Friday, November 25, 2011

Cruising the Rhine: it's da bomb!

There's a paragraph in the paper today about a drought in Germany which has dropped the level of the Rhine so far that unexploded bombs from WWII are now a threat to shipping on the river. It says that bomb disposal experts have had to blow up an incendiary bomb near Cologne and are working out what to do with a bigger bomb lying in just 40cm of water near Koblenz. As well, a grenade was spotted earlier this week on the river bank near Bonn. All highly disruptive, no doubt, to river traffic which as well as a number of cruising companies includes thousands of busy barges 24/7.

This is all of great interest to me, having cruised along the Rhine earlier this year past, yes, Cologne, Koblenz and Bonn, and heard the captain tell us that because of low river levels, we might not be able to complete the journey all the way to Amsterdam. We were all pleased to hear, the next day, that there had been heavy overnight rain in Switzerland that was expected to raise the river in time for us to stick to Plan A. Hooray, we all thought, no buses for us! We would have been even more joyful had we realised that a bit of Swiss sogginess was all that stood between us and Kingdom Come, courtesy of Bomber Command.

This man busily poking his metal detector into the water from a previously-unexposed shingle bank should have thought twice too, about exactly what sort of treasure he might be unearthing.

2 comments:

the queen said...

Did you count "two and seventy stenches," like coleridge did? That's all I know about Cologne.

Pam said...

Ha ha! That little poem passed me by, I have to admit (less of a confession than a MA in Eng Lit that kept clear of Paradise Lost). But Cologne! It's all about the cologne these days: 4711. Maybe it's cause and effect...

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