Oops, let me rephrase that, before you think that i saw a military war submarine right here in the Rhine River in the 21st century!
So, what i really saw was this : a German cruise making a U-turn in the middle of the Rhine River and going back, just to pick up a few people who were left behind at the boat-stop. In fact, i was travelling inside this particular cruise itself, on the way from St. Goar to Boppard, and was comfortably taking photos from my window when i noticed that the scenery is repeating itself. That was how i realised the cruise was actually making a u-turn and going back to St. Goar, after about 15 minutes departure from there.
The story goes like this.
This is quite unbelievable, actually. As to my knowledge, all European transportations be it bus, train, tram, plane, boat or cruise, run strictly on schedule. If you are late, too bad. Wait for the next one. Well, in this peculiar case, i guess there was a dispute as to whether the cruise left 1 minute earlier, or the people came 1 minute later.
Regardless, our brave and responsible Australian tourist-comrade who was suddenly and unrightfully handed the feather, took charge and went up to the control room to see the captain and crew to negotiate with them. I’m not sure how she pulled it off, as the Captain of the cruise speaks nothing but German, and our Australian friend speaks nothing but English. My best guess is that sign language and panic expressions must have been the medium of exchange here.
It was quite funny when we asked her how she communicated with the Captain and she said she didn’t know, she just did it. Regardless of what transpired in the control room, she managed to get the German Captain to make a u-turn of the cruise in the middle of the river, and returned to dock, just to pick up the 6 people left behind.
Unfortunately, kindness met with hostility, not a word of thanks from the left behinds but full of complaints that she did not do a count prior to departing. Well, as though it needed to be said; it wasn’t her job at all, but of our tour guide who has left us there and passed the ticket to her for boarding. Hmm….