Once on the Rhine we are in German waters
At first our passage is sedate on the locked upper Rhine
The last Rhine lock is over 1000 kms from the North Sea
The free flowing river picks up pace.
Below Iffezheim lock the Rhine free flows to the sea, at up to 5 knots at times.
Rhine traffic, a busy river
The ubiquitous cruise ships
Blue Flagging, A constant lookout is essential
On the Rhine, because of the strong flow, commercial craft have absolute right of way, and may display a Blue board by their bridge, signalling their intention to pass to Starboard, ie the wrong side.
The Rhine Gorge is dramatic. Castles on every bend.
Vineyards stretch away up the valley sides
The infamous Loreley rock towers over a narrow 90 degree bend
Loreley (Lorelei) rock
The Rhine at Cologne, a much more passive river.
The Cathedral defies the imagination of any scale
Antiope tucked up in Cologne marina, far left, the pontoon is 700m long.
This Viking replica was also making a Rhine passage to the sea.
We met a crew of four Germans who had spent 10 years building this replica Viking ship and were making the passage from Switzerland to the sea.
Shingle banks exposed by low river levels
The Rhine was running almost 2m below its normal level, restricting traffic.
At Duisburg in the Rhur region, the Rhine had revealed RAF bombs.
Local boaters had never seen the river so low.
Duisburg lock, Rhur valley
At Duisburg we leave the Rhine and enter the Rhein-Herne canal, on our way towards Berlin.