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notamermaid

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About notamermaid

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  • Location
    Rhine, Germany
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    trains
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. So Nijmegen is in another province. Good for Arosa and I believe the Amakristina is also going North now, after the South itineraries. One can of course just cut short the cruise distance and explore the Nijmegen area in more detail. Moselle, yes, a perfect river to do right now, no high no low water, incidence rate of Covid-19 low. And the weather is splendid. notamermaid
  2. Do not worry, we will get some rain eventually. More needed in California and neighbouring states. We do indeed have herons on the Rhine as well. They look graceful. Red squirrels here in abundance, I know they are a rare species now in some parts of the UK. I saw one climb up a huge tree in a quiet road nearby only a few weeks ago. An unexpected twist in the Coronavirus developments: Alsace has not been made a risk zone by the German authorities, but parts of the Netherlands that include Amsterdam. This is why: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-netherlands-idUKKBN2672K0 Very unfortunate for German river cruisers going North (downstream). Basel is still okay, but Geneva is a risk zone. notamermaid
  3. Bad news, AmaWaterways: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/amawaterways-suspends-river-cruises-through-nov-15.html notamermaid
  4. In Würzburg my travel companion and I actually went to a café called "Köhlers Vollkornbäckerei" at the Alte Mainbrücke. We could not have managed a large meal in the heat. It was nice bistro stuff and the wholemeal cakes looked good as well (again, too hot to take out and eat later). The beer photo was taken in a village outside of Würzburg (I am sorry, I am a bit secretive here). In Randersacker we enjoyed the quiet stroll along the Main river bank and the historic village (the trees are on Kirchplatz, a triangular place behind the church) and a cooling iced coffee sundae (is that the expression?) in "Main Cottage", a cafè on the main street. I was surprised how narrow the Main looked there compared to the Rhine! All the more reason to put it on your list of places to see. It is really nice. Good train connections from other major cities, no excuse that there is no big airport. Here is the Main at Randersacker looking towards Würzburg: notamermaid P.S. Will try and get some info on Würzburg and Lohr into the thread on the Main some time.
  5. Update: German authorities declare Vienna a risk zone. Added also among others: Budapest, parts of the Netherlands, in Switzerland added: Kanton Fribourg. And Hauts-de-France which includes Pas-de-Calais. Such a pity, love the North coast of France. notamermaid
  6. @jpalbny I made it to Würzburg! On a few hot days in August a trip took me to Würzburg, Markt Neubrunn, Randersacker, the Taubertal and Lohr on the Main. Of Würzburg I had only vague memories of me as a child standing in front of this huge building, so when I got to the Residenz I thought: "Yes, that was the one!" It is massive. And the souvenir shop has some nice quality stuff, too. It was hot, but it was not crowded. Still, after two hours of walking and escaping the heat in a café, a trip to the village of Randersacker nearby was in order. Here are the regulations for the Residenz: This is the "tasting tree" (help yourself to fruit) in Randersacker: And to make you really envious, here is my well-earned beer in the evening: Only a small glass, so I had room for a glass of local wine with the meal in a nice restaurant. Also enjoyed the other villages and Lohr. Certainly would visit the area again. Now, need to organize a hotel in the Saarland. Byeee. notamermaid
  7. I forgot to mention that Prague is on the German risk list of countries (and parts thereof) by the authorities, meaning upon entering Germany taking a test as soon as possible is required (or quarantine for 14 days). Austria has seen a fast rise in cases in Vienna so expects to be put onto the list, an announcement for Vienna by the German authorities is expected for later today. If one is on a river cruise in Vienna right now, tough luck. You would not be able to get back in time to avoid test and self-isolation. The incidence figure in Vienna is 117. ORF television report: https://orf.at/stories/3181556/ Hope Vienna improves soon. Honestly, we are just redistributing covid-19 around our countries in Europe... By the way, Bavaria in Germany is still the worst affected state, but the incidence is nevertheless still under 20, which is good compared to other places in Europe. Major contributions to the figure have come supposedly from a lady in Garmisch-Partenkirchen returning from Greece and an end of school celebration trip to Prague among others. Basically often from countries that have seen a rise and where put under vigilance by the German authorities (and then sometimes declared risk zones). Makes you understand why Britain has become so strict with their incidence figure of 20. I wonder if they would put Bavaria on the quarantine list on its own or declare the whole of Germany a risk zone? That would make a bit annoyed, the North and West of Germany are doing quite well. notamermaid
  8. The Danube in Bavaria is struggling to keep the river cruise ships afloat, with Pfelling at 257cm. The Czech Republic is struggling to contain the rising cases of Covid-19 especially in Prague*. Before the pandemic Prague was struggling to keep order at night due to party tourism and the locals were struggling to feel at home in their city. Prague has become a capital (like a few other European cities) for cheap flight and hard partying, especially as a stag night event. The British are particularly fond of that. Not surprising then that at the only British wedding I have so far attended a laughter highlight was the tales of Prague stag night in the best man's speech (urrgh!). Now more than ever is the chance for the city to do something about their reputation and the locals' happiness: https://www.dw.com/en/overtourism-in-prague-ideas-for-post-coronavirus-times/a-54937352 *For the newcomers to the Danube: Prague is a favourite fly into city and/or extension for river cruise trips for the Anglo-American market. notamermaid
