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von Hinnerk Weiler / am 19.03.2012 / in
Looking over Lake Zurich in switzerland from Thalwil. Foto: Hinnerk Weiler

View over lake Zurich towards the Alps

Among other historic town parts, one of the most beautiful insights to Zurich gives a walk along the Limmatquai. The street follows the Limmat which flows out of the Lake heading north into the city. Framed in walls of stone there is not much left of a natural river but with medieval buildings surrounding the shallow and crystal clear water it is a walk through history.

As many rivers in the past and today have been used for transportation in early days the Limmat was an important route for merchants too. They used „Biäschen“ a kind of small boats to carry goods down the way from Zurich towards the Aare River and to where it continues into the Rhein. The latter still is an important inland waterway for central Europe where barges carry goods from maybe Rotterdam or even Hamburgs huge container ports inland.

Pauilinchen under a Tarp waiting in LaSalle at Detroit River. Foto: Ben Bright

Pauilinchen waiting at Detroit River. Foto: Ben Bright

But a traveler can not use the Limmat anymore. Gates, controlling the water level, block the way for boats today and only allowing the connection to be virtual. So it does not carry goods anymore but thoughts can still travel on it.

It‘s about a thousand miles to go from here and about four hundred meters (1200 ft) of hight difference until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean sea level. But sooner or later every drop of water ends in the North Sea to mix with water from all over the world. Maybe some of it takes its way across the Northern Atlantic Ocean and meets the currents from St. Lorenz River. Much of this water comes from across Lake Ontario, down Niagra Falls and out of Lake Erie.

This way the water filling the lake in front of Zurich is somehow connected even to LaSalle in Canada, where my boat „Paulinchen“ wintered a few footsteps away from Detroit River while I was looking over the Lake here in Switzerland.

The winter is almost over. And as spring is on arrival in Canada and Europe it became time  to think about heading on with my trip into the Great Lakes of North America. It will be the  third attempt to follow what is called the Great Loop.

von Hinnerk Weiler / am 15.03.2012 / in
von Hinnerk Weiler / am 09.03.2012 / in