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Rhine water levels 2023 and similar topics


notamermaid
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52 minutes ago, mjz said:

I've been following this thread since January and find it very informative.

Thank you for saying hello and following. Have a great cruise.

 

To expand on the topic of locks and put it into context, here meaning the river having locks and then being free-flowing which leads to being affected by the changes of the seasons and the weather more, I post you a screenshot of the waterway Rhine:

image.thumb.png.7d2609dbfb532c2efeb639a2dfbf7be3.png

The Rhine with locks is purple, after that it is blue all the way to Rotterdam, "free" to do what it wants. The Neckar and the Main coming from the East are the main tributaries supplying water up to the Rhine Gorge. The Moselle coming from the (South)west is too far North, it does not have an affect at Kaub.

 

notamermaid

 

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It is considered that the Chinese invented a form of locks but a certain Italian invented the locks or something similar to what are used today. Just be very grateful that we don’t now use ‘flash locks’ that would be just a bit of a wild ride. Without these wonders of engineering there would be no river cruising and not a lot of river commerce.

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5 minutes ago, Canal archive said:

Without these wonders of engineering there would be no river cruising and not a lot of river commerce.

River traffic would look quite different, I agree. It is possible though and the Romans proved early that it can be done. You just need the right ship for the right river. Granted, not all river sections would work, on the Rhine basically everything apart from the Rhine Falls (massive water fall) would, but other rivers would be trickier.

 

As regards river cruising, well this is - let me be cheeky here - probably more the size of Viking ships we would see on the rivers, the Viking Orvar: https://binnenschifffahrt-online.de/2019/12/schiffstechnik/12041/

 

notamermaid

 

 

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6 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Indeed it isn't. You can go on several river cruises on the rivers and canals of Europe over the years and never encounter a problem. Or you can be just completely unlucky as you have to deal with the aftermath of an incident, like for you the grounding of the ships on the Rhine.

 

notamermaid

 

They key there is to somewhat be flexible. Getting an email while I was sitting at the airport (in 2021 after…everything) saying “the ship cant make it to Basel to pick you up” wasn’t the most welcome thing but the reality is that I just boarded a bus in Basel to meet the ship at Strasbourg where we were going to go that night ANYWAY”  and then I think they built some extra time in to get past the restricted lane to go to rudesheim. I doubt many cruises go 100% to plan. Docks aren’t available, lock congestion/schedules availability of excursions places/buses/guides. Normally the cruise lines just figure it out and we never know. 
 

Though I saw a few weeks prior to that in the us what it looks like when the line just leaves the ship/cruise director(and In that case the bus lead who was chasing us the entire week) to figure it all out and Bargain the trade offs with the passengers. In the end it went fine but we ended up with a picnic at an interstate rest stop basically in Washington state. 

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13 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Indeed it isn't. You can go on several river cruises on the rivers and canals of Europe over the years and never encounter a problem. Or you can be just completely unlucky as you have to deal with the aftermath of an incident, like for you the grounding of the ships on the Rhine. The one thing that can happen that we have not mentioned yet is strikes. Yup, the French were at it again about two weeks ago. The lock times were affected by the people on the French side striking. And they mean business. Some of the locks up there on the Rhine are run by the French authorities. This being a very busy river a backlog of ships waiting to be locked can happen easily and is no fun at all for shipping companies. German report: https://www.swr.de/swraktuell/baden-wuerttemberg/suedbaden/schleuse-marckolsheim-blockiert-100.html

 

notamermaid

 

Your comment sent me on a search to learn a little about all the locks as far upstream as Basel. I was not very aware of the geography and did not realize that nine of the ten locks are French - on canals or canalized branches of the river that are on the French side of the border. Only Iffezheim Schleuse is German. It must be a pain in the neck for the Germans when river traffic gets disrupted for by a French labor dispute and for the French if the shoe were on the other foot.  (Not to mention the Swiss who would not be able to do anything about it.)

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A quick look at the river levels. Maxau 461cm, good. Kaub 220cm, good.

 

All computer modelling at Maxau looks good. Long term prediction at Kaub gives range above 150cm and below 330cm, as of now all perfect till 4 April.

