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Rhine water levels 2023 and similar topics


notamermaid
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Greetings from the Rhine valley. Here is the thread for 2023 for everything related to the water levels of the Rhine and bits of information on the river.

 

Through the year we will look at the river's levels and what else may be happening that could be of interest to river cruisers. Join us again with your comments and share your excitement about upcoming trips on this major European river.

 

Where ever your trips may take you this year  - safe travels.

 

notamermaid

 

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Notmermaid, I have been looking for you to start up a 2023 water level board. Your posts on the water levels and many other topics are always so informative. I certainly enjoyed participating in discussions on the 2022 board, but now is getting even more interesting with just over 70 days to go until we embark the ship in Amsterdam.    

 

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On 1/30/2023 at 1:17 AM, RDVIK2016 said:

I certainly enjoyed participating in discussions on the 2022 board, but now is getting even more interesting with just over 70 days to go until we embark the ship in Amsterdam.    

Glad to read you enjoyed it and thanks for saying hello. 70 days - certainly not long too go til then, time for mild excitement already :classic_smile:.

 

It is quiet here and the river is calm with little of note to report. In January there was an odd accident of a barge breaking in two while being loaded in Kehl. A few days ago we had a short scare as a tanker loaded with Diesel ran aground at Spay in the Rhine Gorge. Water got into the hull but no Diesel leaked into the Rhine.

 

Hopefully February brings no excitement of that kind and sticks to Carnival excitement.

 

notamermaid

 

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Let us see what river levels were like for those very few cruises that ran over New Year and at the end of the past month. Here is the graph at Kaub for January :

image.png.6e7bf91f842eff8535850e1113e1d4bb.png

 

The month started well above the mean and after a decline the graph shows the peak following substantial rain at the middle of January. After a relatively sharp drop the level is in slow decline still and the month finished with a level that is considered slightly low for barge traffic, meaning potentially reducing cargo.

 

But the forecast shows another return to levels closer to the mean.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Well, the month started with unpleasant excitement unfortunately at Monheim, a town between Cologne and Düsseldorf. A barge hit the newly installed landing stage for excursion boats. It is bent and not usuable right now but fortunately at least did not drift off: https://www.monheim.de/stadtleben-aktuelles/news/nachrichten/baumberger-steiger-nach-kollision-mit-einem-schiff-schwer-beschaedigt-12051

 

I must admit that I have never been to Monheim. Big question is: have they got a docking area for river cruise ships? I will explore that and see what else I can find out about the place.

 

notamermaid

 

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A phone call has revealed that the landing stage that was damaged is the out of town one. A very friendly tourism assistant told me that the modern big one at the town centre embankment is fine. Apparently there is also a very nice park at the river and a Roman fort near by. Sounds inviting to me. The town being accessible with a river cruise ship means it is eligible for inclusion in my series of lesser known ports. So I will write a little about Monheim some time. This is the thread I mean: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2516698-rhine-beyond-the-standard-ports/

 

 

notamermaid

 

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The river is rising and falling with the rain, it looks to have reached a peak at Kaub this afternoon, now slightly falling again. All very normal so I will move to more pressing matters. A tiny "crisis" is occurring in the Rhineland, to revellers' shock the rise in cost of living has reached Carnival! Fewer "Kamelle" may be thrown this year, oh no!! Only half joking... Although Carnival is so much fun, for some the costs are a serious problem. So what are Kamelle? They are sweets, boiled sweets, originally all caramel, hence the Karamelle having morphed linguistically in the Rhineland to Kamelle. I have no statistics but imagine hundreds of kilos being thrown from the floats in street carnival to the people watching a parade. If you want to reduce the cost of staging such an event and preparing a float, get costumes, etc.., the Kamelle are an easy item on the list that you can save money on.

 

Talking of sweet food, I think it is time for a couple of photos or a video on other Carnival treats. Coming soon.

 

notamermaid

 

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Here we go, Muzemandeln: https://www.dw.com/en/sweet-carnival-treats-from-cologne-muzemandeln/video-52468540

 

I prefer the Muzeblätter.

 

All very well you may say, cannot go on a river cruise to experience Carnival as it is off season. Well, you can actually. Viva Cruises offers a Rhine cruise Düsseldorf return on the Viva One: https://www.viva-*****/en/cruisedetail?id=358&adults=2

Come a day earlier and stay a day longer and you are in the area for most of street Carnival.

 

Or for those who feel comfortable on a Swiss-German and German language ship, there is the Thurgau Travel Edelweiss in Basel for the Fasnacht, which is during the week after Rhenish Carnival: https://www.thurgautravel.ch/angebote/fasnacht/

 

notamermaid

 

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As it is quiet, I wasn't going to write anything in this thread in the next few days, but then I spotted something...

