Tag Archives: Breisach

Day 13 – Father Rhine takes charge

Some of the debris caught up in the mooring rope

Some of the river debris caught up in the mooring rope

We were supposed to go to the highlight of our trip – as far as I was concerned – today. A walk in the Schwarzwald in the mountains away from the river. But Father Rhine was in no mood to accommodate travellers. Our delay at Mannheim was, of course, multiplied by the hundreds of ships and barges that traverse the river every day. The locks were busy, the river full of debris, and we would make dock at Breisach too late to get to and from the excursion, and still make it to Basel for disembarkation, not only to make onward connections for those for whom the tour was finishing, but also to allow time for the crew to prepare the Scenic Jade for a new bunch of visitors.

So the best we could do was wander around the little town of Breisach, take a few photos, and go back to our room to pack.

Breisach is on a hill with a commanding view of the Rhine, so needless to say there has been a fortress here since before the Romans. And also needless to say the town was flattened during WW2. Still, enough has been restored to give a visitor an idea of how it used to be.

The Rhine from the hill. Those white birds across the river are swans

The Rhine from the hill. Those white birds on the French side of the river are swans

Houses stepping up the road

Houses stepping up the road

It's a steep climb to the fortress

It’s a steep climb to the cathedral

The view from the hilltop

The view from the hilltop

St Stephan's Cathedral

St Stephan’s Cathedral


I don’t know what this was about – a bull rising through the pavement with an abstract figure raising a star to heaven – Greek myth?

That’s life. When traveling, there’s no point complaining about the weather. Or the state of the river. Six months ago there was a real risk the Amavenita wouldn’t be able to get as far as Regensburg because the water was so low. Record low water levels were recorded for the Rhine and the Danube. I suppose we could count ourselves lucky the river wasn’t in flood. That would have meant a bus journey to Basel.

On to Switzerland.