Monday the 4th of June – our last days in The Netherlands. ‘For the time being’ we quickly add to this little statement. Together with five other boats we left that morning at 8:35AM. All footbridges (loads of them!) and locks are to be served manually and it is unfeasible to offer individual service because of that. Most of the time the lock-/bridge-team consists of four people, playing leap-frog. As usual we were ask to cruise at the front. We are the slowest, that’s why. All the fast ones have to remain in a position behind us – sometimes perhaps grinding their teeth.
Ter Apel, the last little Groningen-town for an overnight stop, was reached at 1:40PM. Here we are, next to a funny/pretty/nice statue called ‘looking at each other’ (we seem to remember).
That same evening we prepared our ship for entering Germany the next morning. A brand-new little flag (30 x 45 cm) of Germany was unpacked and installed at the most important mast-position – being the top right.
Good bye Netherlands
We shed a little fictitious tear…
… ...and rejoiced shortly after that.
The first German waterway was the Haren-Rütenbrock-Kanal (HRK), 13,5 kilometers (8,4 miles), 4 locks. We entered at 9:10AM and left 1:10PM. The boat that was in front of us all the time created a zig-zag trail.
After having paid € 5,00 at the last HRK-lock (we still have no idea why) we entered the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal (DEK), cruising in southern direction. A few locks, 3 that day to be precise, had to be negotiated. This is the third one, named Varloh. Most locks were double ones in the past. We have the impression that nowadays only one of the two is in use. It struck us that the old lock is often lined by trees, similar to what one sometimes sees when a dual carriageway-road once has been a single carriageway-road.
Bending plane trees
These two pictures are taken only with an interval of just seconds, in other words: of the canal-/riverbanks on either side. It’s clear...
Tall standing trees
...that the (beautiful) plane trees give in to the (westerly) winds more easily than the ones on the other bank – poplars, maybe???
A friendly German fellow-boater (the zig-zagger from the HRK) noticed us looking for a space for the night and contacted us by radio – VHF canal 10. He informed us about a good space he knew of and suggested us to follow him. A professional skipper overheard this conversation and explained to our newfound friend that...
...the described stopping place was only intended for cargo boats. An exhaustive discussion followed – we, of course, did not contribute to it; for discussing, cursing, telling a joke etcetera one has to master the language flawlessly, isn’t it? Eventually we ended up were we planned to, next to our newfound friend.
The next morning we were friendly, though urgently, asked to leave by an approaching working boat because we were moored in front of a pile of little boulders and that proved to be a working area. Therefore we left at 8:39AM in a hurry – him only partly shaved! Later on that day, at 2:47PM, we passed a quay where these parts were waiting to be loaded into waiting cargo ships. Do you have any idea of what you are seeing here???
In the meantime we live on Wednesday the 6th of June 2018. As written before we left at 8:39AM and continued on the DEK. That day we climbed considerably, passing even seven big locks. We reached the Mittellandkanal (MLK) around 7:00PM, cruised...
An old branch of it
...into an old dead-end arm and switched off the engine at 7:27PM, close to a little town called Hörstel. Elsewhere (Facebook) we stated to be near Püsselbüren. That was true, too: we were just in between the two and fascinated by the latter name…
After the long (working-)day on Wednesday we granted ourselves a day off on Thursday. Friday, however, action again! Hörstel/Püsselbüren was left behind at 8:35AM – we stopped already after around 3,5 hours at Bramsche, where we silenced the engine at 12:10PM. Not far from where we were moored we found an Aldi-store where we could do the necessary shopping for another six, or so, days. This picture of our overnight mooring space on the MLK shows the magnitude of the passing commercials boats and our, say, futility compared to the big boys. We are just a little girl…
Our journey on the MLK continued the next day at 7:02(!!)AM. On the way some different things caught the eye.
One is (an important part of) the world-situation in a nutshell; the other the loveliness of the views on offer that day.
Sunny (too hot)
Minden, where the MLK crosses the river Weser, was reached at 2:59PM. So after very close to eight uninterrupted hours of cruising. It was a hot day – and we felt exhausted. ‘Once and never again’ we said to...
...each other. Anyway, the left picture was taken on sunny Saturday, the right one on rainy Sunday. How we appreciated the rain this morning! The set of aqueducts, spanning the river, are visible in the background.
Because we like this view of three moored ships next to each other we offer you this picture too. Two Dutch on the outside, a Belgian in between them. In Germany!
Two big locks offer the opportunity to go down onto the river Weser -or the other way around- causing a huge loss of water from the some 10 meters higher situated MLK. Next to the double aqueduct, however, is a huge pumping station permanently in full action to pump water back from the river into the canal, thus keeping the water in the canal at the required level.
A picture of the old, smaller (well, less big), aqueduct of the set of two, as seen from the pumphouse-position. The river flows through two arches underneath the white balustrade. Of course the river widens substantially after a less dry period and can ‘use’ all other arches if necessary.
The river Weser, as seen from the aqueduct. Notice the flying heron, reflected in the water…
…and here standing on a groyne, undoubtedly planning to provide for his/her daily meal. We like the reflection of the bird’s neck.
To end with for this week a short video (21 seconds) of the aqueduct, the river and another bridge, spanning the river. If you can find the time read about the MLK using Wikipedia, especially the German version (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mittellandkanal), where you can find some fine aerial pictures. Bye for now.