Trina's North Germany

A glimpse into an ordinary German life


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If water is life, is life like water?

Water is life. What, if my life was water? What would I be? A small pond, deep, dark, covered with pretty water lilies? A big lake in the mountains, deep blue, cool and majestic? A fjord, part of the sea and still a special being of my own? Or would I be one of the many smaller lakes, people enjoy bathing in in the summer?

Actually, I hope I would be a river, as a river moves on, changing its form and size as it is meandering its way through changing landscapes.

Every river starts somewhere as a small well, often only a trickle of water, turning slowly into a small streamlet.  Some of these rivulets soon join others and together they form a bigger river. Some continue growing until they are big mighty rivers, serving men as way of transportation. A few of them are famous. Some are so mighty that they form a landscape of their own by growing side arms. Other streamlets remain narrow, some of them terribly delightful, with plenty of turbulences and waterfalls, flowers blooming at their sides.

Often rivers have to take in a lot of snow water or rain and can threaten the safety of others for a while. Later, these same rivers  bring fertility to the land they flow through. A river can be both good and bad at the same time.

Some rivers and streams have sad fates, being turned into canals or straightened. They are not allowed to be their natural selves. Even though it is not their choice, they adjust to the wishes of others and are forced into a corset, leading a life not determined by themselves but by rules, restrictions and force. They have hardly any current until they are allowed to flow freely again.

Flowing fast, having currents some rivers have a lot of temperament and energy, while others are more placid, calm or even a bit lazy. Some of it depends on the area they are born into, a river born in the mountains will behave differently than one developing in the flats of North Germany, but still, every stream, no matter how big, is also shaping the land it flows through.  A river both gives and takes.

When the cold comes, most rivers form ice only at their edges, giving them a picturesque and beautiful look, a certain sharpness and danger.  However, on the rare occasions when it gets extremely cold, the whole surface can be covered by ice. Then there seems to be standstill and the river seems lifeless. It is good to know that ice is always just on the surface. Beneath the ice the current is still running. Many human lives know such phases, too. Times of sadness, hopelessness, when life seems to be standing still and when they feel  emotionally dead.

Periods of heat can dry rivers out. The water is low then, the river is becoming smaller, losing its energy. Who doesn’t know such phases in life, being burnt up by daily duties, giving what energy you have to those who need or demand it, until you seem to be almost empty.

The times of ice and the times of steam will pass. Eventually it will get warmer and the ice will melt.  A river having lost most of its water to the heat will get its energy back once the evaporated water comes down as rain. What remains is water  and a river flowing on, changing its course now and then, making bends, finding its way through different landscapes, sometimes being a calm little river, sometimes a big stream, sometimes full of currents, at other time flowing quietly,  but in the end all rivers and streams will end up in the sea, becoming one with a water bigger than themselves.

 This was written for the weekly writing challenge: <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/ice-water-steam/”>Ice, Water, Steam</a>


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Sunday afternoon trip to Hochdonn

After a cold rainy Saturday this Sunday surprised us with bright sunshine and mild temperatures and we decided to take a car trip to Hochdonn.

Hochdonn itself is just a small village with nothing special to see, but it is situated directly  at the Nord-Ostseekanal,  We like to go there to look at ships and admire the railway bridge, that crosses the canal. at connects the Baltic Sea with the North Sea.

The  foundation stone of the Kiel canal was laid by Kaiser Wilhelm I on the 3rd of June 1887 and 8 years later, on the 21rst of June 1895 it was opened. The canal is 98,26 km long and connects the North Sea at Brunsbüttel with the Baltic at Kiel. Ships save on average 250 miles by using the canal. It is the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world. Last year there were about 34.690 vessels sailing through the canal not counting pleasure boats and small yachts.

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Today we were very lucky and could see more than 10 ships sailing past.

There are alltogether  of 10 bridges crossing the canal, and the 42 m high bridge at Hochdonn is only for trains. Cars and pedestrians use the ferry, which is considered part of the road and therefore doesn’t cost anything. My friend was impressed to notice that the ferry had a ground made of cement.

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On both sides of the canal there are paths which are perfect for cycling or walking. You can go about 5, 5 km and then cross by using another ferry to make your way back on the other side of the canal.

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 On nice days like today many people stop at the ferry place to sit in the sun, watch the ships and have an ice cream There is a kiosk selling sweets, snacks and drinks. As you can see on the photo, they also carry a wide selection of Schnaps, sold in small bottles to hide in your pockets.  That’s because it also serves as the only pub for locals.

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