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notamermaid

Rhine water levels 2019 and similar topics

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On 4/24/2019 at 7:25 PM, OzNaiNai said:

You are lucky to be able to take 15kg as carry-on. In Australia we are limited to 7kg carry-on. 

 

We sailed around OZ a few years ago with a stop in Adelaide which we quite enjoyed. It was 35 nights on Solstice starting in Auckland, round NZ to Sydney and on to Perth with the second leg from Perth round OZ and back to Sydney. Great holiday, also got to circumnavigate Willis Island as an alternative to the canceled sailing to Bali. I do not remember any real carry-on restrictions on the return flight from Sydney to LAX and then YVR. 

 

Cheers, Bill

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It has cooled down in the Rhine valley and it has been raining in parts. The river level has risen, but not considerably, meaning we are still on a relatively low level for April. Sailing looks good though for May.

 

The river is on international environmental alert right now as a river cruise ship at Rüdesheim lost 3,000 litres of Diesel oil just before midnight local time. Normal procedure would be to try and contain the spillage but the Rhine is too fast flowing. Therefore the oil will travel towards the North Sea and downstream from Bingen there is a warning in place. Apparently while pumping the oil from one tank into another, the 3,000 litres overspilled. The police will investigate this further and a hefty fine for environmental pollution could be the result.

 

After checking for a potential leak in the tank - thankfully there wasn't one - the ship could sail on to its destination Nuremberg at 11 o'clock this morning.

 

https://www.swr.de/swraktuell/rheinland-pfalz/mainz/Ruedesheim-20,diesel-im-rhein-100.html

 

This coming week will see rising temperatures but some rain.

 

The river levels: Maxau 486cm, Kaub 163cm, Koblenz 162cm. A drop in levels is anticipated but Maxau is predicted to stay above 450cm.

 

And now for something completely different: Baden-Baden. The quintessential German luxury spa town: https://www.dw.com/en/baden-baden-luxury-in-the-black-forest/av-48395787

 

Situated at the edge of the Black Forest,  Baden-Baden is a day excursion on a few itineraries of river cruise companies.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Notamermaid, funny you mentioned environmental issues, below is an article (in German) published yesterday in Passau unday newspaper, about untreated sewage being dumped in the Danube:

 

Donau.pdf

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Thanks, it works. It makes sense and the topic "low wages" was addressed last year in Bavaria, I saw a short report on BR24 of an unannounced check of all papers of crew and the "hours behind the wheel" on a ship last year. A bit like checking a lorry and its driver. There were a couple of minor issues that needed further checks.

 

By the way, FuelScience reported of police coming onto his nickocruises ship earlier this year. A routine check it seems.

 

Toilet paper floating to the bottom of the Danube while "decadence" is going on on the decks of the ship? I don't know, sounds a bit like drastic journalism to me. Haven't you got the feeling that politicians and the reports are a bit louder than usual at the moment? Could it have anything to do with the elections coming up by any chance :classic_wink:?

 

notamermaid

 

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The road less travelled, the path less walked

 

Sometimes on television one comes across those little places off the beaten path that turn out to be a delightful experience. For me, this happened a few weeks ago when I watched a programme on castles. Featuring prominently in this particular episode of an educational series on various aspects of castles and medieval life was Burg Hammerstein. I have seen the castle ruins from the road before but it is not a standard route I travel along and I have wondered before how you actually get to it. Intrigued by the story in the programme and the aerial footage I decided to explore at Easter. Here is a photo I took from the path leading away from the car park: DSCN2121.thumb.JPG.88fab3f1a79dff26f08cdab5b5d40fa8.JPG

 

You can obviously guess it is in the Rhine valley, so the Upper Middle Rhine valley with all the castles, right? No, the lower middle Rhine valley with some castles! The village is - not surprisingly - called Hammerstein and is home to several vintners.

 

More on my little trip out to follow.

