What floats your boat
LA ROCHE, SWITZERLAND
Despite the post-apocalyptic appearance, the boats here are not actually abandoned. Switzerland’s Lake of Gruyère is a manmade reservoir that experiences a yearly cycle of fluctuating water levels. Every year during winter and spring, water is released from the lake in preparation for the meltwater of heavy snowfall from the surrounding mountains. In March 2018, the water level was reduced by 15 metres, rendering the boats unusable.
The reservoir was formed by the building of a hydroelectric dam, called the Rossens Dam, to provide electricity to the surrounding villages. It was constructed in 1941 and carries water through an underground pipeline to the Hauterive generating station. Here, the station utilises the hydrostatic pressure produced by the body of water to drive a water turbine and generate electricity. While the water level is low, the island of Ogoz in the centre of the lake becomes accessible by foot, only for the path to be swallowed up by melted snow when summer returns.