River Cruise Day 13 Rudesheim and Rhine Gorge

River Cruise Day 13     Rudesheim & Rhine Gorge    Mostly sunny and cold top of 7 deg

Another chance this morning for a slow start, which is just as well because Richard is not feeling 100%.

At approximately 10.00 this morning we passed out of the Main River and joined the Rhine River for the rest of our river cruise.

We arrived at Rudesheim at 12.30 and were transported into the town with two little trains.  Our first stop was the Siegfried’s Museum of self-playing musical instruments, which was really interesting.  It has musical instruments that have been collected and restored to their original working condition.  Up until now, we had thought that Pianolas were the only instrument that used perforated paper with the notes on it to play the music.  At the museum we saw instruments like wind, percussion and even string instruments being played mechanically, driven by perforated rolls or circular discs with perforations for the notes.  They have instruments dating back to the 16th century Bromserhof.

We were then given free time to explore and we decided to go up in the chair lift to the Niederwald Monument, set high up on a hill overlooking Rudesheim and the Rhine Valley.  The monument is a massive 32 ton bronze figure, which was cast in 1883 to celebrate German Unification 12 years before that.  Although it was freezing on the way up, the view over the vineyards on the way up and the view once we got there and walked around the side of the mountain, was absolutely stunning and worth every freezing minute of the journey!!  We looked out over the Rhine River (we could even see our boat), Rudesheim, Bingen (across the other side of the River) and the hillside covered in vineyards.  The sun was shining and even although it was a little hazy, the view was spectacular!!

When we came back down on the chair lift, we wandered around the town for a while and then walked back to the boat.

At around 4.30pm the Artistry set sail for Cologne and as she passed through the Rhine Gorge, we were given a commentary, which pointed out the many castles along the way.  We started off up on the Sky deck, but soon fond that even our heavy coats and gloves were not enough to keep out the chilly wind, so we, and several others, came down to the lounge area and hovered between the two side decks, listening to the commentary and running out to the sides to take photos as a new castle came into sight – we had a lot of fun with the others!

We saw 17 of the 29 castles in the Rhine Gorge.  The castles are in varying condition, from some that are being lived in, to others where only part of the bare shell remained.  We decided to get ready for dinner after we passed the Lorelei rock, which stands 430 feet above the river.  The legend, which dates back to 1822, tells us that a beautiful maiden sat on the rock combing her hair and singing, luring the mariners to their destruction on the rock.  This part of the river is quite narrow and the current can be treacherous and ships have floundered at this bend in the river.

As Richard is not feeling very well, he went off to bed after dinner, while Sandy went to the Passenger’s Talent Show, which was quite good – some of the acts were as one would expect for this type of activity, while others were actually really good.

Even although Richard wasn’t feeling 100%, we really enjoyed today because we were able to spend quite a bit of time doing our own thing, wandering around Rudesheim, going up to the Monument in the chair lift, watching the increasing traffic in the river (now that we are on the Rhine) and watching the German countryside go past – the villages and the castles – it is all just beautiful!

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