 

notamermaid

 

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As you sail out of the famous Rhine gorge just before Koblenz you enter the Neuwied basin, where the valley widens. The basin ends at the Andernach gate, just below the town of the same name. At that point the lower middle Rhine valley starts. While that part of the Middle Rhine valley has fewer castles than the more famous part upstream, it has got its fair share of hills, vineyards and palaces, castles and ruins to give it appeal. Two places of note: The Drachenfels with its castle, that hill was made famous by George Lord Byron when he travelled upstream in 1816. Petersberg near Bonn is famous for its connection with the former capital of Germany as a place to take guests of the Federal Republic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Petersberg

At Bonn is the official end of the Middle Rhine valley.

 

To give you an idea of what there is in the valley as regards notable edifices dotting the landscape here is a map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Rhine#/media/File:Karte_Mittelrhein.png

 

But back to my trip to Burg Hammerstein. It is a windy, steep ascend which is not recommended if you have major health problems, it is not suitable for any walking aids, you need to be steady on your feet. The reward is a magnificent view over the valley. Here are some photos: DSCN2137.thumb.JPG.1a87497a263d863e6d4ba0ee4166d9bf.JPG

 

This is looking North, i.e. downstream towards Bonn. Notice the small house close to one of the branches on the right hand side of the photo. It is the same building as in the photo in my post above.

 

DSCN2130.thumb.JPG.285378a1eca47c83c6ff5bd095c230cf.JPG

 

This is looking South towards Koblenz. To the right is the branch of the Rhine that has been closed off to give a small marina area. The island is called Hammersteiner Werth.

 

DSCN2131.thumb.JPG.797628cb9fe164219937dbe508e6b438.JPG

 

The close-up taken in the same direction shows you the village of Leutesdorf on the left and the two rocks that form the Andernach gate. On the other side of the river bank towards the right of the photo is the high old tower of Andernach, the town you can see around it. You can see the hill rising up beyond Koblenz in the far distance.

 

A lot of itineraries are timed such that they do this stretch of river at night which is a pity really, but is necessary to cover many kilometres if going upstream from Cologne to your next port that is Koblenz. However, in recent years I have seen more itineraries doing at least part of the stretch in daylight, or that even have stops along the way. The Drachenfels Villa/Palace I have seen as an outing and Namedy which is close to Andernach is of course a regular stop for APT itineraries. If your itinerary includes Bonn as a port stop then you can see some of the valley and its Seven Mountains range in daylight as well.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my little trip report and drawing your attention towards that slightly overlooked part of the river.

 

Regarding river levels: a little on the low side but rain is coming in amounts that should add valuable centimetres over the following five days.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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7 hours ago, MotherDaughterTravels said:

Thanks for the great info and water level updates. Especially happy to hear your last post about rain outlook for next few days. 

 

Thank you MotherDaughterTravels,

 

the rain is much welcome as April had been too dry (in most parts of the country). Noteworthy and newsworthy is not the rain but the cold weather that is forecast. Snow in May is somewhat unusual in the lower regions of Germany and Alsace.

Accuweather explains it:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/cold-wave-to-descend-on-europe-for-the-1st-weekend-of-may/70008134

 

German weather reports say that it will snow in regions as low as 300m above sea level. This would be the Vosges mountains west of Strasbourg for example or the Black Forest. Rain/snowfall is not forecast for Alsace really, but indeed for the Black Forest, although oddly snow is more likely close to Cologne in the Eifel region!  It is a rarity, but has happened in recent time, for example on 7 May 2010 and in May 2002, according to one website. Significant amounts of snow that stay on the ground are much rarer.

 

Night frosts occur more often, there is a garden rule that says "do not put frost-sensitive potted plants into your garden before the ice saints". The wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Saints

 

With the wind chill, it will mean shopping in winter coat for me tomorrow. Oh well, it is only going to last two days. Temperatures should rise again after that.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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It certainly was chilly over the weekend, we had the frost, the small hail, the snow and the wind, as promised. It was still cold yesterday but is a little warmer today. After some more rain and storms, we have been promised it will get back to weather as we expect it in May.

 

As the snow was so unusual, many photos have been posted online. This one from a weather site in German I have chosen for you: https://www.wetteronline.de/fotostrecken/2019-05-04-sn?galleryIndex=8

It was taken in Bad Honnef-Aegidienberg at around 300m above sea level. The location of the village centre is:

50°39'45.2"N 7°18'10.0"E

50.662554, 7.302770

the town Bad Honnef is close to Bonn.