 

So where is Maxau? Maxau is not a big town, the gauge is where it says Karlsruhe. screenshot from flood monitoring website:

image.png.4fb8ad400e478e4493cb8af81294e18a.png

 

 

You can see Kehl, a town with docking location for river cruise ship, typical for excursion to Strasbourg on the other side of the river. Iffezheim is the last lock.

 

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On 3/21/2023 at 4:02 AM, RDVIK2016 said:

I was not very aware of the geography and did not realize that nine of the ten locks are French - on canals or canalized branches of the river that are on the French side of the border. Only Iffezheim Schleuse is German.

Yes, the sailing is partly done in France on the Grand Canal d'Alsace, or Rheinseitenkanal. The Rhine itself is to the East of it and still forms the border between the two countries. A bit weird up there the geography, and confusing politically at times when you are on a river cruise ship. I mentioned in my previous post that ships often dock in Kehl, which is in Germany. So you have just come through France on the river that is supposed to be the border between the two countries, but you were on the Canal; then you dock in Germany on the river and cross the river into France to go to Strasbourg. Which historically was German territory for a while. And where the language is an odd one, seeing that it is Alsatian - which is basically a part of Germanic dialect groups, i.e. quite remote from French. But your guides there can tell you all about it. :classic_biggrin:

 

How the Canal runs exactly is a bit complicated and I am not sure what classifies as the Grand Canal and what is "just" canalized river. You can look up the topography here, I have marked Rhinau island: https://www.visit.alsace/de/261000592-naturschutzgebiet-ile-de-rhinau/#overlay-map

 

notamermaid

 

 

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A trip to Nickenich village in the volcanic Eifel part 3

 

Nickenich being West of the Rhine this is within the borders of the Roman Empire - albeit right at the edge of it - and the culture is very much influenced by the Roman way of life. We find many artefacts that tell of the native population gradually switching from Celtic and Germanic to Roman customs. In 1931 a grave of wealthy landowners, probably operating a so-called villa rustica nearby, was found in Nickenich. About 70 percent of the original material was still there, so while the original is in a museum, archaeologists were able to do a reconstruction. Next to the tumulus grave with inscription they also found this great depiction of three figures, with a mix of Roman and Celtic dress. Both reproductions are just a few metres away from the original site.

 

The figures:

DSCN5943.thumb.JPG.050e91b77e022745111ca88b93e19b7a.JPG

 

The tumulus:

DSCN5949.thumb.JPG.63767fd909b487990616904787ee509c.JPG

 

Both are made of the local stone tuff, which is volcanic.

 

Fun bit and convenient: you can drive right up there, it is near the sports grounds in a side street. A local bus route appears to end right there at the car park, while we were there a bus came and turned around. A pleasant spot in the middle of nowhere (kind of). The explanation panels are only in German, but good. This is what they found of the original:

DSCN5944.thumb.JPG.ee1f7a9f7d4a7a3fa842e7d2311f3224.JPG

 

The inscription, yes we know who these (two) people were by name!

DSCN5945.thumb.JPG.9ee9997e93aa173d3d4368ffdd8a18bb.JPG

 

And an artist's impression of what it may have looked like:

DSCN5946.thumb.JPG.4b5c385f0db620bf0697f9e5fc126bfc.JPG

 

You can read some of the German translated on this website: https://www.eifel.info/en/a-roemischer-grabtumulus-nischengrabmal

 

Apparently, this is not the only tumulus in the area, there is another one nearby at Ochtendung. And many more are scattered around the Roman Celtic area of this (North)Eastern part of the Roman Empire according to the map, which I have blown up for you:

DSCN5948.thumb.JPG.65f8807ee0572d4bc9ddab0765f4509a.JPG

 

That was a pleasant surprise. It was time to head home but I could not resist checking out the path just round the corner which leads uphill as it is the banks of the extinct volcano, now Laach lake. A long round trip hiking path leads from here. A bit much for me, but the first few hundred metres look really inviting. The path signs are good, a handy map shows you what you can expect:DSCN5951.thumb.JPG.3270727e8d9b0b9b05ff1795f4540b6a.JPG

 

