Again, there was not much time for anything but getting ready for dinner. We treated ourselves to a 2 for one cocktail in happy hour — a tequila sunset. Dinner was lovely, this time shared with a lovely couple from Illinois. We sat up on the skydeck for a while, but soon retreated to our room, and crashed out. Very much enjoying your trip report, thanks for taking the time to post. Will check back for the next installment. By now we were sleeping much better — maybe the copious wine at dinner, and the active days helped!
Breakfast was again magnificent — omelettes are getting to be a daily habit, not to mention champagne and orange juice. German sparkling now because we are in Germany. After breakfast, at 8. Prior to that one manuscript took years to produce by hand. We then walked around the old city seeing the beautiful and unique style of houses, and the Dom — another Romanesque building.
Again we heard the stories of how intertwined the history and religion of the area is. Even now Germans pay a church tax. During the Holy Roman Empire Mainz was a centre of power. Back to the ship and we set off into the middle Rhine region. Frankfurt , with its large airport and industrial centre, is nearby, explaining why we saw lots of planes non-stop.
Wiesbaden — a spa town, and a state capital is across the river from Mainz. It currently hosts a large American base. We cruised through the Riesling growing areas. Last good year was — but is expected to be a good one. We enjoyed lunch and arrived at the lovely town of Rudesheim. An extremely dramatic German lass in period costume, took us around and set a number of the music players in motion. We were enthralled at the big 30 piece orchestra dance hall player, the fair ground music machine and my favourite the piano with real violins played with a horse hair circular bow.
Into a vase shaped cup, 3 sugar cubes are placed, cover with a local wine based brandy, stirred, then hot coffee added, topped with thick whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate. Something like an Irish Coffee — and delicious!
We then had free time and shopped our way down the Drosselgasse , buying a watch to replace the one that had now stopped! Maybe not a Swiss watch — but a German one! We thought we were back in time for a quiet relax on the boat til dinner time but almost immediately Barbara informed us via room PA that a lecture on the history of the Rhineland was happening in the lounge. He explained Rhineland history, beginning with the Romans , then key figures like Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire, who brought Christianity to the area, through to Napoleon.
Mark Twain spent much time here too. Julius Caesar was in the area around 70BC as a General. The Romans were restricted by the Germanic tribes, so they fortified the border line from the Rhine to the Danube. Rome and the west then became less important. The Franks began to fill the void.
They spread Christianity all over Europe. Koblenz church dates from and the coming of pilgrimages for people visiting Rome.
Monasteries dot the way. Charlemagne moved about central Europe and even set up court in Coblenz. The German section was to fracture even further. This skyrocketed the price of goods. The internal struggles also left the area vulnerable and the 30 years war over religion power and money hurt the area badly.
During the Palatinate succession war a French king destroyed many of the castles, particularly on one side. Many have now been restored. Much has been achieved since in French-German relations, including the Euro zone agreements. Dinner was wonderful again and we joined our Brisbane friends as well as an older couple from Atlanta. E was quite fascinating — and it turns out she was an actress.
After dinner, where we even asked for more wine, we decided that another Rudesheim coffee would be nice and walked back to the Schloss where the Avalon optional dinner was just finishing. Those who went seemed to enjoy it, however we felt the dinners we had already paid for on board were more than good enough for us — and the wine as well.
However, if asked, they would find more, without hesitation! Building a rapport with wait staff probably helped — we certainly had a couple of favourites! The coffee was a perfect way to finish another wonderful day. Back to the boat and bed — although we optimistically thought we would watch a movie — Enchanted — available on the in-house movie list. Of course I was already enchanted …and promptly fell asleep!
This was the day that all Rhine River cruisers are waiting for! Of course it was the coldest day we had had yet, so we rugged up…literally with blankets from our room, scarves and coats. As we left Rudesheim we saw the pylons of the old Hindenberg bridge blown up by Hitler.
Soon Bingen was on our left port side and the Germania monument high on the hill to starboard. Rudesheim and Bingen are linked by a car ferry — a bit like Lawrence a nearby town on our river, The Clarence, at home really! Klopp castle was followed by vineyards up the steep hills, and then the Maus Tower, built by the Archbishop of Mainz back in the times of the Holy Roman Empire. We passed by more toll collecting castles, like Ehrenfels and Rheinstein, opposite the famous spa town of Assmannshausen , with its beautiful waterfront inns.
Each castle was the centre of a separate feudal area and made money charging the traders passing by. The churches are Rheinish Gothic- typically painted cream and orange. Castles were self sufficient but often subjected to starvation in war time. Napoleon tried to unite all the principalities under the Confederation of the Rhine River. Pfalz Castle in the town of Kaub looks like a boat and is towered over by the Gutenfels castle.
The Rhine Gorge is at its narrowest at the Loreley between and km mark. Rheinfels, the largest of the castles, survived French destruction — one of the few. We docked in the Moselle River at Koblenz and had a lovely German lunch. Then we visited the Cathedral of our lady, a Romanesque building.
Dinner that night was a riot with an Aussie table, then the crew talent show and music and dancing. It was our latest night. Illustrate your report with a drawing or cutaway inside view.
Note: a good source on the construction of the pyramids is David McCauley's Pyramid. Pyramids of the New World. Report on the pyramids of the Mississippi Mound-builders.
Locate them on a map. Then compare them in structure and purpose with the pyramids of Egypt. Indiana Jones on the Rhine. Indiana is in a race to discover Rhine artifacts that may have belonged to Julius Caesar.
Describe what he finds your could draw or make models of these artifacts , and tell how he keeps it out of the hands of his nefarious enemy. History is Writing.