“R” in #AtoZChallenge
Rhone river is a historic river of Switzerland and France. It is one of the most significant waterways of Europe. It is the only major river flowing directly to the Mediterranean Sea. A journey along the Rhône features sweeping views of lavender-filled landscapes, rolling hills dotted with castles and vineyards.
The Rhône originates in the Swiss Alps, upstream from Lake Geneva and it emerges from the Rhône Glacier. The river crosses the Lake Geneva marking the border between France & Swiss. In Geneva, the Rhône receives the waters of the Arve from the Mont Blanc – Alps.
In those days before the railroads and highways were developed, the Rhône was an important inland trade and transportation route. It was connecting the cities of Arles, Avignon, Valence, Vienne, and Lyon to the Mediterranean ports.
Navigation was not easy, as the river suffered from fierce currents, shallows, floods in spring. In early summer when the ice starts melting, and droughts in late summer. Most traveled with a painted cross covered with religious symbols as protection against the hazards of the journey.
Things started to change after the steam vessels were introduced around the 18th century. Even today we have these vessels that take 3-4 days to reach the Mediterranean ports. Much reduced than those that took 2-3 weeks back then in history.
In 1933, the French government established Compagnie Nationale du Rhône to increase the navigability of the river. Even though some progress was made World War II brought work to a halt. In 1942, Italian military forces occupied southeastern France up to the eastern banks of the Rhone.
After the war and liberation of France, the government started construction once again on a series of locks and canal cuts, improving the flow of the river and generating electricity. Today, about eight percent of France’s electricity is now supplied by the harnessed power of the Rhône.
Shouldn’t we learn from this to progress in such sustainable development in India too?
My theme for the April 2019 #AtoZChallenge is blogging about the rivers, mostly from India. Let me see if I can make it through all alphabets. You can find all my #AtoZChallenge posts here. Interested to know my next destination starting with letter S? Try commenting your guess, let’s see.
Are you participating too? Comment your themes here. Good luck.
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