The Week of the Flood


The DGfA conference in Erlangen was a fab mixture of interenting panels & workshops and meeting up with smart and nice and wonderful people, and as it was a work thing and I spent my time doing conference-y things I have almost no photos at all from my time in the south (except for some few ones from Bamberg, to which city a conference excursion was offered – and one or two of Erlangen itself, taken when walking to and fro between locations etc). All those photos, however, are on the flash card in my camera, and will thus show up here, if ever, then at some later date.

For now I bring you two snapshots taken with my phone, from the train, on my way back north. Which, on account of the tremendous amount of flooding that’s taking place in Southern Germany right now (the flood tide in Passau has reached a staggering 12+ meters – too high for the measuring instruments to work any longer), was more of an adventure than I thought it’d be when I booked the train ticket, weeks ago. For a while it looked as if I would not even get out of Erlangen at all, as waters had gotten dangerously close to the tracks on a railway bridge – there were literally no trains arriving in or departing from Erlangen station for about an hour this morning – and then once bridge stability was (I presume) determined as being solid enough for trains to pass over it, my ICE train drove past flooded fields and roads and houses and cities for, literally, hours. The carriage I was in was about 2/3 full, and everyone was looking out the windows and being very very quiet and somber and pensive and also a bit shocked.

I did not take any photos of people standing in their water-logged backyards or on their roofs or on their water-logged cars or … I could have, as we saw them all, but I … you know, sensationalist photography is not something I want to be doing. So here are two photos that show you how close the water was to the train tracks, without making a spectacle of any poor folks affected by the flooding.

(In Flensburg, when I finally made it here at 9pm, and after four days of relentless rain during the conference and this bleak return trip, the sun was shining.)





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