Sunday, 21 August 2016

Netherlands again

This week we crossed the border back into the Netherlands, following a route that last traveled 50 years ago on our return from Copenhagen by open boat.
Dortmund- Ems canal, and the link to the Mittelland

Big lock
Small lock

At Haren we turn West onto a small and historic waterway, the Haren-Ruetenburg canal. which will take us across the border into the Netherlands

Bruce hoists a new courtesy flag

A contrast to the major commercial waterways

We cut a path through the duck weed

We have the waterway to ourselves

A modern lock on a restored section of the link waterway

Now in the Dutch waterways we will briefly join the Rhine and then on to the Mass river heading South to Maastricht, Belgium, and France.  Watch this space.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Mighty Mittelland

14th August.
Over the past week we have been making our way Westwards along the 400kms of the Mittelland canal, which cuts across Northern Germany in an almost straight line. Some boaters have described this passage as tedious and boring, we have found it anything but, with friendly boat clubs and small town marinas at the end of a day's run.

The Mittelland Canal 400kms Potsdam to Osnabruck

A serious commercial waterway

We cross high over the Elbe river on the Magdeburg aquaduct

 Wolfsburg, the home of VW and the Autotowers

       Like a giant toy, new cars are picked or parked 
                                by a robot

Refreshment stop in Hannover

The 'New Town Hall' Hannover built 1913 was paid for in cash!

Outside the Town hall or 'Rathaus', an archer aims at the office of the Mayor. Could Auckland do with a similar statue?  
Hannover's  three 'Nanas' 
 Antiope takes a rest at the Osnabruck Motor Yacht Club

The very hospitable folk at the OMYC made us welcome on a side canal only a few kms diversion from the Mittelland. From here we head North down the Ems -Jade canal to Haren where we turn west and cross into the Netherlands.   

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Berlin re-visited

Despite the terrorist dramas across Europe, we felt at ease in Berlin, and were able to show our Kiwi guests around this time with some local knowledge.  We also had time to look deeper into Berlin's turbulent past.

We find a city centre mooring in the shadow of the Reichstag

                                 A classic Berlin bridge carries the U bahn over the Spree river 

We take a balloon ride above the city (on the end of a long wire)

During the Cold War Glienicker Bridge was used to exchange spies, Antiope is moored on the 'Russian' side. The bridge is painted different colours on either side of the old border.

The Bridge of Spies, 'Glienicker Brucke' 

The Wall is preserved in places around Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie. Then and now, 

                                                    The Author poses by a remaining 
                                                            crumbling watch tower 

A more contemplative day was spent at Sachsenhausen concentration camp only a few kms north of Berlin. During the Nazi regime more than 200,000 people were held here, few survived. Followed by the Soviet era when 60,000 political prisoners were also held here.

                                The main camp gate with the ironic motto 'Work will set you free' 

                Barrack markers show where up to 200 prisoners were housed in each block

                                            What remains of the crematorium ovens. 
                                           Here thousands of bodies were disposed of.

         To finish on a brighter note, a lake anchorage at sunset, only 10 kms from the city centre