Welcome back! Now, you could ask yourself by looking at the photographs how big is a ship like the Alm? The ship is 86 (282 feet) meters long and 9.5 meters (31 feet) wide. The Alm can load up to 1525 tons, and transports everything, mainly cereals, wood chips and steel. The ship has also ship’s hatches in case a load need to stay dry.
At Nieuwegein we needed to make a full turn on the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, so we were headed in the right direction. Easier said, than done, you could compare it to making a turn on a busy road. The Amsterdam-Rhine Canal was dug in the period 1933-1952 and runs from Amsterdam to Wijk bij Duurstede. The long, deep waterway makes it possible for large ships to navigate the route and minimizes the sailing time. It is between 100 meters (328 feet) and 120 meters (393 feet ) wide. To leave this canal we had to take the lock in Wijk bij Duurstede, The Netherlands.
From here we were on our way to the locks in Amerongen, The Netherlands ( see previous post) these locks bring you onto the river Neder-Rhine and the Rhine.
The river Rhine starts in Switzerland and runs all the way to the sea in Holland , the river is 1233 kilometer (821 mile) long and one of the longest rivers in Europa.
Near Wesel, Germany we left the river Rhine through a lock and continued our journey on the Wesel-Dattlen Canal.
The Wesel–Datteln Canal (opened in 1930 ) is a 60-kilometer (37 mi) long canal in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Canal forms an important transport connection between the Lower Rhine and northern and eastern Germany.
Construction of the Wesel–Datteln Canal was started in 1915, and the canal was opened in 1930. The canal has six locks, at Friedrichsfeld, Hünxe, Dorsten, Flaesheim, Ahsen and Datteln.
The next canal on the list was the Dortmund- Ems Canal. The Dortmund–Ems Canal is 269-kilometer (167 mi) long canal which runs between the inland port of the city of Dortmund and the sea port of Emden.
The Dortmund- Ems canal was opened in 1899 to reduce demand on the railway network, which could not cope with the transport of products from the Ruhr area. An other reason was that transport by ships through the canal would make coal and steel more competitive in regard to import from abroad.
At Hörstel we left the Dortmund-Ems Canal, and followed our way to Wittingen on the Mittelland Canal.
The Mittelland Canal runs north along the Teutoburg Forest, past Hannover and meets with the Elbe River near Magdeburg . Near Magdeburg it connects to the Elbe-Havel Canal to Berlin and to Poland.
At Minden the canal crosses the river Weser over two aqueducts (the second completed in 1998). Due to partitioning Germany after WWII, the Mittelland Canal was split between West Germany and East Germany, with the border to the east of Wolfsburg.
To provide access from the western section of the canal to Hamburg and Northern Germany and to avoid the strong fluctuating water height of the Elbe, the Elbe Lateral Canal was opened in 1977.
Along the way…
and after one last night at the canals…
we reached our destination…. Wittingen Hafen , Germany
Now don´t leave the ship right away, because maybe you would like to hear about the Way of Life on a ship…