The Kiel Canal, in Germany also referred to as the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, literally: North-/Baltic-Sea Canal, links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. The 98 km of canal save about 460 km of sea passage, and astonishingly enough it is the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world.
Schleswig-Holstein, though, the state the canal cuts through, is predominantly flat – good for canal builders, not so good for crossing a canal which is used by huge ships. Hence, 10 high bridges and 1 tunnel cross the canal. The high bridge at Rendsburg features an old transporter bridge. Built in 1913, the bridge still operates at the same schedule it did nearly a hundred years ago. Both the high bridge and the transporter bridge were awarded technical heritage status and are under monumental protection.
The service of the transporter bridge is free. In 90 seconds it will transport 6 cars and/or 60 pedestrians. The high bridge in itself is a technical monument worth visiting as well; and a short walk down the canal there is a nice café with a splendid view of the huge ships sailing by.
Rendsburg is approx. a 1-hour drive from Hamburg.