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Webcam Springwatch

A snapshot of how Germany is looking, right now, all over the place.

Spring has settled in nicely all across Europe, but that unseasonably warm Easter is now becoming a distant memory, and we’re all settling back into our normal existences. Most of the summery stuff we were flirting with, just a week or so ago, has gone back into the box.

But even sitting at your desk and shuffling spreadsheets, as you undoubtedly are, there is a way of getting a taste of what you could be doing in Germany this season, thanks to that wonderful invention, the webcam. While many of them are basically hugely dull traffic-watchers, there are also some that will give you a good foretaste of what a place can be like.

Have a look, for example, at this set of cams in the Moselle Valley, a whole collection of them ranged up and down some of the most scenic bits of the river. They’re pretty state of the art, and allow a certain amount of spying, too. So if you’re a serial adulterer in Bernkastel, or Traben-Trarbach, you need to be aware that Big Brother (or Sister) could be following your movements.

One of the features of springtime on the European continent, which we unfortunately don’t experience over here, is the nesting of storks on roof ridges, telegraph poles and chimney stacks. This one is in the town of Bornheim, just outside Bonn, and mummy and daddy stork certainly seem to be very focused on the business in hand.

Of course there are plenty of other animal-watching cams, but few show much activity. You’d be lucky, for example, to get much action out of Hans the Hamster who lives in the northern town of Oldenburg.

So far there’s pretty much only dog-walkers on the beaches of the Baltic. However you might catch a few swimmers in outdoor pools of some of the hot water spas, such as this one down in Bad Endorf in Chiemgau, the bottom right hand corner of Bavaria.

Meanwhile up in the mountains behind, the skiing areas are in transition to summer grazing. Cows are starting to do their business on the piste, and the wildflowers are loving it.

Of course there’s some images that don’t change, whatever the season. There’ll always be trains in the yard, tugs in the Elbe, and trucks on the road.

My final recommendation is for a cam on a site that we’re all going to be hearing a lot more about in years to come: the Elbphilharmonie, in Hamburg. After some years of being talked about, this spectacular building is finally taking shape, and you can control the camera to zoom in on its ant-like builders at work.

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