  9. Our regional weather forecast last week said that the sky was a bit hazier as particles from the wildfires had travelled high into the atmosphere over Europe. Scarily reminded me of the reports of the "Year without Summer" in 1816. Will not come to that next year I should think, but the effect will be felt in air quality in America - a few places like Seattle already in the dangerous to health zone I believe. Saw last night on telly that there is such a detailed map website for the world - do not recall the name. Covid and smoke for lungs - makes you wonder if a river cruise might not be safer. Even a 100 people yacht out of Los Angeles. Would need quite a few yachts to get all of you river cruising friends out ... notamermaid
  10. Here is a report with more details, it attracted Dutch media, probably as the passengers were mainly from Belgium and France. My phone offers me immediate translation into English, very practical! If I understand it correctly the same man was first tested negative then positive. How unfortunate. https://m.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20200911_97068986?utm_source=google notamermaid
  11. Coming from CA I must admit you may find it a bit on the cold side here. But as the others have verified, it is very bearable. Beginning of October will see misty rainy days perhaps but night frost is still rare in the valleys. Temperatures will be anything from 5 Celsius at night to 25 Celsius in the afternoon - remember you are traversing Europe and going through several microclimates. A rough guide: the more continental Hungary, the Austrian and Bavarian slightly more elevated valley with the Alps not too far away, mild Main and sunny Rhine valley to the more maritime Netherlands. The variations are not that great but noticeable and I think for that reason Autumn is more interesting seasonally than June (which is closer to what California has on mild days - 40 Celsius are rare in the countries you will visit). AccuWeather I find a good website for roaming around for weather reports. As you are a person who likes preparing in detail as you say, you may find timeanddate also interesting for sunset and sunrise, etc. notamermaid
  12. This is a nice time for travelling, not too cold, still enough daylight to last close to dinnertime. As regards crowds this is also okay, not too crowded. You might experience a wine festival as well and it is the time of Oktoberfest (check dates, it starts in September!). It is in Munich but you will find small spin-offs along the way. Beer gardens are also still open. As regards water levels you may experience a low in Bavaria most likely if you do experience it. In that case Viking will organize a ship swap as standard. This runs smoothly in most cases, trust Viking. You will not be informed of this until a couple of days before the occurrence as it can happen at short notice. Sometimes even on the evening before it takes place. Have fun planning. notamermaid
  13. Hmm, I have not explained this well enough. Yes, the new lock (chamber) will be able to accommodate the 135m ships. It already can in the one modern chamber. Hence the only minimal improvement in shorter waiting at the lock for large ships when the left one of the old chambers is ready. So there will be one short chamber and two large ones. The still short one will become obsolete. The lock is just past Mannheim so will have no real advantage for a journey on the Neckar. This is the page for the project on the authorities' website: https://www.wna-heidelberg.wsv.de/Webs/WNA/AN-Heidelberg/DE/Projekte/1-Neckar/1-Schleusen/Schleusen_node.html Those are the most important parts in the text: "Die Verlängerung der Schleusen Im Wesentlichen abhängig von den nautischen Verhältnissen ober- und unterhalb der Schleusenanlagen wird eine der beiden Schleusenkammern für das 135 m-Schiff verlängert." "Um das Wenden von 135 m-Schiffen in der Nähe bedeutender Umschlagstellen zu ermöglichen, sind derzeit über die Bundeswasserstraße Neckar verteilt bis zu sieben Wendestellen für das 135 m-Schiff geplant." If you feel like translating these with a program. On the right are listed the individual locks with the projects. Not all have mentioned a prospective date for improvement so I am not sure which is being worked on at the moment. So you were a true Heidelberg student, and I expect many evenings were spent in the Studentenkneipen. notamermaid
  14. I have mentioned the massive undertaking of updating the locks. The first one at Feudenheim is nearing completion. Unfortunately, it has no real positive effect on making the river more accessible for river cruise ships. Feudenheim is near Mannheim and has had an additional third chamber for many years. The two old ones are the standard size being able to take river cruise ships up to 103m length. The third one is much larger. The left (old) chamber is being enlarged (lengthened) which means speeding up traffic in the area is possible as then ships can simultaneous put through the locks upstream and downstream rather than having to go through one lock if they are over the size limit. To give you an idea of the scale of the work here is the photo album from the building site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bundesanstalt_fuer_wasserbau/albums/72157709047933501/with/48048753731/ This photo shows a river cruise ship in the other chamber, probably one by nickocruises: notamermaid
  15. The temperature today will reach over 30 degrees Celsius along the Rhine valley and it is not raining. Overall for this Summer nature is too dry. The river's natural reservoir, Lake Constance, is going down and not fed by rain in the Alpine region enough. This is a problem that experts are anticipating will get worse in years to come and it is perfectly likely that a drought will cause low water problems of the major kind again. The level at the crucial gauge Kaub is down to 108cm and could fall below 100cm by Thursday. Now as I have pointed out this is no problem for river cruise ships but for the commercial artery that the Rhine is. It is crucial to keep it going as much as possible as no way can road transport take over that much load, even rail transport would struggle. So, the technical people at Karlsruhe built the model to figure out how the Rhine will behave with alterations planned to its flow. Here are photos of the model: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bundesanstalt_fuer_wasserbau/albums/72157707665229984 In the Autumn of 2018 problems got so bad that housebuilding was delayed for some as the raw materials could not reach their destinations in time and Switzerland was worried about a shortage of heating oil. Losses in industry and commerce were huge in terms of money. notamermaid
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