Autumn in my home region this year has a lot to do with the worries and distress for the river shipping
. The Rhine (Rhein) as the most meaningful navigable waterway in Middle Europe has in large sections very little water so skippers have enormous difficulties to handle the capacities that are to be transported. Furthermore many of the important ferry connections are now closed (established where no bridge exists for large distances). This is the second time this year – in the meantime the river simply didn’t get enough water from its sources in the Alps and the other tributaries. And not to mention the lack of rain
: For at least 4 months it was totally missed by now in my region!
Weather experts are saying that it would take a 4 weeks' rainfall without any pause to fill up the water line...
things have more than one view:
Our scenic “Middle Rhine valley” between Mainz (home of book printing inventor Gutenberg and the first country’s TV station)
and Koblenz (Mosel river confluence at the Deutsches Eck)
now offers quite new possibilities to spend free time.
You can do large walks on the ground, pick up mussels (as a child I collected them from near sandy banks carefully as a rare object at that time)
, visit small islands
and say Hello to some birds (apart from seagulls, further English names only known by specialists)…
While taking the train you will have a view to numerous impressive rock formations
which normally are under the water line.
Main internet source for interested is as mostly the Wikipedia.NB
Some facts: navigable length: ca. 800 km (of 1,232 (766 mi) in total) -
To your compare other important rivers length
Oder (through Poland) - 854 km (531 mi)
Volga (Russia) - 3,692 km (2,294 mi)
in the U. S.:
Columbia - 1,243 mi (2,000 km)
Mississippi - 2,320 mi (3,734 km)NB 2
For those readers who have a sense for certain
Still there are “blind” bombs and mines from WW 2 found during a low water period in the Rhine. So actually near Koblenz
, and of such extent that preparations for a prophylactic evacuation of half of the town’s inhabitants will take time until the next weekend.
I wonder why a systematic search there by stately institutions was never realised.NB 3
Here you are some new YouTube videos to this topic:Der Rhein verdurstet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4ZID0q1ouY(the music doesn’t fit as it’s from a 1970’s love movie)Rhein-Schifffahrt wird schon behindert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR_407GZn7Y(very short, near Düsseldorf)Der Stein aus dem Rhein http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R3xosoUI48(nice short story of finding stones in the riverbed)
Im Rhein wird das Wasser knapp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnoLgM_5kuQ(low water in May 2011, Karlsruhe region, also some typical birds to be seen)