leisure, photography, seasons, summer, vacation, world

Throwback Thursday: In between

 

For decades, a secured border parted two countries here on Usedom: the German Democratic Republic (since 1989 a substantial part of the Federal Republic of Germany) and Poland. While about 90% of Usedom kept German after WWII, approximately 10% belongs to Poland since 1945. Nowadays, you can roam freely from one side to the other and the wooded path, built in the former no-man’s land, leads you right to the shore of the Baltic sea.

All humans (and animals as well) are living together on this wonderful planet. Despite cultural differences, it’s great to roam freely and get used to these differences. All of us can benefit from knowing each other Even when it comes to misunderstandings sometimes, in general, all of us benefit.

Goods, habits, culture, and much more enrich our lives, our minds, our experiences, and our common ground for further growth as mankind. Help to keep the fences down between states, countries, and people! Or, to quote a song by the British rock band Pink Floyd “Turn down the walls”.

 

Take care!

leisure, photography, seasons, summer, vacation, world

Throwback Thursday: On the beach

The sun is warm,
the sea is cold.
The surf rolls in
and wets your feet.
Collecting shells,
finding colorful stones,
watching the gulls passing by,
listening to the wind
carrying their cry.
Enjoy your life
before growing old!

 

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Take care!

animals, bird, flowers, landscape, leisure, nature, people, photography, review, seasons, sport, summer, travel, wildlife, world

Throwback Thursday: I’m back …

… from Usedom at the Baltic Sea. OK, I came already back on Saturday from my 2-weeks family vacation. Although it wasn’t a typical family vacation because I was on Usedom with my wife, daughter, and grant-son. That little guy is 5. So this was his first vacation where he was able to notice everything and he liked it a lot. One of his statements was “I like our new home more than our old home”. He didn’t realize, that the vacation home was our home only for our vacation.

Back in 2019, when we were in the Netherlands with him, he was too young to notice such a change. Back in 2018, I was already in Ahlbeck with my wife and we decided to come back with our grant son for his first beach vacation. Unfortunately, this come-back lasted longer than expected because of the SARS2-CoV / Covid19 pandemic.

This time we rented a vacation home near the middle of the town. Ahlbeck is quite small, with only about 3,400 regular citizens but with more than four times the number of guest beds. The apartment, we rented in 2018, was also very lovely, but reaching the beach from there was quite complicated because a huge rehab clinic building barriers the direct way and we had to make a long way around. Reaching the pier also lasted about 20 minutes by foot. You can see the pier in the image above from 2018. We love to walk along the surf in the evening, so we had to pull out the rental bikes first to reach the beach. Very inconvenient. That’s why we decided to get this time an apartment closer to the town and with easier access to the beach. It’s only about 200 meters as the bird flies and about 300 meters walk to reach the waterfront.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t perfect beach weather this time. Some drizzling nearly every day for at least some time distributed over the whole day. But, I won’t complain. We had some beach weather, we had cycling weather, we watched the neighboring towns as well as the next town in Poland, which is only about 4 km away. We also rented bikes for our stay and surprisingly the little guy was able to cope with the (quite small) distances on his bike. The longest distance we cycled in one day was 12 km with a couple of pauses. We cycled mostly along the sea on the promenade connecting the 3 neighboring towns grouped under the name Kaiserbäder. They have a lot of bicycle tracks here.

I love the area at the baltic sea for the small villages, the avenues with their chestnut or oak trees, and the forests reaching up to the coast. The sea does not have a noticeable tide (only about 10 cm), the huge beaches with very fine sand, and the flat-bottomed sea which is quite warm and less salty than the other oceans. So, these beaches are very entitled to kids, especially smaller ones.

The term Kaiserbäder (Kaiser = Emporer; bäder = baths) was chosen because these towns were visited by the Emporer of the German Empire back in the 19th century a couple of times. The word Bad (= bath) in a town’s name refers to the idea of being a place for curing and rehab. In the late 19th century, people had already come here to the coast for spending some leisure time, cure, and recuperate. Especially the rich ones and the noble men and women. Even the Emporers were here a couple of times and that’s the reason, why the towns have chosen the name Kaiserbäder to operate under that name. Nowadays, everyone can benefit from the beauty of the coast and retreat from the burdens of daily chores.

For one day (without having a certain date in my mind) it was planned to visit a nature protection area nearby (ok, 1 1/4 hours drive by car) to see White-tailed eagles (very good chance), osprey (maybe – a hope), grey cranes (quite good chance because they are quite common here but very shy), and red kites.

