Swiss Waterways

It's been over a month since our last post. Taking holidays other than on the rivers and canals initially caused this but recently one of our granddaughters fell ill whilst on holiday aboard requiring hospitalisation and intensive care. As a result we have been heavily involved with other things such as child-care and family support.  Now that things are on an even keel I can begin to think about posting again.

Waterbus, River Limmat, Zurich

Earlier in July we visited Switzerland on business and pleasure. The pleasure element included some rail travel on the wonderful Glacier Express. However, that's another story and doesn't concerning water or boating. We stayed for a while in Zurich whilst I was at a conference and travelled around the city on public transport, mostly trams, but we could not resist some trips on the wonderful waterbus network that is part of the public transport system for Zurich.

The specially designed boats not only travel around Lake Zurich but travel along the River Limmat into the heart of the city. To do this the boats have to negotiate not only a fast flowing river but some very low bridges. The boats on the River Limmat are not much longer than Albert, at about 63 ft 6 inches long. However, their beam is 12 ft 6 inches and they have two 58 kW ( 78 HP) engines that give a turn of speed of  nearly 12 knots. They certainly need this power to negotiate the bridges safely. Coming alongside to pick up passengers is quite an art and certainly needs to done going upstream. I took some video clips which give an impression of the river conditions and the normally operating speed of the craft.

We also visited Rheinfelden which is the limit of navigation for the mighty River Rhine, Neuchatel  where an impressive network of steamers operates, and Lake Biel where there are more steamers and we saw a weed-clearing boat operating. It was very similar to the boat we saw clearing weeds from the River Nene some years ago.

Rheinfelden, the limit of navigation for the Rhine

The bridge links the Swiss town of Rheinfelden with the German town of Baden-Wurttenberg. The river was in spate. Whilst at Rheinfelden we heard fireworks across the river as Germany celebrated their victory in the 2014 World Cup.

Rheinfelden viewed from Germany

Lake Biel weed clearing

Water transport on Lake Neuchatel