Time to return and take the road back out of the Eifel, past more extinct volcanoes. In this area there are so many, you can do volcano hill spotting. There's one:

DSCN5952.thumb.JPG.54e8b3f87a60f3f870161410f12457e0.JPG

 

There's another one next to it:

DSCN5953.thumb.JPG.a9ed2a004323ac34f76356296f3ec5fd.JPG

 

notamermaid

 

 

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9 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Yes, the sailing is partly done in France on the Grand Canal d'Alsace, or Rheinseitenkanal. The Rhine itself is to the East of it and still forms the border between the two countries. A bit weird up there the geography, and confusing politically at times when you are on a river cruise ship. I mentioned in my previous post that ships often dock in Kehl, which is in Germany. So you have just come through France on the river that is supposed to be the border between the two countries, but you were on the Canal; then you dock in Germany on the river and cross the river into France to go to Strasbourg. Which historically was German territory for a while. And where the language is an odd one, seeing that it is Alsatian - which is basically a part of Germanic dialect groups, i.e. quite remote from French. But your guides there can tell you all about it. :classic_biggrin:

 

How the Canal runs exactly is a bit complicated and I am not sure what classifies as the Grand Canal and what is "just" canalized river. You can look up the topography here, I have marked Rhinau island: https://www.visit.alsace/de/261000592-naturschutzgebiet-ile-de-rhinau/#overlay-map

 

notamermaid

 

 

It has been quite fun to learn the interesting geographical issues of this part of the Rhine.

 

Is that the Alsatian dialect spoken by the guide in the short video found in the article at the link you provided? I agree that it can be called an odd language, but Swiss German is not like school German either. The characters of the series Heimat supposedly speak a dialect of the Hunsrück region. It doesn't seem so bad, but for TV they probably didn't give us a full immersion. There is a scene where I think it is Ernst when he is showing Lucie around his homeland where they are on a hill overlooking the Rhine. He mentioned that they can see Boppard(?) from there. Are you familiar with that? Maybe it was some other town, but it will be fun to pass through that area.

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27 minutes ago, RDVIK2016 said:

The characters of the series Heimat supposedly speak a dialect of the Hunsrück region.

You watched Heimat?? That is so weird - and great. It is an iconic series. Yes, the Hunsrück hills. Close to my dialect so easy to understand for me, most of the time.

 

Not sure about the Boppard scene and view. Could be right geographically I think.

 

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38 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

You watched Heimat?? That is so weird - and great. It is an iconic series. Yes, the Hunsrück hills. Close to my dialect so easy to understand for me, most of the time.

 

Not sure about the Boppard scene and view. Could be right geographically I think.

 

notamermaid

 

Yes, I first watched Heimat long ago on US Public Broadcasting and I taped it then. It was in German with English subtitles. Last fall I found it on the German ARD network on line. They made the episodes available for a limited time. I watched them in German and it helped me to turn on the German language closed captioning. I could really identify with the Simons as some lived the old ways in Schabbach, while the world changed so much outside. Even the mundane things of everyday life were familiar to me and brought back memories, like when Paul catches a bad cold and the women boil the Kamillenblüten and have him lean over the pot with a towel over his head and breathe in the hot mist. I learned that treatment when my, at the time, future mother-in-law treated me that way when I was still a US soldier in the Bavarian Forest dating her daughter. (In her kitchen where she had a wood burning cooking/heating stove.)

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If it’s the Boppard I’ve been to it’s in France and a tour on the Scenic Seine cruise it has an old factory turned into a museum one of the worlds original jacquard fabric producers fascinating for any fabric, yarn, thread and machinery buff. Even my DH was interested.

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4 hours ago, Canal archive said:

If it’s the Boppard I’ve been to it’s in France and a tour on the Scenic Seine cruise it has an old factory turned into a museum one of the worlds original jacquard fabric producers fascinating for any fabric, yarn, thread and machinery buff. Even my DH was interested.

There may be a Boppard in France, but we're talking about Boppard on the Rhine just a bit upstream (south) of Koblenz. It in the Rhine Gorge area quite a distance from where the Rhine marks the border.

