It being Sunday (and Sunday being a proper day of rest here in Austria, when all the shops are closed and you don’t tend to see many people about), I realised within about 20 metres of my door that something was not quite usual. Despite the downpour, clumps of people dressed in wellies and carrying umbrellas and cameras were all gravitating towards the river. I live only 2 blocks back from the Salzach, and was heading that way anyway. I heard the change before I saw it.
The Central European Floods of this summer affected Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic the most, with lesser impacts upon Switzerland, Poland, Hungary and Serbia. Twenty five people lost their lives.
The two things I found most incredible that day were the river itself, carrying ENTIRE TREES like bobbing sticks and pitching them into the roiling cauldron below the weir, and the fact that - Austrian opinions on OH&S being so different to in Australia - all day long you could just walk right up to the river without so much as a piece of police tape trying to stop you (I should add, however, that most of the 12 bridges were closed for safety). I dipped my toe in it as it lapped over the roadway, wishing for a magical transfer of some of its power and speed, I suspect.