Going Without Water?

It’s been a low-water year for the mighty Rhine River, dear worst-reader. FYI, the Rhine River has a special place in my heart. For most of my expat days in Germania, I have lived near the Rhine. Although I consider myself a water person–that is, landlocked places give me the creeps–the Rhine, even if it is just a river, has saved my sanity once or thrice by being a body of water for me. It is indeed a stunning waterway and both sides of it have lots of ugly and beautiful that is #Eurowasteland. The ugly, of course, is all the industry that is connected to it, hence the barges in the video above. The beautiful parts of it, though, e.g. Lorelei, will make any visitor gasp for joy at its nature. This river is also a tribute, IMHO, as to how #Eurowastelanders are able to maintain its utility but not at the cost of its beauty. But enough gaga and blah blah. The Rhine has been so low this year that I’ve had to change my e-bike route to Köln because the fairies that I normally take to cross it, have had to shut down. That combined with major bridge work in Leverkusen, that has closed its bike crossing while they repair it, means getting to The Dom is a bit of burden. The water has been so low that the fairies can’t connect to the ramps to allow cars, bikes or pedestrians to board. Exactly how low the Rhine is, though, no one I’ve asked knows. I’m assuming, after observing all the barges, that it must be at its deepest point around two meters. In the video above the front barge shows how industry is getting around not being able to have normal displacement. They’ve actually doubled the length of the front barge. That way they can still carry a load but not have to worry about running aground. Other barges that can’t hook up to a second platform have to just carry less cargo. I’ve not seen a full barge since early last spring. Fun stuff indeed. 

Rant on.

-T

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