 

You can see it underneath the graph I posted above, but I have blown it up from the website for you:

image.png.dff7b2c02d49325cd767475ae3426b4c.png

 

The parameter for GlW (gleichwertiger Wasserstand) has changed. Kaub now has 77cm instead of 78cm. A slight adjustment only but important to remember for me, you know, before any of you say to me "but last year..." . The TuGlW remains the same, so our calculations will not change much in low water.

 

For those I have completely baffled with this post, perhaps you would like to look in 2022, post #308:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2827571-rhine-water-levels-2022-and-similar-topics/page/13/

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Alaaf and helau to you! Or any other "rallying cry", I mean greeting, you may encounter or use at this time of year. Today is Weiberfastnacht here, my office is closed, time to get cheeky and annoying, girls! Or just joyous. Or legless if you feel the need to... It is the day for the ladies traditionally, so all men watch out! 😁

 

They say the tradition started in Bonn, in the district of Beuel, with the washer women. https://www.bonn.de/microsite/en/events-calendar/events/main-calendar/eigene/womens-carnival-day.php

 

Not in Bonn, but closer to home, I hope to be able to watch a storming of the town hall. It is time for the folk to capture the mayor and fools to take over the administration of the place for a few days. Now I will bite my tongue, you know, who are the actual fools, those in the street or those sitting on office chairs...

🤡🥸🥳

 

notamermaid

 

P.S.: Still think Germans are efficient, humourless, etc.? Come at Carnival to the Rhineland and prepare to be amazed.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Maybe that’s why DH wouldn’t go to Germany at this time of year, I’ll have to ask him!

I admit, this weird time takes a bit of getting used to, also the beginning of Carnival is like that. Was on a trip to Essen quite a few years ago on 11 November. By the time I got to Cologne, the train I was on was almost "unusable" for normal folk. :classic_wink: Changed in Cologne and, my, what chaos. One of my favourite images of Carnival (in a different year) is coming down the escalator in Bonn and in the tunnel towards the underground a "Prussian" early 19th century walking passed me.

 

Talking of Bonn. I am quite fond of the city, I know it is not for everyone and not as big or busy, full of old walls, as Cologne, but has an interesting old church and Baroque town hall. If I had the choice of a river cruise port being either Cologne or Bonn for four hours, I would go for Bonn. For a whole day I would choose Cologne.

 

I have been to the Eifel again, near Laacher See, the volcanic lake. So I spent a good extra hour in a large village and had a nice surprise. More on that later.

 

notamermaid

 

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15 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Alaaf and helau to you! Or any other "rallying cry", I mean greeting, you may encounter or use at this time of year. Today is Weiberfastnacht here, my office is closed, time to get cheeky and annoying, girls! Or just joyous. Or legless if you feel the need to... It is the day for the ladies traditionally, so all men watch out! 😁

 

They say the tradition started in Bonn, in the district of Beuel, with the washer women. https://www.bonn.de/microsite/en/events-calendar/events/main-calendar/eigene/womens-carnival-day.php

 

I am getting a Server Fehler 404 at the url you posted.  Was it supposed to link to a story about the Beueler Weiberfastnacht? 

 

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6 hours ago, RDVIK2016 said:

I am getting a Server Fehler 404 at the url you posted.  Was it supposed to link to a story about the Beueler Weiberfastnacht? 

 

Yes, sorry, the link does not work it seems.

2 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Try search for Calendar of events in Bonn Germany 2023, it worked for me.

Good idea, thanks. This is what I can find: https://www.bonn.de/microsite/en/highlights/events-calendar/carnival.php

 

While the capital of Germany is Berlin, Bonn has retained several international institutions. That means many anglophone (and other nation's) expats still live and work in Bonn. Hence the fact that the English website goes far beyond standard tourism and business topics. By the way, the "language" in Bonn is Bönnsch, a Rhenish dialect similar to Cologne's, but more pleasing to the ear I find.

 

Right, I am off to do some shopping and try and find Mutzen(leaves). Had a Berliner yesterday (not the person but the doughnut), really nice. I preferred the dark jam in it to the lighter jam that others contain.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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It is Ash Wednesday, Carnival has been "buried", today it was eating fish, as is tradition. Herring, that is. Not for me though, not my taste. I was able to get Mutzen, both the leaves and the almond shaped ones. I tried the Mutzen again but next year I will only get the leaves. Eating them side by side on a plate showed me that my preferences of years past are still the same.

