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Rhine/Moselle Cruise 2014

We treated ourselves to a River Cruise down the Rhine and Moselle

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… on the Rex Rheni

Rex Rheni

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The scenery was spectacular …

 

 

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Church1 Church3 church - double spire

There was an abundance of castles and churches,

 

 

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church and castle.

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…  pretty towns, bridges and locks

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galleriebridge2Br at Strasbourg

 

…  and Vineyards …

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The Cruise started and ended in beautiful Cologne.

 

Ru3TrainTravelling south past Koblenz to Rudesheim we took a trip on a little train through the town to the Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Music containing a great variety of ancient and modern mecanically driven musical instruments.

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They were decorative works of art in themselves and the sounds were so varied.

 

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C13th Floor

C13th Floor

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…  and there was even some 13th century flooring in the house.

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SpeyerThen on to Speyer where we were able to take a relaxing walk by the river.

 

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black forest village

 

We left the boat at Rastatt and into the beautiful Black Forest to visit the beautiful township of Freudenstadt.

The Black Forest is so named as the trees grow so closely together that they exclude the light.

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Pension RathausThe architecture is quite distinctice. Here we see the Rathaus or Town Hall and a Pension or Guesthouse.

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bllack forest

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We sampled a distinctly alcoholic Black Forest Gateau, rejoining the boat at Strasbourg

 

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We travelled to Breisach where we went on another trip through the Black Forest, where we visited a cuckoo clock maker and saw some really fantastic clocks. Sadly the ones I liked, we couldn’t afford and the ones we could afford, I didn’t like! The end of the house with the cuckoo clock maker was made into arguably the largest cuckoo clock in the world. We were lucky enough to be there at noon.

 

 

lake Titisee

 

After lunch in a hotel for lunch, overlooking Lake Titisee, a glacial lake and had a boat ride on the lake in the afternoon.

Sadly by this time the weather had deteriorated and we got rather wet going through the town, however we dried off in a local cafe and rejoined the ship in Basle in Switzerland.

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Returning north past Mannheim.

We travelled on from Mainz to Boppard, the land of the Lorelei where we heard the music of the Lorelei and saw her statue.

white storks

 

We even saw white Storks!

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cake

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I was lucky enough to have a birthday whist we were cruising.

Saga were kind enough to make a presentation Birthday Cake, and  I received a commemorative cut glass vase.

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Mainz at nightMainz at night.

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Koblenz is at the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine.

Kaiser Willheim

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There is a cable car system to take people across from one bank to another, and a statue of Kaiser Willheim on his horse, surrounded by all the flags of the German Federation.

 

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We travelled up the stunning Moselle to Alken and on to Cochem, then returning via Winningen to Koblenz

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new vines in the avvines in the avFrom Koblenz, we took a tour of the Ahr Valley an exclusive Pinet Noire award winning wine growing area producing beautiful red wine. The wine is not sold outside the valley and sells for around 50 Euros a bottle! New vines are being planted in the picture to the left, with mature vines being shown to the right.

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The slopes on which the vines were planted were incredibly steep, allowing the sun to strike them at an optimum 10 degrees. All the planting and harvesting is done manually.

 

The River Ahr

The River Ahr

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Church in the Ahr Valley

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Gateshops in walled city

 

We also visited the walled city of Ahrweiler, dating back to medieval times. which was burned historically down and rebuilt in the medieval style to reflect its past.

Sadly we cannot comment on the wine as we were sidetracked into a little cafe selling, amongst others, black forest gateau, which was good, but not as good as the one we tasted in the Black Forest.

inside walled city

Konigswinterdr train

 

We returned to Koningswinter where we took a trip to Drachenfels Castle on a little train and a rack and pinion railway,

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The views of the Rhine valley, from the top, were spectacular.

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Our last night on board was celebrated with a special meal, including the Parade of the Baked Alaska.

 

 

then back to Cologne for the flight home the next day.