I Used To Love A River --- Childhood Memories (7)
May 10, 2016 12:37pm CST
The river Weser is one of the four German rivers flowing into the North Sea. The others are (from east to west): Oder, Elbe (Weser), Ems. I moved to a small town on the western bank of the river between the cities Bremen and Bremerhaven when I was 11 years old and lived there until I was 20. I had spent my early childhood far away from water in a pretty town surrounded by a hilly landscape but I took to the river at once. For some years, we even lived right on the river. It wasn't the river Weser proper but a tributary but wonderful nevertheless. The garden behind the house borders the river. There is a huge willow tree from which children jumped into the water, tide permitting. More of that later. I fell in love with big ships then. I knew international flags and most signs of shipping companies from all over the world. I could watch the ocean liners and freight ships going to the harbour of Bremen which is about 70 km inland from the sea from the window of my room. I'm glad that I had already moved away from the area when the traffic on the Weser started dying. Now the harbour in Bremen is dead. Ships only go to Bremerhaven at the mouth of the river. The winner is the water quality, of course. Many fish have come back, salmon for example. Even seals have been seen sunbathing on the banks. The river is now only 'used' by water sports enthusiasts. When I lived there, I had a foldable paddle boat and was a member of a sports club. I didn't sail but my friend and I used to flirt with sailors when we met nice ones. We also had no scruples being towed by a sailing boat or even a motor boat when we were too lazy to paddle. We were on the river from spring to autumn going to and fro according to the direction the water was flowing. Oh, yes! There is ebb and flood and the water changes direction about every six hours. How very convenient. Since then I find rivers flowing in one direction dead boring. I voice this opinion occasionally in front of people who know nothing about tides and enjoy the way they look at me. They think I'm stupid. A river always flows in one direction, doesn't it? When I've explained the phenomenon of the tides, *they* look stupid! We went camping on the banks of the river over weekends. Only the son of the local dentist had a fine tent with upright sides. We called it derisively 'coca-cola villa'. He also had the most expensive boat. He was a nice guy, though. It wasn't his fault that his father bought only the best for him. My friend and I had a tiny tent into which we had to crawl. We could barely sit in it. It was so low, especially in the middle, because it had no ridge pole (if that is the correct term). I had a proper air mattress, but my friend had a self-made construction: bicycle tubes inserted into a linen bag with long seams between them. Remembering these nine years gives me a good feeling. When I look at my photos, I can't but smile. My studies and the ensuing job are responsible that I now live in the south of the country far away from a big river and the joys of paddling and camping. The same happened to my friends. But we'll always have our memories! ----- If you're interested in more childhood memories, click on the green bar 'MALUS CHILDHOOD MEMORIES' above the title.
26 people like this
• Boise, Idaho
10 May 16
Nice to have such memories. I am not around boats or ships here where I live. I am in the Rockies. I did spend a night in the Friday Harbor of the San Juan Islands which was memorable. We slept out in a park there and I recall being awakened every once in a while by different boats tooting to each other as they passed out in the water. Very memorable.
4 people like this
11 May 16
In the 1960s the tributary froze over occasionally and the river Weser had enormous ice floes, but his doesn't happen anymore. There are many small canals in the northwest of Germany going into the Netherlands. I don't know if they still freeze. I doubt it. Ideal for ice skating. Unfortunately, I've never learnt that. Don't know why.
• Derry, Northern Ireland
11 May 16
@MALUSE Growing up in a country where sudden, sharp and infrequent hailstorms were as close as we got to snow and ice, I was amazed by the fact the river I had walked around in Lübeck in the Summer became a shortcut over which everyone walked in Winter... Needless to say, I cannot skate either.
12 May 16
@Inlemay Near the mouth of a river flowing into an ocean the effects of ebb and flow can be noticed. From Wikipedia: "Ebb and flow (also called ebb and flood and flood drain or the tides) are two phases of the tide or any similar movement of water. The ebb is the outgoing phase when the tide drains away from the shore; and the flow is the incoming phase when the water rises again." When you are inLondon, you can notice this, too. The Thames has high water twice a day and low water also twice a day. The water flows into the North Sea for about six hours. The river is empty so-to-speak. Then the tide turns and it flows *into* the Thames for about six hours until the river is full again. High tide and low tide shift a bit every day. There is a calendar which you can consult to see when the water is in and when it's out. All this has to do with the moon. It would go too far to explain that here. Have I made it a bit clearer?
11 May 16
Since I moved to Canada I see the big ships on the canal that takes them from one Great Lake to another, they are impressive. We camp in a shallow rocky mountain stream. The only boats seen on that river are kayaks and canoes. We still camp and enjoy every memory of a lifetime camping. They are precious, aren't they...
• Goodfellow, Texas
5 Jul 17
@MALUSE - "M.-L." - The way those rivers flow - and the way that the cookies crumble - tidal river flows are very common things, but people who do not experience rivers that flow into the sea don't know about such things, do they? When I got to visit cousins who lived on a large stream that flowed into the "Great South Bay" on the eastern shore of Long Island, New York, USA, we would catch crabs by the gazillion at the change of tide. It took but a short time to catch a huge sack full of crabs, all of which were happily cooked and eaten upon returning to the house carrying that heavy sack of crabs. No tide equaled no crabs... -Gus-
• Palisade, Colorado
29 Jul 16
What wonderful memories. I love to be by rivers as they seem to tell so much. I did have the pleasure of working on a small cruise boat so I was on the river all the time. It was so neat to see the bottom of the river and the treasures that had been lost by someone.