La Petite Pierre and an inclined plane - France again - this time Alsace - CycleBlaze

July 31, 2022

La Petite Pierre and an inclined plane

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Today's highlight was to be some cliff dwellings Janos had read about, located near La Petite Pierre. We never got to the cliff dwellings but had some other points of interest that weren't on the original itinerary, and a lovely climb as well. The first kilometers retraced yesterrday's route, starting out along the canal but then continuing north through a nature preserve, Réserve nationale de chasse et faune sauvage de la Petite Pierre.

Townhall at Hatttmatt
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The road up to la Petite Pierre was lovely, there were hardly any cars and some nice rises and dips to keep things interesting.
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Rachael AndersonGreat cycling road!
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3 days ago
We got any early start and the ascent was pleasantly cool.
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Courage! You are almost at the top!
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Once we had reached la Petite Pierre, we were rewarded by the remains of what was once a fortified castle and town.

Zooming in on la Petite Pierre, we're not there yet.
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Fortification
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Old walls with bicycle, not old
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Entry to the chateau
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Gate with bicycle
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The descent  wasn't as charming as our approach to la Petite Pierre with Sunday motorcyclists out looking for country roads with curves to lean into and plenty of cars. Once off the busier road, we had another climb before we reached the Rhine-Marne Canal at Lutzelbourg. 

We had passed throug here on our first canal ride from Saverne and missed the turn-off for the famous Plan Incliné, a ship lift that was built in 1969 and replaces 17 locks on the section of the canal between Saint-Louis and Arzviller. We were tired, it was hot and we didn't feel like going back. But today we decided to make up for the omission and pedal up to have a look.

The lift is a kind of giant bath tub which two or three boats swim into and then is transported on a rail to the top where they float out onto a coninuation of the canal. Brilliant! Janos got a view of it in action. 

The video was taken in time lapse, it was actually all very slow motion. The boats wait to swim into the tub, wait for it to lift and wait to swim out on top. Today it's a tourist attraction, formerly it was a great time saver for commercial boat traffic not to have to negotiate 17 locks, even if it did look slow to me. There were plenty of spectators on top as well as a group of cyclists where we were. 

Boat lift Saint-Louis - Arzviller
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ann and steve maher-wearyEnjoying reminiscing with your blog, we were here in 2018.
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4 days ago
Suzanne GibsonTo ann and steve maher-wearyGlad you are enjoying my blog! I see you don't have a blog here from that trip.
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3 days ago

We had found a shady spot for our picnic while watching the performance. From there it was an easy and familiar cycle home along the canal. We never did get to the cave dwellings. For some reason they weren't on the planned route (that was Janos's planning this time).

Today's ride: 63 km (39 miles)
Total: 159 km (99 miles)

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