Tuesday, January 11, 2011


During lunch today I walked the ten minutes from work down to the river (the Rhein/Rhine, that is) just to get out of the office and get some fresh air.  I had been thinking about taking my lunch with me but there was an icy cold wind blowing so I decided to just walk for a while and then go back to eat in the office.  I wanted to go and see what the river looked like as I know it has been very high and expected to break its banks, if not already broken them in a few other places.  But in Düsseldorf, one side of the river ends in small beaches and just spreads out over the fields as it rises.  On the other side, there is a promenade (lower and upper) and even from the lower promenade there is a fairly big drop down to the normal level of the water.  So flooding didn't seem very likely.

Photo from state tourist website http://www.nrw-tourismus.de/

Can you see the touring ferries there, with the gangways tilting down towards them?  The will give you an idea of how high the walls are.  The lower promemade is where all those people are walking along. There's an upper promenade as well, with trees and so on, although it's not very clear in this photo - basically it's about the height or a little bit above the height of the cafe umbrellas.  And today the entire lower promenade was under water!  I could hardly believe it.  The left bank was, as expected, fairly well under water and the water stretched pretty far back (there's no building on the flood plain), with the tops of trees visible above the water.  But on my side of the river those gangways are now pointing up (attached to floating temporary docks) at a steep angle.  Incredible stuff.  Just breathtaking to see it like that and a reminder of how powerful nature is.

No comments: