Transportation officials have confirmed that with workday traffic congestion as bad as ever and trains often being late, the fastest way to Luxembourg City in the morning is kayaking on the Alzette.
Hundreds of people from the south of the country already commute to the capital in this manner, with some investing in high-quality German kayaks to replace their Audis and BMWs.
“I start in Foetz, and I can get to the city in only 24 minutes,” said Clara Lapierre, who works as an administrative assistant. “I’m thinking of getting a canoe so that I can start picking up my colleague Sarah who lives in Roeser.”
Commuters wishing to take the Alzette to the capital may enter it in Esch-sur-Alzette, Bettembourg, Hesperange, or anywhere along the way.
However, because the river flows northwards, Lapierre and kayakers like her have a considerably more difficult time getting home.
“Sometimes it takes me two or three hours, so I’ve started bringing a little motor in my purse and attaching it to my kayak in the evenings,” she said.
Not only do commuters love the opportunity to be in nature every day, they say that kayaking to work is a great way to get some exercise.
“I’ve lost nine kilos and my arms are now muscular,” said Luis Gomes, an IT technician who lives in Bettembourg and works in Kirchberg. “When I get to work, I’m sweaty and smell like river fish, but at least that means my boss leaves me alone.”
Entrepreneurs have already got on board with the rising interest in taking the river to work, with several new businesses popping up.
Gustav Landis runs a floating bakery in a rowboat, selling pastries, sandwiches, and coffee to river commuters.
“The only downside for me is that sometimes the money falls in the water during the transaction, and if my clients aren’t careful, water splashes on their croissants and makes them soggy, but I tell them it adds flavor and nutrients and is part of the authentic river experience.”
Originally published by RTL Today