 

If you would like to read about Carnival - which is not over yet actually, in Switzerland it is later than in Germany - have a look here: https://www.german-way.com/history-and-culture/holidays-and-celebrations/fasching-and-karneval/

 

Before we move on to other topics, here is one of my favourite odd things of Rhenish Carnival, the "Schwellköpp" in Mainz: https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Mainzer_Schwellkopf_Fastnacht2.jpg

These are larger than life size heads (the Mainz dialect word literally means swollen heads) of Mainz personalities, ordinary folk very often, and are made of papier-maché.  If you want to look deeper into Carnival traditions when on holiday, you can go to one of the Carnival museums. This is the website of the one in Mainz (German only): https://mainzer-fastnachtsmuseum.de/html/museum.html

 

notamermaid

 

 

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I was in England one year over Carnival and was taught how to make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. I make pancakes occasionally.

 

So what happens when someone from another continent encounters Carnival? Can it work, can they join in? Of course! And this Australian man was invited to do it fully and properly: https://www.dw.com/en/an-australian-visits-colognes-carnival/video-64742923

 

notamermaid

 

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Notamermaid fantastich now I have some idea of what my man got up to on his many trips to Germany. I’ve heard about the buxom German wenches carrying their many large beer steins (spelling). I know he enjoyed himself maybe sometimes a bit over the top but he reciprocated by showing his German colleagues a special time in London.

 

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While most of the river cruise ships of CroisiEurope and the German companies have a break from cruising until well into March, it looks as if Viking starts the season in earnest a week earlier. I see a Swiss Alps to Paris itinerary leaving from 10 March if I have calculated the departure date correctly. So let us have a look well ahead into March in a very tentative way as regards river levels. The Rhine is so low that "my favourite fear mongerer" Bloomberg may well have written another article about it... But it is actually not good for barge traffic. Unusually so at this time of year, especially as not much precipitation has been retained as snow. It is too warm.

 

Kaub is at 121cm, which is below what it should be for shipping companies but poses no problem for river cruise ships. Looking ahead, we see the level rise and then drop to a level that is, well, not good. So far in advance, we look at this in probability terms. So on 6 March the level at Kaub will almost certainly be under 110cm and very likely be under 97cm (!). Am I worried? No. But a bit surprised and will look at this again earlier than I thought I would this early in the year,

 

notamermaid

 

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It has cooled down and yesterday's rain came down as snow in the mountains. After a short rise the level is going to fall, in part due to the cold weather keeping the snow. According to the probability chart we are still going to see a first real low this year. On the 8th of March the level will almost certainly be under 110cm and most likely under 97cm, it is possible that the level falls to 77cm. I will leave it at that and return to the subject when summarizing February.

 

notamermaid

 

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And now for something completely different - a quarrel about a ship and its protected status. It is a special "workhorse", the diving bell ship called "Carl Straat". Modern technology has superseded the old, so the Federal Waterways people now have a new one. What to do with the old? Some want it protected, others think it should be scrapped. I personally think it should go to the museum in Duisburg. As of 23 February a court has confirmed that it is correct that it is on the "protected" list. Is the decision final? I hope so. The new diving bell ship was given a propulsion system built by the company Schottel, based in Spay near Koblenz. Since this press release https://www.schottel.de/en/media-events/press-releases/press-detail/new-diving-bell-ship-for-the-rhine-and-its-tributaries-fitted-with-schottel-propulsion-units was written the ship has been delivered, it is called Archimedes and was built by the Dutch shipyard Damen for 24.57 million euros. Should you see something highly unusual on the water during your river cruise...

 

Schottel GmbH builds propulsion for ships worldwide, they have a big portfolio, really impressive. The founder of the company named it after a shallows in the river at kilometre 576.5, which is somewhere here at the end of the Bopparder Hamm (vineyard):

image.thumb.png.f648fe92588b8febc3124ac1e44a2596.png

 

 

From ship technology we move onto - old stones in the Eifel. In this volcanic region of Germany I came across Roman "antiquities" where I had never expected them.

 

notamermaid

 

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We have in our archive a 1760 book it’s a treatise on how to build a canal translated from the French the plates at the back are completely Heath Robinson so will try to scan as if you see anything similar along the rivers of Europe, you’ll know, yes design has changed but you can usually tell where the original idea originated from. Archimedes invented the screw we have  few on display that are now about 200 years old but modern ones working in exactly the same way are still in use. What a brain that man had!

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8 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Archimedes invented the screw we have  few on display that are now about 200 years old but modern ones working in exactly the same way are still in use.

Ah yes, him. Fitting name for a specialist ship. Forgot to mention the museum properly. It is the German Inland Waterways Museum (for those who have read the 2022 thread, yes, I mentioned it in connection with the "Oscar Huber" ship last year): https://www.duisburg.de/tourismus/stadt_erleben/museen/museum-der-deutschen-binnenschifffahrt.php#/

 

By the way, Schottel propellers are also installed in river cruise ships. It is mentioned for a couple on their website and you can possibly read it online in the description of the odd ship in the technical details.

 

notamermaid

 

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