 

The river levels: Maxau 470cm, Kaub 162cm, Koblenz 165cm. Maxau is forecast to reach 500cm in the next few days. This should give us plenty of water for plain sailing for quite a bit of May.

 

notamermaid

 

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It is getting warmer and the river is reacting to the rain very nicely. Maxau as forecast has reached 500cm, but there is now a prediction for reaching 600cm if rainfall continues as forecast. Sounds a big rise and it is but it will not get us into trouble, i.e. flooding. It shows how low the level had been for this time of year.

 

Now, us Germans like fast cars, build them and drive them on very good autobahns, don't we? That is true for many people. But speeding in the wrong places will get you into trouble. Speed traps are allover the place and you will be caught on camera, even if you are not human and in a car!

 

This happened to a pigeon in the town of Bocholt near the lower Rhine area: https://www.dw.com/en/pigeon-caught-by-speeding-camera-in-germany/a-48648257

 

Bocholt has received unexpected attention and I must admit that I have never been in the area around there. So I thought, "where is it exactly and what is there to see?" The place has got some appeal and a textile museum, the sort of working museum with technical stuff that I like: https://www.lwl.org/industriemuseum/standorte/textilwerk-bocholt/english

 

Not bad, not bad at all. I think Bocholt might see me this year or next year checking the place out. People are flocking  - cannot resist that one :classic_biggrin: - to Dubrovnik because of Game of Thrones, what could be wrong with going to a place because of a famous "racing" pigeon?

 

Bocholt, by the way, is 47 min. by car from the nearest river cruise port used by international companies. That town is Xanten and is famous for its Roman architectural park and museum.

 

notamermaid

 

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Just a quick message this weekend to say that the forecast for Maxau is now saying that the level will not rise much more and stay under 550cm. The prediction for the following days reflects the fact that hardly any rain is forecast in the catchment area of the Upper Rhine. The river level is likely to fall fast again under 500cm during next week.

 

No problem as long as it rains the following week as the problem area around Kaub is looking pleasant for sailing at currently 226cm.

 

notamermaid

 

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1 hour ago, MotherDaughterTravels said:

Hi Notamaid, Sorry but what is Maxau?

Ah, Maxau is the gauging station near the city of Karlsruhe in the Upper Rhine valley. It is regarded as a good indicator for sailing conditions. The river level figure does not say how deep the navigation channel is, just how deep at the particular spot the measure is in the water. Captains translate this into the actual depth of the channel.

 

The other figures of Kaub and Koblenz are the gauges at the respective towns.

 

notamermaid

 

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NotaMermaid thank you so much for the information you post. Care to comment on weather conditions for June?

 

Thanks,

Kathleen

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Hello Kathleen,

 

hmm, for specific info on this coming June we will need to wait a few days as the forecast looks ahead 14 days maximum. Generally, June is a great month to be on the river. The whole Rhine valley and the Netherlands are warm and pleasant. But we do get hot days and a few rainy days. Every year is a little different. No night frost and often balmy evenings with much daylight of course make June an attractive month to sail in. The crowds are there but you also get them in May and July.

 

Are you travelling then or thinking of booking?

 

notamermaid

 

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Notamermaid,

Thank you for you ongoing comments.

We board our cruise in Amsterdam on June 2 and are hoping for some mild weather.  It has been a long winter for us.

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Hello sawtooth,

Thank you. Happy to help.

 

Unfortunately, weather reports say that May in Germany will show its "moody" side with sunshine and warm temperatures but also thunderstorms and much rain. Several places show a lot of rainy days (10 out of 14 days for Bonn for example). Temperatures can still reach 22 degrees but will more stay below that.

 

The gauge at Maxau is predicted to rise sharply, but as this is a prediction - not a forecast - I will not give you a figure and wait. Only this much: there is still much room for the river to rise before it reaches full flooding level. Mild flooding that slows down traffic could happen with this amount of rain. Figures will become clearer by Monday morning.

 

notamermaid

 

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It is raining in the Middle Rhine valley. As much rain has already come down in the Upper Rhine valley and adjacent areas, Maxau gauge is now rising and forecast to do so fast. Currently at 488cm, it will reach 600cm and could reach the first flood mark by Tuesday evening. At mark one traffic slows down, i.e. there is a speed limit in place for the affected section of the river.