In the end, I saw 2 white-tailed eagles sitting in the trees far-far away and one flying from one side to the other (👍), one osprey (sitting very far away, then flying even further away, but also flying a bit closer to capture him), 5 cranes flying by, 1 stork, 1 crane with a chick in the woods (no photo possible), many grey herons and 3 great white egrets, common terns, lots of different ducks and geese, many swallows, black-headed gulls, cormorants. I’m stopping here to not bore you.

In the meantime, the others were visiting an adventure park in a town nearby very suitable for kids under 12.

For 4 days starting with Ascension Day, the German Masters in Kite-Surfing took place here right next to the pier. I watched the sportswomen and sportsmen for a few hours distributed over several days with my camera. You know, I like to see them “flying” over the water. This was an unexpected event and therefore not planned. But, very welcomed. Even the wind was unexpected those days: some competitions had to be canceled because of too heavy winds.

In the end, this was a family vacation and not a photo trip. Nevertheless, I’m quite happy about the images I was able to capture. The nature protection area has to stay on my list. I have to come again with more time and arrive earlier. Without the overcast sky, I’d have come back with less usable images because the light conditions would have resulted in either overexposed skies or in hopeless underexposed subjects.

As usual, click on an image to enlarge it!

Take care!

art, culture, photography, world

Throwback Thursday: A toy?

Ok, some very rich people might consider this car as being a toy. An expensive toy! An expensive hobby. Buying old but beautiful cars, reconstruct them (or let others do that hard job while they spend their money on them), and put them into exhibitions, showrooms, or museums.

I can understand museums or even manufacturers doing this and making the restored cars accessible to the public. But, I can’t understand rich people doing it only for being proud of having them.

I can’t remember what kind of car this is. I photographed it in a showroom waiting for the next owner. Fortunately, that showroom is (was) accessible for everyone, and even taking photographs was allowed. I took this image with a fish-eye lens handholding the camera on my stretched arm to get this image. I only cleaned the edges and removed my legs in post-processing. I love, how the fish-eye lens was not only able to capture the whole car, but also distort the proportions (a bit 😲😂).

I took this image in January 2011 and didn’t find time to edit it until recently.

In case, any one of you is able to give me a hint on the brand and the model, I’d be glad to hear from you. Simply type it in the comment section below.

Take care

 

 

culture, Music, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Club Tropicana and LAPC 195 “colorful expressions”

 

Today I have another image taken in Club Tropicana in Havana for you.

I’m not interested in dancing at all. So, I wasn’t very eager to go, when I saw this topic on the agenda. But, I also didn’t want to stay alone at the hotel and the visit was already prepaid in the package. Thus, I went.

I have to admit, it was a great experience. I’m happy about the good quality of my images because it was very dark. All of my images are taken at ISO 6400 😲😳 to have short shutter speeds with a suitable field of depth and avoid motion blur.

I guess I’m going to show you a couple of more images taken during that night in the near future. Stay tuned.

In case, you want to see more from Cuba, click here.

Because of the colorful dresses of the ladies, this image is also a perfect fit for LAPC. It’s hosted by Anne, this week.

Take care!

 

culture, Music, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Club Tropicana

 

Today I have another image taken in Club Tropicana in Havana for you.

I’m not interested in dancing at all. So, I wasn’t very eager to go, when I saw this topic on the agenda. But, I also didn’t want to stay alone at the hotel and the visit was already prepaid in the package. Thus, I went.

I have to admit, it was a great experience. I’m happy about the good quality of my images because it was very dark. All of my images are taken at ISO 6400 😲😳.

I guess I’m going to show you a couple of more images taken during that night in the near future. Stay tuned.

In case, you want to see more from Cuba, click here.


Take care

 

 

art, culture, people, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 193: “birthday”

600_3780-e_wThis week, John Steiner is looking forward to celebrating his birthday, so I’m happy to join the LAPC party. In some families and in some cultures, birthdays are a reason for huge celebrations. So, I picked up this post published first back in 2013.

There is a certain habit in Cuba of celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday.

The girl gets special clothing, is dressed up, and gets perfect makeup. Then they go to a photographer to take beautiful photographs.

According to our guide, some girls are dressed like a bride for these sessions, others wear cocktail dresses and I also noticed photographs showing a girl dressed like a female version of an old-fashioned, Spanish caballero. The photographs are usually taken in a park or in the streets and not in a studio.

