Cycling along the Ilz River on a free Sunday, I left the noise of traffic and small city life, rounded a curve…
…and found myself in France.
Actually, this is called Hals, it’s part of Passau, and gets its name (“neck”) from the narrowest part of land between the looping, meandering path of the Ilz before it flows into the Danube.
North of Hals, halfway to the reservoir, is the place where timber was collected off the river for further transport. The building holds a restaurant now, but the wooden footbridge over the water is still maintained as part of a nature trail (note: bicycling verboten). I wondered how the stone bases — still standing in the water — had been used, and found the answer in an old photograph. They held the barriers in place against the pressing logs.
Image from here.
This was how it was done throughout Germany until the railway and extended road networks took over the work.