 

At this point in time the graph shows that a further rise to level two, at which point the river section is closed, is very unlikely.

 

Update to follow tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday.

 

notamermaid

 

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Posted (edited)

It has been an unpleasant day so far in the Middle Rhine valley. Rain and mild storms with me and on the weather maps. The rain is supposed to ease tomorrow but it will not be dry with more rain forecast after a hopefully dry Thursday.

 

The river: Hauenstein on the High Rhine (upstream from Basel) is on flooding status, so are three tributaries coming from the East in the Upper Rhine valley. The Ill running through Colmar and Strasbourg has risen much. West of the Ill the Vosges mountains stop the clouds thereby forcing the rain down into the valley. Fortunately this means that no rain is coming from the mountains themselves or via the Moselle.

 

Maxau gauge has risen to 630cm. This means it is over flood mark one and traffic slows down. The graph is showing a further rise. A river closure is still not anticipated but the level could get close. Tomorrow will tell us more.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
Grammar

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2 hours ago, notamermaid said:

It has been an unpleasant day so far in the Middle Rhine valley. Rain and mild storms with me and on the weather maps. The rain is supposed to ease tomorrow but it will not be dry with more rain forecast after a hopefully dry Thursday.

 

The river: Hauenstein on the High Rhine (upstream from Basel) is on flooding status, so are three tributaries coming from the East in the Upper Rhine valley. The Ill running through Colmar and Strasbourg has risen much. West of the Ill the Vosges mountains stop the clouds thereby forcing the rain down into the valley. Fortunately this means that no rain is coming from the mountains themselves or via the Moselle.

 

Maxau gauge has risen to 630cm. This means it is over flood mark one and traffic slows down. The graph is showing a further rise. A river closure is still not anticipated but the level could get close. Tomorrow will tell us more.

 

notamermaid

 

Thank you Notamermaid for keeping us up to date with the Rhine water levels.  We are doing a Moselle and Rhine cruise from Remich to Amsterdam starting on June 6.  The weather forecast shows many days with showers; hope there are enough dry days to keep the river from flooding!

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1 hour ago, KathyK13 said:

Thank you Notamermaid for keeping us up to date with the Rhine water levels.  We are doing a Moselle and Rhine cruise from Remich to Amsterdam starting on June 6.  The weather forecast shows many days with showers; hope there are enough dry days to keep the river from flooding!

Hello KathyK13,

I like that itinerary, if it is the Avalon waterways one! Although I think going South from Koblenz to Basel is a bit more scenic IMO. The Moselle is lovely, I am sure you will enjoy it. Will you be coming from Paris with the company or independently? I always think that it is a pity the Lorraine area of the Moselle is not given more attention. But a bit of news to follow in the thread on the Moselle.

 

notamermaid

 

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Tentatively good news. The forecast at Maxau has been adjusted and is now supposed to peak at 720cm tomorrow morning. That is a bit better as the earlier forecast gave a peak of between 725cm and 740cm. At 750cm the river is closed at that section. Maxau is at official flooding status, though. A figure that lies between the first mark and the second mark for navigation.

 

With the big tributaries Neckar and Main carrying much water and joining the river downstream from Maxau a rise is forecast at the gauging stations there, but so far Koblenz - as an example - is not predicted to rise to a level that entails a closure of the river in that section.

 

The middle and lower Moselle have got a fair amount of rain during today but it will not have as much an impact as the rain along the Eastern tributaries.

 

notamermaid

 

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Last night, the experts said one thing and the river decided to do otherwise. It has exceeded this morning's (adjusted) expectation of 732cm and is currently at a plateau of 739cm. Could this now be the peak? The smaller rivers' waters are receding so we have reason to believe the Upper Rhine will not rise further. Levels in the Middle Rhine valley are still rising but are still not forecast to reach flooding level.

 

Two ferries in the Upper Rhine valley have had to cease operating for a day or two and the Neckar around Heidelberg is closed for shipping. All that water from the Neckar will reach the Middle Rhine valley during today, Thursday and Friday.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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