With a dedicated fisherman as a boyfriend, I’ve spent a fair share of time by the water. Which is great fun in the summer time, when I get to bask in the sun for days while he’s shipping me around the most beautiful Alpine lakes on his boat.
Yet as the dedicated girlfriend I am (most of the time), I also stay by his side come less favourable times like cold, grey winter days. At least for his birthday, that he naturally prefers to spend indulging in one of his greatest passions: fishing. Which in turn means that I’m braving at least one day outdoors that sits past my personal temperature threshold, warmly wrapped and bundled up of course.
After ice and snow at the Zeller See last year, Italy was on the menu for this year. Angeln & Kultur in Polesella, nestled between Venice and Verona, to be precise. So besides faint hopes for some last Indian Summer vibes, I packed all the warmest clothes I possess, knowing from experience how piercing it can get on the water this time of year.
Yet neither expectation was met and instead we got to experience the raw force of what wild nature can throw at you.
As one of the last almost completely natural rivers in Europe, the Po travels from the Alps to the Adria over 652 km and takes anything with, that it’s passing through. Hence the raising water itself is among the smaller problems, even for houses built on the inside of the huge wall.
The main danger for a fishing camp like the one we were staying at lies in the enormous carpets of driftwood floating around in the massive stream. In general the current is strongest in the middle of the river where it’s at its deepest, letting the floating trees pass by the camp’s piers in safe distance.
Luckily we were spared of the worst last week. No drifting trees crashing into the boats and also no water coming up to the house. Markus, the owner of the camp, was well prepared and managed to stay calm throughout the whole week, never freaked out by warnings of 2m+ of water a day to arrive at his stretch of the river. And this calm was probably the greatest inspiration of all.
Because with water, you’re just powerless.
You can’t fight against it and you can only try to divert so much. Water is a mass in itself, a body that lives, moves and is unstoppable once put in motion. A raw force of nature, that we tiny humans are nothing against.
The only thing you can do is to try and stay calm. Humble at what Mother Earth can throw at you. And then enjoy the calm after the storm…