Two weeks later, the parents and the girl have a party with all of her friends, and an album, containing the photos, which is a real eyecatcher for that party. Also, the parents put framed photos from that session on their walls.

I like that idea. (OK, maybe, because I’m a photographer).

600_3779-e_wWe met this young lady in the old town of Havana. Her mother was with her and took care of her hairstyle and her makeup, while the photographer directed his assistant to adjust the reflector.

So, we can congratulate her on her 15th birthday.

Are there any similar habits, where you live or coming from?

While waiting for my next post you can have a look at the previous posts and maybe drop me a note in the comments section below.

 

In the meantime, the girl is a young woman. As I said, I took these photos back in 2013. So, she’s already 24. How much must have changed for her in her life.

As I’m always interested in getting to know habits from other countries, regions, or cultures, drop me a note in the comments and tell me, how do you celebrate birthdays. I’m interested in your personal celebration as well as in general habits and traditions.

Take care!

culture, Music, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Club Tropicana

 

Oh, wow. Finally, I’m done! I was in Cuba back in Mach 2013. In the past, I already published some posts and images taken during that trip. But, one chapter of that trip was still nearly completely undone: the images taken during our visit of Club Tropicana in Havana.

I’m not interested in dancing at all. So, I wasn’t very eager to go, when I saw this topic on the agenda. But, I also didn’t wanted to stay alone at the hotel and the visit was already prepaid in the package. Thus, I went.

I have to admit, it was a great experience. I’m happy about the good quality of my images, because it way very dark. All of my images are taken at ISO 6400 😲😳.

I guess, I’m going to show you a couple of more images taken during that night in the near future. Stay tuned.

 

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Take care

 

 

landscape, leisure, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 189: “Odds and Ends”

It’s Tina’s turn to host the Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge this week. I assume everyone has some of these dust-catchers in her home. On a cupboard, shelf, sofa, or windowsill you can find more or less valuable things. One bought and valuated then stored in a drawer or a card box at the attic or in the cellar, later put in the bin or sold at a garage sale or flea market.

A few years ago, we had a booth at flea-marked selling toys and games of our kids, where they were too old for in the meantime. I sold one of them for a quite low price, but the receiver wasn’t a kid. Instead, a dog got it. At once the dog bit fierce in the toy. You can’t imagine how that hurt inside to see the dog maltreated a toy having comforted one of our kids for years and was even in their bed. I know, I gave it away and the new owner can now do, what she wants with her property. But, seeing such cruelty isn’t nice.

 

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It’s sometimes hard to find images fitting to a certain challenge. For these tasks, I’m using the help of Excire Foto. I told the software where my image library is located and it starts analyzing the images. It recognizes the main colors in the images as well as the contents (what is in the images) and tags them automatically. Later, I can use the user interface to search for images with certain tags. Currently, you can save a few bucks when ordering Excire Foto, because it’s on sale.

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Take care!

 

 

landscape, leisure, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 187: “water”

This week, Anne is our host for LAPC. Her topic is water, a topic I wished for so long and would be mine, in case I were asked for a topic.

Without water, life on earth were impossible. At least, that kind of life, we know. But, water is extremely flexible. You can find it nearly everywhere and in many different appearances. When asking a physicist , she will tell you, water has 3 different appearances: solid, liquid, and gaseous. Thus, I try to show you all of them.

Ice, solid as a rock.

 

Water as a surface and above the surface: the sea, the rain, and the clouds.

 

Hot water releases steam.

 

 

Steam climbs up in higher regions and forms clouds.

 

When there is enough water in the air, it starts falling down: rain!

 

 

Some have fun in the rain.

Others have fun with snow, also a kind of solid water.

 

And rivers bring the water back to the sea.

Although some (many?) humans tend to complain about the rain, this is what it would look like without water:

Take care!

 

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culture, people, photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 8-40

Love is all around – happy valentine’s day!

 

One small hint: When using code HAPPYVALENTINE during checkout, you can save 15% when buying Excire Foto before Feb 20th, 2022. Excire Foto is the perfect tool to find certain images on your disks by searching with keywords either from EXIF data or by the results from the artificial tagging engine. Do you want to know more? There’s already a post here in my blog. Although the post is quite old and talks about version 1.0, the last update to version 1.3 was released in December 2021.

Second hint: when you’re in the US you can benefit from code CNFL-56 and save 43%, because Excire celebrates the Super Bowl (advertising because of the affiliate link)

Take care!

landscape, leisure, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 186: “low light”

A day come to its end

Birds and other animals head to their preferred place for staying the dark and dangerous night



The sun says good night to the mountains 

and another actor enters the stage.

