2015 European waterway cruise – Belgium – Liege to Namur via Huy

On the River Meuse – Belgium

At Liege, the Albert Canal merges with the River Meuse.

We would now stay on the Meuse until Givet at the French border, where the river becomes canalized.

The journey to Namur was 64 kms, with 4 locks.

These were all very large locks, with rises of 4.5 or 5 metres each.

Lock ‘Ivoz-Ramet’ Rise of 5 metres

As it was the height of summer and this was the through route from Netherlands to France, we were surprised at the relatively few numbers of pleasure boats.

This section to Namur also connected
to Brussels and ultimately the commercial ports of Ghent and Zeebrugge, so we did encounter many large commercial barges.

Approaching Huy on the River Meuse

Despite these, the scenery was becoming more rural and much more mountainous and the River Meuse lived up to its reputation of being
one of the most pleasant inland waterways.

We broke this trip into 2 parts and made a 2 night stop in a cute little town called Huy, pronounced ‘we’ like the French for ‘yes’ – oui. Bit odd – we had been saying ‘hay’ and wondering why nobody had a clue what we were talking about.

Marina at Huy

The marina at Huy was very good!

Only Euro 13 per night, including water, electricit, good ablutions, a restaurant and wifi that worked.

The town of Huy was indeed a very pleasant.

We were fortunate enough to be there on market day again and stocked up with lovely fresh produce.

Huy town square

These stall holders seem to move from town to town as we recognized a number of them from the De La Batt market in Liege a few days ago.

There is an old fort on top of the hill with a cableway that used to take one to the top, but this was not working.

It looked like it hadn’t worked for some time.

Pleasure boaters on the Meuase

We made the climb to the top and the view was very good.

When approaching Huy the day before, about a km before the town I noticed a ‘Bricolage’ or DIY/Hardware shop, so popped in there and bought 2 x 20 L diesel

Although I had filled up with diesel before leaving Zwartsluis, and would probably get to St Jean-de-Losne okay, I still wanted to do some topping up.

River Meuse – one of the many wooded islands

The availability of diesel was becoming more scarce, so the plan was to fill up the canisters whenever we found a garage close by.

While walking back to the boat we saw wild blackberries growing by the side of the road.

Karen picked a whole lot for our breakfast smoothie the next morning.

Barge behaving strangely

We continued on up the Meuse to Namur.

In one of the locks was a commercial barge.

I think either he was a learner, he had no crew, or his bow thruster was not working,
because he did some rather strange manouevres in the lock.

Shangri La in Namur

Namur, a relatively large town, is at a junction of the River Meuse and the River Sambre, which leads ultimately to Ghent and Zeebrugge.

We moored at the town or public quay which was much cheaper than the marina on the other side of the river.

Cost was only 7 Euros per night. Electricity was available at a small extra charge, but of course no other facilities.
The same harbour master operated both places and he popped around in the evening to collect his dues.

Taking diesel in Namur

A bonus – he asked if we needed diesel as he had a delivery coming the next day.

And it was a very good price.

So next day we motored across to the marina topped up the tank, and filled the
2 new canisters as well.

After a couple of days of motoring, I emptied these into the boat’s fuel tank.

One of the many bronze statues in Namur

We stayed 2 nights there, did the usual self guided tour of the town, as well as visiting a local organic food market.

Although, as I mentioned, there were less pleasure boats than expected, we did meet more UK and even Australian boaters.

We always chatted and tried to get
as much info as to what lay ahead.

One British chap said that in France everything was cheaper, but that nothing worked! We were to remember that later.

Next – on towards France.

Navigating on the River Meuse

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