The Rhine

The Rhine

The Rhine River rises in Lake Constance in Switzerland, flows west toward Basel, then north toward Amsterdam.  When it runs out of Germany it forks to become the Waal and the Nederrijn (Lower Rhine) for another 30 miles before being absorbed by the Lek River.  It's the Lek that finally empties into the North Sea.

The first 160km (100mi) of the Rhine is not considered navigable.  Our destination is Basel CH, the furthest upstream most river boats can go.


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Like modern highways, the Rhine has mile markers or, in this case, kilometer markers (the '563' in the picture above) so boatmen can easily determine where they are.  Many towns also paint their names on the seawall as a way of giving boaters a little more useful information.

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The Rhine is, of course, the place where Rhine wine comes from.  As you sail the river, you pass field after field planted in grapes.

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The river is also used for recreation by the locals.  Occasionally you may see beach-y areas set aside for river bathing.

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(The "+" on the sign above is a 'half-kilometer' mark.  In addition to the larger-sized kilometer markers, each 1/10th kilometer will be indicated by a smaller sign indicating the tenth-kilometer.  The "+" is in place of a "5".)