 


Nowadays, humans are usually not afraid of the night anymore.

In the city when the shops are closed and only the owner or the employees are in to clean up.

 

At night at the bus stop. No one is around. Everything seems peaceful and silent.

 

When having a walk in the park now, you can enjoy the silence. Traffic noises from far reaching your ear

 

Artificial light. For millennia, fire and candles were the only artificial light source.

Nowadays, it’s different

Especially in the cities, you have a lot of lights turning the dark to the new day


But, after crossing the city limits and bringing some kilometers or miles between you and the city

you can start experiencing natural light again.

light pollution to the right from a city in about 50km distance, but already some stars in the sky above

Orion nebula
Aurora Borealis / Polar light / Northern light

After a dark night, the next morning starts

From dusk ’til dawn, the light isn’t absent. It’s still present, but on a (very) low level.

Thanks, Sofia, for this enlightening challenge this week for The Lens-Artists Photo challenge.

Why don’t head over to her site, look for the rules, and also write a post.

Take care!

landscape, leisure, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 184: “What travel has taught me” and LAPC 185 “Change”

Again, I’m combining two Lens-Artist Photo-Challenges. Last week Amy asked for what “travel has thought me” and this week John is asking for “Change”. I was extremely busy last weekend and over the week I’m following my own schedule. But, knowing the topic in advance, gave me the time to prepare a post although this weekend I’m very busy again.

You know, I was in Namibia last year for visiting and experiencing a desert. Namibia has lots of them. They are different from the sand deserts of the Sahara. But, you can see, how the sun dried out the country. Every now and then, we were crossing sand-filled valleys by using bridges. These valleys are rivers. According to my experience, rivers consist of water. In Africa, rivers cal also consist of sand and dust for some time during the year. They dry out.  Here in Europe rivers don’t dry out. Even during the extremely hot summers of 2017-2019, the rivers had at least some water. The water level was very low and even for river Rhine, shipping had to be stopped for a couple of weeks. But, for Africa, it’s quite normal that rivers dry out.

We have to be very, very careful with our activities as they have an impact on our environment. I’m not an ecologist, but Global Warming can’t be denied. Glaciers are melting and the additional water is diluting the salty water in the oceans, which makes the inner-ocean streams (i.e. Gulf Stream or Humboldt Stream) collapse which results in climatic changes on the continents as well as collapses of fish schools. Increasing temperatures are affecting the countries, especially around the equator. Bigger areas of heat and no rain at all will avoid growing food because of the lack of water. Monsoon-like rain at quite low temperatures in other parts will also avoid growing food because the rain will wash away the fertile soil.

 

 

We are the generation to initiate the change. Michael Jackson sang in his song “Man in the mirror” (written be Glen Ballard / Siedah Garrett):

I’m gonna make a change
For once in my life
It’s gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right
….
Who am I, to be blind pretending not to see their needs?
….
That’s why I want you to know
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could’ve been any clearer
If they wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
….
Gonna make that change come on
(Man in the mirror)
You know it
You know it
You know it
You know
Change
Make that change

 

Earlier this week I watched a documentary about people living in the Zambesi plains in Zambia. The people make their living with fishing. Traditionally, they were fishing with self-made traps and caught only the big fish, while the smaller ones were able to escape. So, over millennia, the system works well. Over time, more and more people came up with the idea to use nets instead of traps, because with the nets they were able to catch more fish. Unfortunately, they now also caught the small and young ones. Guess, what, the number of fish decreased enormously. So, the government forbade using nets but the people didn’t care. during the documentary, fishermen were interviewed by the film team. Surprisingly, they are aware they are exterminating all fish and killing the base of their lives. Their excuse: Even when I stop using nets, the others still use them. So, they will have more fish to sell, than me.

In small, this is the situation, we see all over the world. No-one is willing the do the first step. No government, no company, no women or man.

I want to hand over a loveable and lovely planet to our children. I want to make them see and experience the unique beauty of this wonderful tiny blue pearl in the black and cold universe. I don’t want to forbid. I want you to think about what you’re doing. Re-think it from end to end. When Sting published his song against Cold War in the 1980s, he phrased “The Russians love their children, too”. I believe this. Not only the Russians, all people all over the world. When people don’t have health anymore, who should spend money on products? When we don’t have enough water to grow plants, what do they want to eat? Do CEOs want to go out in the fields to grow and harvest their food on their own, because there are no farmers anymore?

