The “saline” floats above the saale river
Bad kissingen has its own autumn start. This one coincides neither with the meteorological nor with the calendrical one. Autumn is in the spa town when the two steamers come out of the saale river. For this purpose, employees of saaleschifffahrt gmbh used a crane to hoist the boats out of their wet beds. The ships now go into dry dock, which is housed in the former coffee shop neptun. Between splendid ornaments and mediterranean wall paintings you spend the winter in the neo-renaissance building, which was built in 1891.
For this a heavy truck-mounted crane is on site. "We can hook up to 100 tons of load", says armin weidner. The gauaschacher is a crane driver for the company commissioned to do the work. To bring the two boats safely to shore, not only a good eye is important, but also communication. The employees of saaleschifffahrt gmbh first direct the "kissingen" with shouts and hand signals and then the "saline about the boat trolleys. Only when the keel of the boat is in alignment with markings on the car can weidner take it off the hook. The employees secure the ships from slipping with wedges. Then an old oak tractor drags boat after boat to the dry dock. There they are made fit for the coming season.
Not everything went smoothly last season. The weather in particular posed problems for the traditional company in bad kissingen. "At times it was too warm for the guests to ride the boats", says dr. Helmut fischer, the owner of saaleschifffahrt gmbh bad kissingen. His family has been running the business since 1882. The heat and drought had also affected the level of the saale river. "That’s why we even had to stop driving on one day."
The failure of the "kissingen" was also tragic been. The boat, built in 1923, had a defect in the coupling. The ship with the riveted steel hull was out of action for more than four weeks, because the component had to be specially built for the "kissingen" to be made. The result was a loss of profit and repair costs. Dr. Fischer has a clear opinion on the past season: "another year like this wouldn’t have been that great." Despite all the hardships, there were bright spots for saaleschifffahrt gmbh. "When the "gartencafe auszeit" is opened after the opening of the saltworks, it was good for our company as well." Fischer hopes that the gastronomic area along the route will "get a little more action".
He also has positive memories of the round table, which was convened for the first time this year and was made up of the saaleschifffahrt gmbh, the water management office, the city of bad kissingen and the bayerische staatsbad bad kissingen gmbh, among others. The parties involved can already look back on the first success of their cooperation. The water management office removed some obstacles in the water near the upper saltworks. These had previously caused a strong current in the saale. "As a result, the drive mechanism of our boats is no longer under so much strain", says fischer.