Healthy Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Soy for Serious Eaters

2024 July: Virus Is Ready, We Hope!

2024 July: Virus Is Ready, We Hope!


Let’s get you up to speed for this month before we head out on Virus.

Our trip to Croatia last month was wonderful, and we will do it again. If you missed last month’s post about Croatia, check it out here. We arrived home just in time to wash clothes and prepare the guest room for Axel and Judy, Lutz’s cousin and his wife. I even got to go to my pottery class before they arrived.

Of course, we had to take bike trips while the weather was good. Just around the corner in Gutach is a miniature train museum, which provides the coolest overview of the famous Black Forest railroad track and all the little villages.

Our next bike tour took us to Freudenstadt by train. We figured going downhill was easier than going up. 

The views along the bike paths were so incredible.

Paths dug out of the rocks for bikers and walkers!

This little church was so well preserved. 

This trip down took us 60km to arrive at Rastatt. And man, were we pooped. Well, actually, our bottoms were exhausted!

We even had time to have dinner with Dieter and Doris, Lutz’s sister and her husband, at our favorite restaurant, The Hecht!

We hooked up with more family in Strasbourg. It was a great day and fun catching up at a delicious tapa bar. 

As we bid farewell to Axel and Judy, I was a little disappointed when they left to explore Spain. Of course, I was jealous, but I knew what awaited both Lutz and me…

Yes, we had to clean the Virus and get her ready to leave for two months in France.  

We planned to go southwest and northeast, but we had to reverse our trip thanks to Lutz’s persistence in ensuring all locks were open. One of the first locks was closed for a week or more. No problem; we will do the trip in reverse! (The blue X is where we started)

We cleaned the boat, shopping, and prepared for takeoff, including my two herb garden pots! We had planned to leave with our friends Dagmar and Peter, but they had other obligations and couldn’t join us for two weeks, so we took off on June 15, 2024, slowly so they could catch up with us!

We will follow a previous path for the first week of this year’s travels. Our first stop was one we loved to visit. Souffelweyersheim, France. It is a small park and bike path along the canal. Fortunately, there was no rain for a day, so we took off exploring on our bikes. 

The little town was pretty cute, but not much was happening there. We hung out for two days, and then we were off again.

It was time to lower the bimini. France is notorious for low bridges. The heat can get to you, so our trusty sun shield was on hand. Cross your fingers; no rain.

After six hours and 18 locks, we landed in Saverne and settled in for a five-day stay. This was one visit I could have skipped. We happen to have a great landing spot right on the shore. However, we saw they set up a band with a stage and a big grill by the third night. Yep, we were in the front-row seats with all the speakers! Click here to watch the video and sing along.

Our stay was disrupted only this evening, so it wasn’t too bad. The next evening, we were rewarded for our patience with an outdoor big screen of Germany vs. Hungry. Go, Germany!

After five days, we took off for Lutzelbourg, France. This little town has grown so much since our last year visit. It’s hopping.

The castle view at dusk was amazing.

We hung out for the town music festival and struck gold. It was in town, and the music was so cool. It was distinctly French and similar to the Zydeco music I used to listen to in Florida. Click here to see and hear some great music!

The next morning, we slowly headed out to the huge lock in Arzville, France, to be carried up a tall mountain by this incredibly engineered lift. 

We decided to stay for two days and watch the rental boaters try to park or figure out how to get in the huge basket that would lift them to the top of the mountain. A short walk away is the glass factory, Cristallerie Lehrer. This has always been a fun experience. The factory had actual glassblowing and a film showing.

We had been sitting for some time watching rental boater entertainment when we noticed no one was coming. The Admiral, Lutz, did some investigating and discovered that the last lock in Lutzelbourg, where we needed help from VNF to get out, was now closed! Folks were stranded until it could be fixed. Last we heard, they were waiting for scuba divers. We were lucky we made it out!

We went to check out the historical canal that this huge piece of machinery replaced. Canal boats were once pulled up to the top of the mountain by horses until the creation of small pull trains. The water has dried up, yet the homes and some train tracks remain.

Onward, we went with our bikes (not electric) and covered over 10km to the top of the mountain, only to discover we couldn’t enter the lock area. So we went 10km back down. At the glass factory, you had to buy a ticket to ride a small train to the top, take a tour boat down the lock, and back up.

At least we got our exercise.

Along the path were tremendous rocks that looked like someone sculpted them. I believe it was Mother Earth!

Morning dawned, and we were up and at it. After watching the last boaters head up the lift, we took first place in line and slid right into the huge basket alone.

Hold on, we are coming up!

This next part of the drive is beautiful, but there are tunnels. One is a little over 2 1/2 km, the other 500 m. I’m the captain and do the driving, but I popped a side finder in one of the tunnels a few years ago and decided to leave the night “driving” up to the Admiral.

Later in the day, we arrived at one of our favorite spots, Niderviller. This place has a few mixed memories. The cooling system leaked badly on our first trip through this area, 10km from this harbor. After Lutz’s intensive search, we found the best mechanic from this Niderviller, who drove to us by car and discovered that it had rusted through, so we slowly headed to this harbor for repair. The guy was amazing. He took the part out, refurbished it, and reinstalled it. And we’ve never had a problem since. Great memory, right?

My best memories are of eating in a small French restaurant around the corner, which served snails,

frog legs, and many other delicious French delicacies. With enough butter and fresh garlic, you can eat anything.

It seems this harbor holds abundant mixed memories for travelers. Many neighboring boaters shared their stories, and the restaurant was the winner. During this trip, Lutz was initially concerned about the charging mechanism that charged our new batteries (yes, before we left, we spent 500$ to replace two). He had our friend, the mechanic, check them out, and the small generator that powers them to recharge was kaput! So, once again, mixed memories were made. But there is always a bright side; we’re thankful we discovered this problem here.

Now, we are waiting for repairs and for our friends to arrive. Plus, we can make more memories at our delicious French restaurant and head to the farm across the way for fresh goat cheese!

Thanks for joining us on this portion of our summer canal tour. I’m always open to suggestions of places to see, things to do, and where to eat. So, if you are familiar with some of our stops, please send suggestions! Check out this month’s Favorite recipes for Summer Salads! And this very interesting resource:

Fave Recipe: Super Summer Salads!

These are some of my most delicious summer salads that are simple and quick. They can be stand-alone meals or sides to complement your main dish. Get that grill out and start cook’n, chop’n, and slice’n


Fave Resource: The Definitive Guide to Nuts & Seeds

Here it is, folks, the best resource you can have in your kitchen. If you are nuts about nuts, this handy graph explains everything, from soaking to nutritional value! And it comes from one of my favorite cookbooks on Thyroid!

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