This is the Middle Rhine Valley, an UNESCO Heritage Site.
Criterion (ii): As one of the most important transport routes in Europe, the Middle Rhine Valley has for two millennia facilitated the exchange of culture between the Mediterranean region and the north.
Criterion (iv): The Middle Rhine Valley is an outstanding organic cultural landscape, the present-day character of which is determined both by its geomorphological and geological setting and by the human interventions, such as settlements, transport infrastructure, and land-use, that it has undergone over two thousand years.
Criterion (v): The Middle Rhine Valley is an outstanding example of an evolving traditional way of life and means of communication in a narrow river valley. The terracing of its steep slopes in particular has shaped the landscape in many ways for more than two millennia. However, this form of land-use is under threat from the socio-economic pressures of the present day.
The state government is looking to do some “human interventions” of its own, by slotting in a bridge between St Goar and St Goarshausen.
Which sounds fair enough, given that it’s 90km between the existing bridges in Koblenz and Mainz.
The politicians reckons that it’s ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY in order to develop the towns along the Rhine which are HUGELY disadvantaged by the lack of transport infrastructure.
Which I think is a pretty specious argument.
Firstly, you’re geographically constrained by the steep hills sloping (SLOPING? PRECIPITOUS, more like it), secondly vehicular ferries can take anything that can wind its way down from the motorways or along the roads that snake along next to the river and thirdly – just just what sort of development would you tolerate in a region of national beauty with an almost exclusively tourist focus?
It’s all hypothetical anyway, because Kurt Beck‘s boys thoroughly cocked-up the application earlier this year.
Remember at school whenthe essay you were supposed to write was something like
“Inferring friendship relationships by using mobile phone data“
and you got stuck in and wrote about what you did on your holidays?
Didn’t actually get an “A”, right?
That was pretty much it here as well.
The Heritage Committee didn’t even start to assess the content.
They reviewed the document against the formal requirements and said “Go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Try again next year. And RTFM”
What’s wrong with ferry boats, anyway?