The view from the window: Moselle meets Rhine

 The Moselle River (darker water) flows into the Rhine River (beige-coloured water) at Koblenz.

The Moselle River (darker water) flows into the Rhine River (beige-coloured water) at Koblenz.

I took one look at Nancy’s photo for this week’s Unexpected Windows challenge and knew I had to post this photo. Nancy’s photo and mine are of the same thing — they both feature the confluence of the two rivers and the triangular-ish Deutsches Eck (“German Corner”) headland — but are taken from different places in Koblenz. My photo (dreadful quality, sorry, it’s a scan of a mediocre print from 1991) is from a window in the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress on the east bank of the Rhine, which is on top of the green hill you can see on the right in Nancy’s photo.


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Around the bend

The Ghan at Manguri, South Australia

The Ghan at Manguri, South Australia

If you ride The Ghan the 2,977km (1,850 miles) from Darwin to Adelaide, as a friend and I did in August 2016, you will stop at Manguri in South Australia. There is nothing in Manguri. There isn’t even a train station. This enormous train, which on average is 774m (2,540ft) long but can be up to 1,096m (3,595ft), slowly — very slowly — sighs to a halt in the desert. Manguri is, however, the gateway to Coober Pedy, aka the opal capital of the world. And when passengers return from touring the mines, the underground houses, the underground church, and the desert golf course, they gather beside the train for drinks and nibbles as the sun sets (feature photo at top). Quite marvellous.

This stop also gives an unprecedented opportunity to get up close to the train without stations or fences or people getting in the way, although a rather belligerent guard did prevent me from walking across the track to take a photo that included the entire train stretching away into the distance around the bend. (It’s the middle of a desert, I hardly think that another train would have taken me unawares!!) So although The Ghan’s vanishing point is not quite as impressive as it should be, the train itself most assuredly is.

The Ghan at Manguri, South Australia

The Ghan at Manguri, South Australia