Haldensleben - Potsdam

On the 18th of June, a Monday, we left Haldensleben at 8:45AM. We reached the huge and unique Kanalbrücke Magdeburg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdeburg_Water_Bridge), connecting the Mittellandkanal and the Elbe-Havel-Kanal while crossing the river Elbe, at 10:53AM. Since a one-way traffic system applies contact with the nearby lock Hohenwarthe is compulsory to ask for permission to cross the bridge. We anticipated for a wait -we were informed that it’s usual for pleasure-boats to follow a commercial one- but were given instant permission.

View from the bridge onto the river Elbe below.

Schleuse Hohenwarthe (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleuse_Hohenwarthe - only in German) was reached shortly after passing the bridge, at 11:14AM. We had to wait for ¾ of an hour before we got permission to enter, together with a Polish push tug, seen here leaving the lock, and a few other pleasure-boats. This lock deserves its own mention, as we descended around 19 meters (63 feet) deep – a record for us up till now. Although there are floating bollards inside the lock the distance between themselves is too far away to use two of them. One of us had to change the rope that was connected to the in-the-wall-integrated bollards even 14 times (yes, fourteen!).

  • Burg bei Magdeburg (I)

    A place called Burg, close to Magdeburg, was our next overnight mooring-place. We switched off the engine at 1:20PM. The water of the Elbe-Havel-Kanal...

  • Burg bei Magdeburg (II)

    ...at Burg bei Magdeburg was of such a clearness that we were able to see even the skeg and propeller. It’s always a joy to see crystal-clear water.

We have to admit that we didn’t see much of Burg bei Magdeburg, though we were told afterwards that the town is worth a visit. What we did see, however, on the way to the centre for some shopping was the iconic Trabant! Don’t miss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabant.

Burg bei Magdeburg became history, for the time being, at 9:45AM. We were forced to wait in front of the next lock (Zerben) for almost one hour, entered at 12:19PM and left at 12:31PM, behind another Polish push-tug, together with two other (Dutch) pleasure-boats. The push-tug cruised even slower than we usually do. Therefore the three of us asked for permission to overtake, got it, and overtook on high revs. That causes some waves – as this picture shows.

Surprise! All of a sudden we, well she, noticed a few small deer under the low afforestation on the bank. He grabbed for the camera, just too late to picture them both. The first one only while the second one, looking for safety again, still partly shows its legs.

Our engine was switched off at 2:36PM, when we finally had found a space at Genthin, close to a sign with the text ‘nur für Lidl-Kunden’, or something similar. Although we have been customers at the nearby Lidl indeed we wondered for how long one can be qualified a genuine Lidl-customer. No Lidl-official showed up by the way. We understand – imagine the following conversation! We walked into the town planning to look for an outdoor café to have a good German beer but we only found a ‘biergarten’ in the backyard of a hotel – not without difficulties finding it. Reaction after asking: puzzled faces, combined with ‘Das ist ein Problem’.

  • Former lock (I)

    On Wednesday we left Genthin at 9:30AM. Around 11:00AM we passed a former lock, now only traceable by a small island. It’s hard to imagine what it looked like in the past, especially when...

  • Former lock (II)

    ...bearing in mind (the UK-expression ‘I’ll bear it in mind’, meaning ‘I’m not interested at all’, springs to mind) the level of the surrounding scenery. How on earth did the engineers solve all those problems??

This type of trees (black pine??) was visible alongside the canal on a regular basis. They have really striking straight trunks. Should they be suited for making boat-masts? Likely, because the material for masts traditionally is softwood (naaldhout in Dutch).

  • Bridge over canal

    Shortly after leaving another lock (Schleuse Wusterwitz) the canal narrows substantially. Widening is planned and on the bridge the future centre of the canal is already marked. Less than a quarter of an hour...

  • Bridge over lake

    ...after passing the last bridge we had entered the first two of the numberless lakes to be found in this area of Germany. Here’s the first of the many bridges connecting the countless peninsulas and islands.

When approaching Brandenburg later that day by navigating the Silokanal we passed an enormous building with the name ‘Recyclingpark Brandenburg’. Do they live up to this! See the next pictures.

One of the interesting activities we witnessed was unloading the scrap-metal from this 80-meters (265 feet) ship using gigantic magnets.

  • Interesting old material (I)

    The left picture shows re-usable scrap metal as well as a set of abandoned train-carriages, one of them becoming an...