The sentence «S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche.» (if they don’t have bread, they should eat cake) is attributed to the French Queen Marie-Antoinette and is supposed to be the final spark to start the storm of the French Revolution. The result is written in each history book.

A quote supposed to be said by either Chief Sitting Bull, Chief Seattle, or part of a prophecy of the Cree reads “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.” Regardless, who was the first one having said this, it’s true. Thus, I’m reciting Michael Jackson “start with the man/woman in the mirror and make the change!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take care!

landscape, leisure, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 183: “Memorable Events”

Thanks, Ann-Christine, for giving me the opportunity to remember a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Seychelles Islands back in October 2010. For two weeks I was in paradise. La Digue is one of the bigger islands forming the country Seychelles. It’s located in the Indian Ocean and belongs to the African continent. You can find it on a map when staring with your finger in Mombasa at the Kenyan coast and moving to the east and starting with your other finger from the Jemen-Oman-border going south.

Seychelles is south of the equator at 4°16′ S 55°46′ E. So they are outside the cyclone area. No dangerous animals are living on the islands. There is even no malaria threat in Seychelles.

The islands have a tropical climate. It’s hot and the humidity is quite high. Because of the short distance to the equator, there is no twilight. When the sun goes down, it becomes dark nearly at once. The sun rises at around 6 a.m. and goes down at around 6 p.m.

 

first sight of the paradise aka Seychelles

 

the church is already decorated for the upcoming national holiday
one of the fantastic beaches around La Digue

 

a big print of this image is in the image’s rotation box and thus hanging every now and then in our living room for a couple of weeks.

 

nightfall is very fast so close to the equator

 

I loved watching these pretty white long-tail tropicbirds when they were in the air. It seemed to me, they really have fun and enjoy flying fast and amazing courses. 

 

When you want to read a bit more, you can find my posts here. Scroll down to the bottom of that page to start with the oldest post.

Take care!

culture, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review, seasons

Happy New Year

When standing on the beach and watching the waves rolling in you can every now and then find things. In the surf, you can find stones, shells, algae or other sea plants, and even human waste. At the same time, the surf washes away footprints or any other mark in the sand. Heavier waves are able to form the beach and even the coastline anew. This happens usually during the winter storms.

Tomorrow, a new year is starting. A new year comes to us just like the waves on the ocean. Some waves are small, others are bigger and some even might be shaking the foundations of life. You won’t know in advance what the year will bring to your life. You also won’t know in advance, what it will take from you. But, you have to take it and you have to cope with the changes.

The last year and the year before were such life-changing times. While 2020 had severe menaces for our health, we looked a bit more positive on 2021 by the end of last year, because several vaccinations were already available. Now, that another year passed by, we see more and more people getting tired of the restrictions we’re still faced with each day. Although vacations are the easiest and least intrusive treatments, too many people are still denying the existence of the virus, or the power of the impact of the infection (i.e. long-covid and post-covid-syndromes) besides the possible life-threatening outcome of an infection.

I got my vacation in summer and the booster two weeks ago. Up to now, I didn’t get infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and I’m willing to do anything to keep this status for the future.

But, in the meantime, it’s much more than not going to a theater, cinema, restaurant, or any other public event. It also changed the relationship and habits between humans. Distance (not only looking at the space between individual human beings), no hugging, no kissing, not meeting friends and family, wearing masks. All this helps cool down relationships. Our societies are changing. Our habits are changing. But, is suffering in an ER or laying in a cemetery a nice and desirable alternative? Centuries ago, people were suffering from pests, pox, and other diseases which are not relevant anymore because scientists were able to find vaccinations and treatments to extinct them. Now it’s our task to cope with Covid and defeat this virus and its mutations. We already reached a very good state. Let’s motivate the hesitating ones to help for the final victory so that we can start gaining our lives back completely. The longer it lasts, the harder it will be to come back to ‘normal’. But, going back to ‘normal’ too early is too dangerous for mankind. This virus has the potential to dramatically reduce the world population because it does not make any differences between people.

Nevertheless, I wish you a happy new year, and may a gentle warm wind strengthen your back and dry up the tears remaining from the past year.

 

Take care!

culture, nature, review, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: The flooding in July 2021 in Western Germany

Currently, Europe is parted into two. A line is drawn from north to south from Finland to Italy. While the regions east of the line are ruled by heat, the western half is suffering from cold.

