Wednesday 31 May 2017

Rise and fall

Some of the locks we’ve come through with Erin Mae have been quite deep, but nothing compared to this.

Progressing towards the summit of our cruise we encountered three locks of 82 feet! As with a narrowboat, a deep lock isn’t necessarily any worse than a 6-footer – it just seems more scary while you’re in it.  One of the hardest parts can be securing your boat against movement. Here one of the crew lassoed a bollard, which then moved upwards in its slot as the water rose.

This morning we emerged from the Main-Danube canal onto the River Danube. It’s a beautiful stretch of river and we were now going downhill.

Some of the locks had a string of buoys across the bottom gate, to make sure you stayed far enough away from the gates. Once the lock had emptied they lowered a boom to pick up the end of the string and lift it back up to clear the way.

We soon encountered three very low bridges.

The captain collapsed his wheel house and operated things from elsewhere.

The crew came around insisting that everyone on the front sun-deck keep their eyes to the front.

And when the bridges arrived, we really did have to duck, even though we were already sitting down.

Finally we arrived at Regensburg. Its mediaeval heart might look similar to what we’ve seen elsewhere along the way, but there’s a big difference.

This is all original, rather than having been reconstructed after the carnage of the war.

There’s a magnificent bridge over the Danube that dates from 1146 and has seen a lot of history, including the march of Crusader armies.

Shame they had scaffolding and polythene sheeting all over one end of it, but that has been par for the course for a lot of the buildings we've seen. At the city end of the bridge is the gatehouse,

and to one side of it stands the kitchen that was built to make and serve sausages for the construction workers. It's still serving sausage today!

The gothic-style cathedral is regarded by some as the finest in Bavaria,

and has some very fine stained glass, including this window depicting its patron saint, Peter.

It has continued to be extremely hot as we now start the down-stream part of our journey. It’s certainly been different from anything we’ve done so far on Erin Mae – and not just in relation to the fall of the locks.