In Cologne a few weeks ago, diners were enjoying a meal on a famous floating restaurant. This novelty of eating out while enjoying a boat trip on the River Rhine is a popular feature of this large German city’s restaurant scene. What could be better? There was the succulent grilled wild salmon, the Riesling wines, the constantly changing views of the riverbank. And then, all of a sudden, just like a souffle which did not rise, it all went wrong. The low level of the Rhine during this drought meant that the diners and staff were stranded when the boat became grounded on the riverbed.

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