  • Interesting old material (II)

    ...unattended garden… Doesn’t an abandoned steam locomotive (there were even more!) make a locomotive-fan’s heart bleed…???

Stadtmarina Brandenburg (https://www.stadtmarina-brandenburg.de/) was our destination for that day. We wanted to connect to the mains for properly uploading our battery-bank after 17 days (Ter Apel, Groningen), next to taking in as much water and diesel as possible. Boats of our size only can moor on the outside of the marina, on the canal. Fortunately there was room for us; we switched off the engine at 1:44PM.

  • Former DDR architecture (I)

    Brandenburg was more extensively visited. The buildings alongside the main road towards the centre are all of a type we only knew...

  • A Brandenburger square

    ...from pictures. On a square in Brandenburg’s centre we were able to find several outdoor cafes at last – here visible in the distance.

  • Former DDR architecture (II)

    There are still a lot of the typical former DDR apartment buildings to be found close to the marina. We seem to remember they were all...

  • Former DDR architecture (III)

    ...grey in the past. Nowadays the majority of them is less gloomily coloured and even front balconies are (seemingly later?) installed.

We left Brandenburg’s town-marina Thursday the 21st of June at 11:21AM, with a full water-tank, plenty of diesel and a bit less money (€ 1,65 a litre for diesel, that’s more expensive than, say, beer) under, well, normal weather conditions. Shortly after that we approached the Brandenburg lock. When waiting, a quarter of an hour before noon, a genuine storm developed. Together with a commercial boat we entered the lock at 12:09AM, accompanied by 4 of 5 pleasure-boats. The storm came straight from behind, a good reason to tie a boat/ship as a matter of exception at the rear first. At least two of the other (hire-)pleasure-boats did not have a clue how to act, tied first at the front and lost control of their boats altogether. The one that is visible here at the right (‘Barac 236’) was initially situated at our side of the lock, behind us. They were blown around, missed us by using (by ourselves) a balloon-shaped fender and ended, after a 360° turn, up at the opposite lock-wall with some help by people on the quay-side. The boat at the left (‘Simon’ of all names!!!) ended up facing the wrong way after a 180° turn. (The woman on top of the last boat must have regretted to wear a mini-skirt. Sorry, no further juicy details.)

  • Threatening skies (I)

    The river Havel has created numerous lakes in the course of time. They are, without exception, absolutely beautiful and a joy to navigate. Both these...

  • Threatening skies (II)

    ...pictures give a good idea of what we saw that Thursday. Admittedly no sun but let’s be honest, we did complain about the temperature lately. Just too hot.

  • Approaching Potsdam (I)

    One of the last lakes -or the last, one loses count- is called the Jungfernsee. That lake ends where the pictured handsome bridge is situated. After the bridge: left towards Berlin, right towards...

  • Approaching Potsdam (II)

    ...Potsdam. Our choice to begin with is Potsdam. The right picture shows the castle that is already visible in the background of the left picture. We didn’t investigate further yet, it’s just 100% pretty.

Potsdam in sight. Here we come!

Based upon information of the unsurpassed DBA (http://barges.org/), more specific the information of their members about the European waterways, we were able to easily find a free mooring space on the river Havel, just north of the Templiner See. As said, free – and not even restricted as far as the duration is concerned. That, and the weather, made a decision to stay for a few days all the more easy. We ended a more or less eventful day at 5:29PM under stormy conditions.

  • View across from where we are

    Because we like our view very much we’ll share it with you followers/viewers. The large steamboat (‘Gustav’) not only is a pretty one, it even...

  • Zoomed in on a steamboat

    ...informs us on the side about its propulsion ‘Briketts für Wärme, die bewegt!’ (Briquettes for warmth, that moves!’) Better than coal??

  • Potsdam, Brandenburgerstraße 22.06.2018, 2:54PM

    On Friday the 22nd we biked into central Potsdam to have a look around. Ending up in the Brandenburgerstraße we sometimes had to look for cover because of torrential rain. Minutes later the sun shone again. These two pictures are taken within a minute of each other – see the distance the two...

  • Potsdam, Brandenburgerstraße 22.06.2018, 2:55PM

    ...women in the front have walked. It’s just a matter of slightly tilting the camera backwards and the scene changes dramatically. That’s what the weather is like at the moment: unreliable. We’ll think about what to do: stay a few more days or go??? The answer will be revealed to you next week. Bye for now.