Friday 26 May 2017


Our little ship arrived in Mainz at breakfast time, and we had most of the day for exploration. One of its attractions is the Gutenberg museum – Johannes Gutenberg was the man renowned as the one who kickstarted letterpress printing in Europe, and among the main treasures of the museum are two copies of the original Gutenberg Bible, from the mid-fifteenth century.

(Photo courtesy of The Gutenberg Museum website)

The museum is about printing in general, with info, among many other things, about how the Chinese did it as early as the 5th century.

Mainz struck us as a bustling town, with a lively market in the cathedral square.

It has an interesting mixture of architecture from modern and less modern times.

The cathedral itself is Romanesque – the equivalent here of Norman style.

Very imposing, as is the interior.

However, wandering around, we thought it felt more like a museum space than a worship space. St Stephen's church, up the hill, had a very different feel, with blue stained windows by Marc Chagall, giving a blue cast to all the light in the interior, including that around the organ pipes which seemed almost suspended in space.

We set off again from Mainz around 4 p.m., and soon found ourselves going through the first of what will be a number of locks. But how different these are from the one Erin Mae has encountered, even on the Aire and Calder.

They're big enough to take the ship, of course and, at 20 metres, wider than Erin Mae is long! Glad we won't be facing too many of those when we resume our travels on the UK network!


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