraine. The Saar flows parallel to the canal for a long time until Saargemünd - and because its river bed is lower, it offers beautiful views. Between locks 29 and 28 of the Saar Canal lies the estuary basin of the Blies and Saar with a beautiful view of Saargemünd (Sarreguemines) and a small marina. This marina is located directly in front of the magnificent "Casino", a building built for the workers of the stoneware factory and decorated with ceramic paintings.
Just behind Saargemünd you are already in Germany. You can still drive to Saarbrücken without a driving licence, after that the sport boat driving licence Binnen is mandatory for the further drive. Fortunately the current of the Saar is normally not too strong, so that the joy of the really beautiful landscape with forests and river loops is not spoiled. Saarbrücken, the capital of Saarland, welcomes houseboat drivers with jetties close to the city, from where you can reach the beautiful city centre in a few steps. In addition to the annual Saarspektakel, the city has many cultural highlights to offer on land. Should the galley remain cold today? No problem here: in the alleys around the St. Johanner Markt there are small restaurants and pubs for skipper and crew. Behind Saarbrücken, the Saar takes you on a journey into the industrial history of the area. A fossil from olden times is the former ironworks Völklinger Hütte, a world cultural heritage site since 1994. Today, the European Centre for Art and Industrial Heritage and the ScienceCenter Ferrodrom, which was established there, offer interactive services and changing exhibitions. Merzig lies a few kilometres before the Saar Bend. There you will find three great water-related locations around the marina within walking distance: The source of the Bietzener healing water, the only salt works in Saarland and an adventure pool for young and old. The next highlight is a few kilometres upstream the Saar loop. The river has dug itself a canyon here, whose rugged rocks are mostly forested. At the viewpoint Cloef the river lies at the feet of the viewer. The centre of Mettlach an der Saar has grown into a factory outlet with flair. A highlight on the Saar is the medieval town of Saarburg.
Here you can find a WDR travel report with insights of this region (from minute 63).
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