Hot air can carry more moisture than cold air. So, the moisture comes down as rain in the area where both air masses are meeting. In addition, the high-pressure area and the low-pressure area are very stable and don’t move. Instead, the rain comes down over and over again for days in nearly the same place: in western North-Rhine Westphalia and north-west Rhineland-Palatinate, two German states near the borders to Belgium and the southern Netherlands.

After a nice start into summer end of May, the weather changed by early June. It became colder and the rain began to fall. End of June, the first extreme rain appeared here in the region. A friend of mine reported an overflooded underground car park in his newly built apartment building. Fortunately, they were able to save all cars ahead of the flooding.

Because of the constant and sometimes havier rainfalls, the lakes, rivers, and creeks were already full and the ground was already saturated with water.

Tuesday last week, the weather forecast announced another heavy rain field. For about 120-150 km long and 30-50 km wide. You can see the size in the left map below. Btw. I’m located right in the middle of the pink area. Find Düsseldorf, our state capitol, and take the letter ‘o’. Now, move up and see the horseshoe-like bend of the river Ruhr. I’m near the right side inside the area. The color indicates the amount of rain in mm per 24 hours. Up to 200 liters of water were have been falling per square meter, but no-one said to the people move their valuable belongings to higher places or even leave the area completely. The situation was recognized early enough to warn. Warnings were even sent out, but the people didn’t understand the warnings.

You can find these maps, created by Deutscher Wetter Dienst (DWD), in their official Twitter account. DWD is the official German Meteorological Service.

The next images are not mine. I got them via Facebook. It’s a city quarter of a neighboring town. This place is only about 15 km east of us as the bird flies after only a few hours of rain. The stones are the result of a landslide. It looks bad, but other areas west of us were hit even harder. You can find an article on Wikipedia with a couple of images and containing also descriptions from other affected regions.

The area west of Bonn was hit the hardest. A few smaller towns and city quarters are literally wiped away. Either, because rivers re-conquered stolen land (people built houses in riparian areas or water meadows) or by landslides when the soaked soil slipped down the hillsides. In the town of Erftstadt, we had to watch another phenomenon: in the flat area, the river Erft left the bed and flooded the fields used by farmers to grow food. Unfortunately, the ground wasn’t stable. So, the soil was washed away and left a huge and rising crate, several meters deep. This crate swallowed even complete houses while widening. The only image I found online showing this, is the header photo in this article:

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/ungluecke/hochwasser-in-erftstadt-dramatische-lage-und-tote-nach-hauseinstuerzen-17440280.html

Among very few hours, creeks with usually one 30cm of water were able to grow up to several meters of water. One river with usually 60cm was reported to grow up 8 meters!!!! Despite this vast amount of water, about 24 hours later nearly all of the water was gone. Only the devastation remained. Many, many people lost everything, including their houses. About 172 are reported up to now even lost their lives here in Germany and 31 in Belgium. While 155 people in Germany are still missed. Yesterday evening the last alarms were deactivated. All the danger points are secured. Fortunately, there was no additional rain. But, many parts in the affected area still don’t have electric power, telephone, water supply, and cellular mobile telephony. Reconstruction works will last months and I guess, some people, having lost everything, will move away.

The railway company announced 600km of railways were destroyed (7 tracks) and 80 stations. No-one knows up to now how many streets and motorways are damaged or completely destroys. Not counting the pipes for water and natural gas, the wires for telephony, internet, and electric power, or the animals (wild and farm animals).

The most affected area also includes an important wine-producing area and vacation spots.

The town, where I live, wasn’t affected. First, we don’t have a river or a lake (not in town nor uphill). Second, The hills are covered with houses. So, the soil couldn’t slip away. Third, some years ago, our city government enlarged the canalization system. Luckily, it was big enough to cope with all the additional water.

I didn’t write anything about Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and France. I’m not ignoring them. The reason is, our news didn’t broadcast much about their suffering from the flooding. So, I simply don’t know enough to write about. I only know, the Belgium area bordering the hardest hit German area was also hit very hard. I suspect the people are facing the same problems as they do here.

This last weekend. Germany was hit again: in Bavaria and Saxonia further floodings happened with similar effects as I already described.

I’m so glad for not being affected and feel very sorry for all the affected people wherever they lived. Although this isn’t the first flooding in Germany, it’s IMHO the biggest and the first (?) one in our state. I assume it won’t be the last one.

I just got the forecast for the next thunderstorm to be arriving this weekend, which is expected to hit the already pained region again. 😭

Take care!