Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn
What better way is there to spend a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon devoid (with the exception of the ECE homework I was avoiding) of responsibilities than on a trip downtown in Metz?
Since the French lockdown began, my friends and I have been looking for places to explore while staying within the allowed 10km of our dorms. Luckily, downtown Metz is within this radius, so when we discovered that a boat rental place downtown we set a plan in motion for an afternoon on the river.
The rental company is called La Flottille, and is only a few minutes walk from Republique Square, the center of Metz. La Flottile has all sorts of boats, but since there were four of us, we decided on renting a four-person paddle boat. The worker brought us onto the dock and handed us each a bright orange life jacket. There’s no doubt in the world that we looked extremely goofy with the giant life jackets swallowing us, but of course, safety first.
A few seconds later, and we were seated in the boat and already pedaling our way down the river towards Temple Neuf. It was really neat to see Metz from this perspective; we’d seen the city from our many walking tours, but never from the water!
A brave family of three very large ducks came extremely close to our boat. It seemed like we were about to run them over, so we had to frantically change direction. Luckily, the ducks escaped unharmed and continued on their merry way to pester other boaters for food.
Cruising our way down the river, we saw a small gap in between the buildings that we could enter via a narrow canal. We floated underneath a footbridge to check out the space; it felt like a quiet courtyard, but one filled with water rather than grass. I’ve never been, but the area gave me strong Venice vibes. Swap the fluorescent yellow paddle boat for a gondola and we would basically be on a canal in Venice, right? Due to the tight nature of the space we were in, it was just a little bit complicated to get out of there. We played bumper cars with the walls for a couple minutes in our attempt to exit the canal.
We continued down the river, as far as we could go. The rest of our boat ride took us underneath three different bridges, one of which was so short that I was able to reach up and touch the underside of the bridge.
There’s a lot more to discover; we didn’t have a chance to go in the opposite direction toward the Plan D’Eau, so we’ll probably be back soon after our legs recover from the slightly strenuous pedaling!