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Everything posted by notamermaid

  1. The winters tended to be colder in Europe for a long time and within living memory we have had ice on the Rhine. Without the involvement of a volcano. But with 1814, which may have been without the "help" of a volcano, you are close to what happened in 1815, the eruption of the Tamburo, causing the "year without summer" in 1816 - and the cultural achievements of the British in 1816/17, that is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein written in Switzerland, Lord Byron's travels along the Rhine and William Turner's paintings of the river. Just after the Second World War the Rhine froze "properly" for the last time. The current is now too strong, the water too warm, the winters are too warm and the ships too plentiful to create a scenario in which we may see more that a few little thin sheets of ice close to the river banks. Close to locks where the water is more stagnant the chances of ice are of course higher. We have had a bit of that on the Moselle, some years back, when there was a bit more ice floating. notamermaid
  2. Back to an event I mentioned a few days ago. Remember that volcano in Iceland that caused disruptions in air travel several years ago? Ever heard of the Mississippi River freezing over a very long stretch? Read about parties on the frozen Rhine river? These phenomenons are somewhat connected. That almost unpronounceable volcano in Iceland is not the first one to have caused trouble. 1783 and then the winter months in early 1784 became a "little ice age" due to the extended eruption of a volcano, which was more like gas seeping out of holes in the ground for months. All this was taken into the atmosphere and distributed widely over countries and whole continents. After hot, misty days, a very cold winter and much precipitation, the weather changed in February 1784. On the Rhine the ice cracked, melting and floating down the river in huge blocks. We will get to that again. First, here is a very good description of what happened during those months. A lot of detail but a highly interesting read I find: https://www.marinersmuseum.org/2023/01/iceland-and-the-european-floods-of-1783-1784/ notamermaid
  3. That is one of the scariest things that has happened to me on roads in England. We in the family car went round a corner on a narrow country lane in Kent and this huge, enormous tractor appeared in front of us. It literally filled the whole lane. I sometimes think about that when I see a similar model here in Germany. notamermaid
  4. They are so practical for this aren't, they? The modern ones are often massive here now. I love the old ones that are occasionally used, the engine sound is great and you can see some of the mechanical and technical parts exposed. This girl does not understand any of it, but I like the machinery. We have Lanz Bulldog's in the area, but the Krämer ones are also interesting and nice to look at. notamermaid
  5. My pleasure. Good to read that you will be on the river again. You venture into what is indeed for me unexplored territory. More and more people are going that far down the river these days, hopefully we will hear comments and perhaps the odd report from on board a river cruise ship as the year progresses. Writing about Carnuntum the other day, I looked at the expanse of the Roman Empire again. It is enormous. When you sail from Amsterdam to Budapest, shortly after leaving Amsterdam you enter the Roman Empire, sail out of it on the Main river, re-enter it at Regensburg on the Danube and sail along the border into Budapest - Buda being within the old Empire and Pest not. But it does not stop there. The Empire spanned much further, on the river you go past the ruins of (Emperor) Trajan's bridge in Serbia and when you disembark at Russe to get to Bucharest you do so at "Sexaginta Prista", which means town of 60 ships. Apparently, some companies use Giurgiu on the left bank of the Danube. That town is in marshland and outside of the Roman Empire, but just across the bridge from Russe these days. And if you happened to fly into Budapest from London you left Londinium in the Roman Empire. I find it fascinating. By the way, not quite so charming, but the region being so far away from Germany and it being called Walachia (that is in Romania), in German language we call a rural place with little population "far away" (it may only be 50 kilometres), especially when sending a person there, "die Walachei" or "jemanden in die Walachei schicken". notamermaid
  6. How different lives and therefore perceptions are! More than two a day is an unusual sight for me, especially in winter. But driving for a bit in the car will of course get me into the countryside where I may see more. I guess I would call 10 a lot. That is what is so unusual, the French are brilliant at striking (I mean that logistically and using opportune times of the year, always know when to use an event, etc. to get attention) and we are good with the transportation strikes. But farmers in Germany? Naaa, normally just busy with their lives and fairly content. Not now... Incidentally, I thought yesterday that I should mention this in the Rhine thread again as the protests are likely to continue into the river cruising season at this point, here meaning probably beyond 10 March. But we will see how it goes. Dutch, French and Germans farmers are certainly united in solidarity with each other. Independently of each other, two people told me about the Carnival parade each one of them saw along the Rhine. In both parades a tractor was displaying a sign with a protest message. Floats in the parades are usually pulled by tractors, that is standard procedure. notamermaid
  7. Thank you. This reminds me - I had started a thread about it and should really continue that... notamermaid