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No, never heard of a Boppard in France. There appears to have been a Thierry de Boppard in Metz in the Middle Ages. There can be identical names across countries and languages of course, more or less coincidental. There is a Welling suburb in London and a Welling village in the Eifel - they are bound to be completely different from each other, apart from containing buildings of course.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, RDVIK2016 said:

Is that the Alsatian dialect spoken by the guide in the short video found in the article at the link you provided?

You mean the man standing in the nature reserve with a group? I think it is French, not Alsatian, from what I can hear.

18 hours ago, RDVIK2016 said:

I agree that it can be called an odd language, but Swiss German is not like school German either.

Swiss German is definitely its own thing, yes, not that easy to understand. I probably get about a third of it immediately,  more when I hear it more often and concentrate. I mean not the dialect that they speak when around foreigners but the real Schwiitzerdütsch. It is sometimes subtitled for us high Germans here on telly. The route Basel to Amsterdam is a fascinating one as you go through so many Germanic dialect regions. That is to say, proper language distinction, i.e. German and Dutch, very distinguishable linguistic dialects, regional dialects, and micro-dialects, for example the Ripuarian dialect, which is in Bonn and Cologne, but they again differ from each other slightly in the two cities, i.e. "micro" distinctions. For the language nerds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripuarian_language

 

By the way, my mother tongue is German with Moselle-Franconian dialect, which puts me closer to the Hunsrück "Heimat" people and the borders of Lorraine in France than Cologne: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moselle_Franconian_language

 

A person with a good ear can place me within 50 kilometres of where I am from, unless I purposely try to hide my accent.

 

notamermaid

 

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4 hours ago, notamermaid said:

You mean the man standing in the nature reserve with a group? I think it is French, not Alsatian, from what I can hear.

 

 

I gave an incomplete description of the location of the video I referred to. Within your link was indeed the French language video clip. Also at your link, towards the bottom of the page, was link to another page titled "Insel Rhinau, ein kleiner Dschungel am Rhein".  In that one the is found a different video in which, starting at about 35 seconds, there is a man guiding some people in a small wooden boat. He is definitely speaking a German dialect that I had not heard before - I guessed that must be elsässisch. In English I would call the boat a "punt" and the boatman uses a pole to push the boat through the marsh.   

 

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Now I see it, the other video: https://www.visit.alsace/de/261000884-insel-rhinau-ein-kleiner-dschungel-am-rhein/

 

That sounds Alsatian to me. They use an old type of flat-bottomed boat, looks similar to a punt that I have been on on the Stour in Canterbury.

 

You can book a tour: https://www.visit.alsace/en/261000116-flat-bottomed-boats/

 

Apparently you can book similar tours, but with a "Nachen" boat, now a motorized version, in the Palatine: https://www.germersheim.eu/news/nachenfahrten-starten/

I guess that is only in German language.

 

The Rhine has been cut and shortened, losing some of its meanders, so there are several areas of "Altrhein", those are the old river beds.

 

In the case of the island Rhinau, this is of course a canal next to the Rhine river which created this wild area on the Rhine, so not a meander that has disappeared.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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5 hours ago, notamermaid said:

 

...The route Basel to Amsterdam is a fascinating one as you go through so many Germanic dialect regions. That is to say, proper language distinction, i.e. German and Dutch, very distinguishable linguistic dialects, regional dialects, and micro-dialects, for example the Ripuarian dialect, which is in Bonn and Cologne, but they again differ from each other slightly in the two cities, i.e. "micro" distinctions. For the language nerds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripuarian_language

 

By the way, my mother tongue is German with Moselle-Franconian dialect, which puts me closer to the Hunsrück "Heimat" people and the borders of Lorraine in France than Cologne: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moselle_Franconian_language

 

A person with a good ear can place me within 50 kilometres of where I am from, unless I purposely try to hide my accent.

 

notamermaid

 

Notamermaid, I really appreciate the time that you spend with patient explanations - especially of the water levels - and your many descriptions of interesting sites and towns. All that will enhance the experience of cruising the river. 

