Rhine River

Nuremberg Beauties 6/19/15

“ABC” stands for “another beautiful church” or “another bloody castle”.   An earlier tour group substituted “D(amned)” for “B” after they’d hit “C” overload.  We’ve seen a good many Cs by now, but the fortress on the hill in Nuremberg was still a joy to behold.  I felt like I might look up and see archers on the tower or hear a flagged trumpet blaring forth a royal procession.  A sign on one of the inner doors set me back a step–Private Residence.  People live there.  I love the old stone walls, but homes need windows…and parking spaces.  What is it […]

Bridges of Bamberg 6/18/15

Today our ship takes the high road.  We’ll even cruise a bridge over the Autobahn.  I guess I’m not the only one who was ignorant about the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal (RMD) because onboard lecture about it was packed.  The first false start on a connection between the North Sea and Atlantic to the Black sea was launched by my great (to some immense power) uncle Charlemagne in the 700s.  The efforts that followed were only semi-successful until the RMD Canal opened in 1992.  The big hang-up was crossing the continental divide, which the RMD Canal manages with 16 locks to float […]

Marktheidenfeld Barbeque Bash 6/16/15

I started a spectacular day with a walk along the river outside this pretty little town.  The forested hills leveled off to valley floor just across the road.  On my side the tallest grasses were head-high.  I heard a cuckoo and looked around for a house that must have a very loud clock.  I saw neither building nor beak, but I’m betting it was a sneaky bird. Our tour took us to an old paper mill which a young couple operates as a museum.  His family ran the mill for several generations.  She was Scandinavian, and they met at some […]

Heidelberg At Last 6/15/15

I knew Heidelberg would be bliss because my dad served there during the WWII Allied occupation, and I studied descriptions of the city to color my recounting of his story.  The bridge and city have been calling me ever since, but I was blown away all the same.  My historic sources painted the castle as a fading ruin above the city.  Clearly that was before the restoration.  The palace is now everything you could want in a castle, except maybe knights on horseback.  Actually the red sandstone fortress offers more than I’d have thought to request—an apothecary museum, the world’s largest wine […]

Castles of the Rhine Gorge 6/14/15

I looked up from a lively breakfast conversation and thrilled to see a castle peering down on us from a tree-covered hill.  On the upper deck we spotted one hilltop castle after another.   Our cruise director, Veronika, told us their stories along with a sad one about Loreley Rock.  Loreley was a beautiful maiden who threw herself into the river over a knave and became a siren, luring fishermen overboard.  Between castles were charming terracotta-tiled villages, each with at least one lovely, spired church.  In the Rhine Gorge, where fairy tales got their start, even the entrances to train tunnels look like […]