  8. All has been revealed! The Radiance will sail the Danube, while the Rose will sail the Douro: https://travelweekly.co.uk/news/tour-operators/riviera-travel-reveals-itineraries-on-two-new-ships notamermaid
  9. Koblenz has now gone to navigational flood mark I. The level should peak tomorrow and is unlikely to reach official flooding status. All in all still good. The few ships sailing should be impacted only minimally. As a curious side note: there is one ship currently sailing on the Rhine that is on an errant for "its own sake". The MS Sans Souci normally sails mostly in the East of Germany, on the Elbe and thereabouts. She made a special trip to her new home port of Basel in order to register with the Swiss authorities. Ownership of the vessel has changed so she will soon appear with Swiss flag instead of German flag. Info from Binnenschifferforum. The MS Sans Souci on marinetraffic.com: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:136408/mmsi:211482300/imo:0/vessel:SANS_SOUCI#overview notamermaid
  10. The Moselle went to flooding status due to heavy rain but the river was not closed to traffic. The level at Trier is now falling again. Traffic was halted though on a stretch of the river as a barge had had an accident at a lock. This "Koppelverband", as we call it, is a barge with a non-motorized lighter attached at the front. Apparently, some wires snapped so the lighter drifted, made worse by the strong current in these high volumes of water. This is what it looked like at Lehmen lock: https://www.rhein-zeitung.de/region/aus-den-lokalredaktionen/koblenz-und-region_artikel,-bergung-wegen-starker-stroemung-schwierig-mosel-bei-lehmen-nach-havarie-gesperrt-_arid,2627917.html If this was a lorry I guess you would call this "jack knifed". In the last few hours, special gear from The Netherlands has arrived and the barge been freed. Traffic has resumed but is still difficult due to the mild flooding. After a short fall the levels may rise again substantially from Tuesday. notamermaid
  11. Interesting move. Mr. Hagen is not the youngest. Time to think what will be in a few years time? I would not touch that stock and never sail with Viking. You know, business ethics and all that. I would also assume that there is enough confidence in the stock, despite the large losses that happened during the WHO-thrown-onto-us-all pandemic. notamermaid
  12. I mentioned Hainburg in post #45 and the Roman town nearby. That place is called Carnuntum: https://www.carnuntum.at/en The frontiers of the Roman Empire are joined together in a major UNESCO project, the Danube "Limes" is the third part of it: https://www.carnuntum.at/en/worldheritage If you want to get away from the Habsburgs and the coffeehouses, go and look for the much older history of Vienna when it was called Vindobona: https://www.visitingvienna.com/culture/vindobona/ notamermaid
  13. There has been a sharp rise in the water level at Maxau gauge, more than expected on Wednesday. We know see the graph go over the line of the navigational flood mark I during the course of tomorrow. Official flooding as determined by the authorities is not forecast but could be reached if there is a turn for the worse in the weather. In the Middle Rhine valley Koblenz is likely to get to flood mark I. The Moselle is carrying high volumes of water but Trier gauge is now slightly on the way down again, it has peaked already. The weather has mostly calmed down. notamermaid
  14. To another company. A-Rosa. I read in German news that they offer culinary cruises so I checked the website. There are dates marked as international so I guess they will be in English language as well. It is these: https://www.arosa-*****/river-cruises/offers/gourmet-cruises.html notamermaid
  15. I always find it a bit weird visiting cemeteries as a proper tourist, but I too have heard that Pere Lachaise is highly interesting. One of the few places I would like to see in Paris. It is nice to be at the Seine, perhaps a boat trip may be good. Never did that, went for the art and history and then went again and did some more sightseeing and the large flea market. Musée Rodin was great, I had forgotten I had been there. You jogged my memory @Second seating. notamermaid
  16. Not a fan of Paris myself and now prefer smaller cities anyway. The Eiffel Tower is not a good place to be I have been told, I mean, there is police presence for a reason. Not recommending Sacre Coeur hill at all. But all in all if you keep your eyes open and your wits (or gut feeling) about you, you will find it okay. You can always go shopping in Galerie Lafayette or see the Dome Les Invalides. Louvre fabulous in general - but Mona Lisa, seen it briefly, done that... No more. Prefer the Impressionists, but saw them before they were moved to the train station. That is fantastic I have been told. Versailles? Not sure if it is worth it to join the hordes, have never been. The thing to remember is that the Paris you see is much a creation of the 19th century, although there are many older buildings of course. For old feel choose Reims. The Arc de Triomphe is a nice edifice. Just sitting in a café at the tables in the street is certainly nice. Not sure why that should be special though, just because it is in Paris. 😉 notamermaid
  17. That is great, lots of time to spend in the Paris area. There is much to see and remember that there are great trains in France. You can get to large towns in no time. If you do venture out of the Paris agglomeration I recommend Reims. Or go up the Seine to Fontainebleau. Anyway, have a great time. notamermaid
  18. To the present day. We have storm warnings for much of the West of Germany, that is the hills and mountain ranges adjoining the Rhine valley down to Düsseldorf. The high Black Forest will see the strongest storms. Quite a bit of rain, too. This will of course make the rivers rise, but Maxau gauge is not showing flooding. No levels significant for navigation are forecast (yet). notamermaid
  19. ceases operations: https://travelweekly.co.uk/news/tourism/americans-queen-voyages-ceases-operations notamermaid
  20. Just to give you an idea what else is possible on the Meuse and nearby if you have a small enough ship I am posting this itinerary of a Swiss company. It sounds like a travel agent but it is not one. The Excellence Pearl sails from Brussels to Amsterdam via Tournai and Namur: https://www.mittelthurgau.ch/reise/excellence-pearl-bruessel-amsterdam-elbru2 notamermaid
  21. How did that get in there? [Slight language embarrassment there, I always try to be so accurate] Perhaps a Freudian slip of sorts in that towns get seized by river cruise passengers, but I did not want to be mean. I meant ceased. Between 135m and 110m there is mostly a difference in the ports, i.e. the docking facilities, that a ship can go to, but a few stretches of river (not Rhine, Main or Danube) have a restriction in that size. You are right about 105m being another size advantage. As far as I know it does not apply to the Moselle, but it is curious to note that no ship of 110m or longer goes further than Grevenmacher or Remich in Luxembourg. The Moselle in France has a height disadvantage and only river cruise ships that are shorter than 100m go there. But they are also one deck lower, my guess is that this is the crucial difference here, meaning better for the low bridges between Apach and Nancy-Frouard. Not sure who to ask for confirmation. But the restriction of 105m in size is valid elsewhere due to locks, as are width restrictions. River cruise ships can go 345km on the Moselle if they are small enough, like the Excellence Pearl. 105m gets you onto the Neckar for a bit, but reduce the width and the length a bit more and you get all the way to Stuttgart. 90m width and 9.5m length puts your ship into the realm of "can sail almost anywhere and is still bigger than a cosy, converted barge". But we need not go that far up the Moselle river. Koblenz to Remich return with an overnight stay in that small town gives us enough time for a trip into Luxembourg city and to explore Metz on an excursion. Other rivers are also bringing news of new or at least renovated or sold ships. Not sure that the Douro is heading in a good direction as regards more river traffic but I think there is only one new ship this year, the other one is just changing the charter company. But that is for prospective cruisers to look into. notamermaid
  22. I often think to myself when I read a North American or Asian travel website about a "hidden gem" in Germany or close by that when the reader sees that the place has already seized to be a hidden gem, I mean the Germans and Europeans have been there many times. 😉 So it is with the Moselle. I was in Cochem last year on a drab winter day and Dutch tourists where there. I stayed in Cochem for about three hours so that tells you that the chances of bumping into a foreign tourist where not that high. But as far as the river is concerned, yes it is a landscape away from the maddeningly full Rüdesheim or other places on the Rhine. When you see no ship (of any description) on the Rhine sailing for fifteen minutes you start wondering if the authorities have issued a river traffic ban... In all seriousness and without my barely hidden dislike of Viking river cruises (for the reasons I have stated several times) thrown it, I do wonder how the company is going to figure out the logistics of their own ships docking in all the places. They also go with the 135m ships only so limit themselves. Granted, there is now variation in the ports they choose - I prefer the Treasures of Rhine over the Rhine Getaway itinerary - but all in all the variation on the Rhine, Moselle and Main could still be greater - with several companies. I suggest a "B ports Europe" itinerary, leave out the A list of Cologne, Rüdesheim, Passau, etc. and see what you find. Accept that the "wow" is replaced by the "I really like that" and you will find many places to interest and possibly even enchant you. The rivers are certainly getting fuller with the 135m ships. A pity somewhat. 110m is big enough. CroisiEurope proves it. notamermaid
  23. My pleasure. After all my comments about "the bridge", perhaps I should post a photo I think. Wikipedia actually mentions that the bridge has comparatively little headroom. In German that is "Durchfahrtshöhe": https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luitpoldbrücke_(Passau) Absolutely annoying scenario if you sail Amsterdam to Budapest: river levels are fine all the way until you get close to Passau, suddenly there is too much rain and all that stands between your ship and Budapest is that bridge... notamermaid
  24. The Meuse is one of those rivers that you can sail as part of a round trip from Amsterdam or from Brussels as you can use canals. Those canals are wide enough to accommodate a river cruise ship so this is not an area restricted to barge cruises or small, old river cruise ships. Avalon Waterways is not doing a round trip but is incorporating Amsterdam and Brussels, embark in the first and disembark in the latter. On the Meuse they stop in Maastricht, Liège and Namur: https://www.avalonwaterways.com/river-cruise/tulip-time-in-holland-belgium-for-garden-and-nature-lovers/WAX-T1/?season=2024 notamermaid
  25. Alas, the company says the Spirit of the Moselle will sail mostly on the Main. But let us hope that later the Moselle will become "her river". At 135m she is limited as to where she can sail and dock but Luxembourg and Germany are no problem for her. One week return on the Moselle? Some may say there is not enough river length and towns to merit that. I am happy to prove them wrong if they are open to experiencing this beautiful river in a bit more detail. With your help ural guy and I am sure a few others who prefer the quieter Moselle to the very busy Rhine we will convince them. notamermaid
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