 

The continuum of dialects as one goes around Germany contains surprisingly vast differences, usually changing gradually, but sometimes changes are drastic. I hear Americans say it must be like going from Massachusetts to Georgia, but they have not idea. My German is a mixture of mostly classroom standard German and picking up some of the Bavarian dialect spoken in the area where Central blends with Northern Bairisch. My former mother-in-law and Oma and Opa where refugees from Silesia. A former brother in law grew up not far away near Nürnberg and speaks a deep Franconian dialect which I could barely make out what he was saying half the time. Unfortunately he is one of those who just does not like to speak standard Deutsch. Then there was my friend from Fehmarn in the Ostsee - just forget about trying to understand him if he said anything in his Plattdeutsch.

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1 hour ago, RDVIK2016 said:

I hear Americans say it must be like going from Massachusetts to Georgia, but they have not idea.

I speak very little German (took two years in college) so I don't have a good first hand feel for this, but my father is from the Rhineland-Palatinate and his experiences tell me you're absolutely right. He apparently thought he was being very clever taking German in college only to find that he did really poorly because his dialect was so far off from what American universities consider proper German. He also speaks French because his home town was on the French border and was periodically part of France over the course of history (I believe notamermaid mentioned this about the region earlier) meaning the language was commonly spoken in addition to German. Maybe that's the language he should have chosen to "study"! I think about the only comparison with English is trying to watch Trainspotting as an American. That might come close to the dialog differences in Germany. 🤣

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The boat is a punt just like the U.K. university punts, in my case I tried them once and I’m still not sure.

How languages are tought away from their home countries is a moot point. In France my eldest daughter in her second senior year, learning French, the first hotel we arrive at she (a very shy young lady) tries out her newly learned French luckily the concierge had children and patiently explained colloquial French as opposed to classroom French, we were in Vienne beautiful place if you get a chance to see. Her teacher was married to a professor of ancient French - who speaks that?

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7 hours ago, bundtkate said:

I think about the only comparison with English is trying to watch Trainspotting as an American. That might come close to the dialog differences in Germany. 🤣

I like that comparison.

 

8 hours ago, RDVIK2016 said:

Then there was my friend from Fehmarn in the Ostsee - just forget about trying to understand him if he said anything in his Plattdeutsch.

Hmm, plattdeutsch. That is something you will not hear on a German Rhine cruise as that is too far North of course, unless you spend some time in the border districts with the Netherlands, like the ports of Wesel and Emmerich. Language nerd at work: the Benrather Linie - a linguistic geographical line - near Düsseldorf divides the dialects. South is the standard German - what you are taught in school more or less, North are the Northern dialects that did not shift some time before the Middle Ages: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benrath_line

Of course, almost all people in the North speak High German, but Plattdeutsch is very much spoken and can be watched on regional television.

 

To look at it another way, you can see that English and German are still sometimes very close, but there are certain characteristics that show that Anglo-Saxon and Middle High German went in a slightly different direction, meaning Low German in the North is closer to English, as the High German (modern German) evolved whereas the Low German did not or differently. It mainly affected certain consonants and happened in several phases. Vowels as well but the consonants are the more important marker. When you learn the patterns Low German gets easier to understand, but I still struggle to get more than the basic sense of a conversation.

 

notamermaid

 

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10 hours ago, RDVIK2016 said:

Notamermaid, I really appreciate the time that you spend with patient explanations - especially of the water levels - and your many descriptions of interesting sites and towns. All that will enhance the experience of cruising the river. 

 

The continuum of dialects as one goes around Germany contains surprisingly vast differences, usually changing gradually, but sometimes changes are drastic. I hear Americans say it must be like going from Massachusetts to Georgia, but they have not idea. My German is a mixture of mostly classroom standard German and picking up some of the Bavarian dialect spoken in the area where Central blends with Northern Bairisch. My former mother-in-law and Oma and Opa where refugees from Silesia. A former brother in law grew up not far away near Nürnberg and speaks a deep Franconian dialect which I could barely make out what he was saying half the time. Unfortunately he is one of those who just does not like to speak standard Deutsch. Then there was my friend from Fehmarn in the Ostsee - just forget about trying to understand him if he said anything in his Plattdeutsch.

My Oma and Opa immigrated from Silesia too around 1915 or so.  My Oma's family had a small store in Gleiwitz (now Poland), my Opa was mostly Polish from same area. Small world!

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