As I commented before it happened, probably the most talked about event in Strasbourg over the last month was the visit of Guy Richie and crew to film Sherlock Holmes II.(StrasTv) In this vein I reported on one mystery yesterday and then set about getting to the bottom of another mystery. Although the full Holmesian powers were not necessary in this instance. Travelling to work on the tram to Hoenheim Garre I had noticed some houseboats moored alongside the Rhine Marne Canal. Then a fortnight ago heading to work I noticed that the boats, which usually are close up against the side,(As seen on Google Earth) were now in the middle of the canal that was almost empty. Who had pulled the plug on the canal?
I passed the same canal elsewhere in Strasbourg. where it joins the Ill in the European quarter, here pictured with the European Parliament on the right and the European Court of Human Rights in the distance on the left, and there was no problem with it there. The next picture is of the canal heading towards the first picture with the stand of the Stade du Canal, one of the homes of Sporting Club Schiltigheim, visible in the distance. Here the canal is still full so utilising my Holmesian powers of deduction I surmised that whatever had caused the canal to empty out was closer to the site of the houseboats in the first picture. So I pressed on along the Quai du Canal de la Marne au Rhin until I came to the point where the canal joins L’Aar before going off to join the Ill where I saw the lock, Ecluse 51. Ah-hah I thought, this looks fishy. After my earlier experience of work being carried out at a lock I thought to myself, “I know what this is!” Eagerly I climbed the bridge, looked down and saw what you see in the photo alongside this text, an empty lock undergoing renovation. This was why the canal under the bridge was nearly empty. I had solved the mystery. I carried pon up to the bridge to take pictures of the houseboats and to confirm my hypothesis was in fact true. The last picture, and also the second in my romantic pictures of Strasbourg, shows the view towards Ecluse 50 a couple of Kms further on after which presumably the canal will fill up again, or does it? A cliff-hanger ending.