The Mittelland Canal is fast, efficient and boring. We are pushing hard to get to our final destination – Berlin. The boat is being run like a proper ship, motoring for 8 to 9 hours and doing up to 80 km per day. Nuala and I are doing one hour on and one hour off at the helm.
Having left the Rhine, we have traversed the Rhine Herne Canal, then the Dortmund Elms Canal and we are now on the Mittelland Canal. Next we will traverse the Elbe Havel Canal and Untere- Haval- WasserstraBe waterway to get to Berlin. One of the things we have noticed is that we have not met any other native speaking English people, lots of Dutch and Swedish people but no English or Irish people. We have continuously received a great welcome and people are amazed to see that an Irish boat has gotten this far!
There is quite a lot of barge traffic and for the first time ever we have been meeting plenty of pleasure craft as well. By the standards of the Rhine, the traffic flow is easy for us but it’s deceptive at the same time how much traffic there is. We moored on a quay side last night and this morning from 6.30 am onwards, a barge passed us every 15 minutes or so and remember it was Sunday.
Tonight we are staying in a Yachthafen at Braunschweig (about 30 km from Wolfsburg the home of Volkswagen). Like all the other marinas we stayed in we got a great welcome. Everything works well and they have an special automatic barrier which comes up to protect the boats from the wash of passing barges. Now that German efficiency!