Thursday Sept. 20, 2018
Our stop today was in Koblenz but we actually didn't see Koblenz because we took the included tour to the Marksburg Castle. For every port we are in, Viking includes a free tour. You can join in, take an optional tour (that you pay for) or do your own thing.
The ship docked near the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers to let us off and would meet us further down the river later in the morning. We were able to check out the massive equestrian statue of Prince William I before heading to the castle.
The bus took us to the Marksburg Castle in Braubach. It is the only castle along the Rhine that wasn’t conquered. The four sets of fortification (and locking the toilet door at night) kept the enemies out. It is very impressive. We also learned that each person would drink 3-4 L of wine or beer per day because they didn’t trust water - alcohol was much safer.
The views from the castle are spectacular!
After the castle tour we wandered in to the cafeteria area and the guy working asked if we wanted to try the schnapps made on site. Sure -why not?! The samples arrived on fire. We also pet his awesome dog Emily (a Newfoundland).
Back on the ship we had lunch and spent the rest of the sunny afternoon (+28) on the top deck enjoying the scenic cruising through the Middle Rhine - a UNESCO site. We passed many vineyards (80% white grapes), castles and towns.
Peacefully gliding by incredible, fairy tale-like scenery is why you river cruise!
We made it safely past the Lorelei - the rocky cliff that can lure sailors to their demise. Whew!
Europe had a very hot summer and now autumn so the rivers are very low. In one area we went through today it was 15 cm. The average depth today was 30cm. That’s crazy!
The evenings are pretty quiet on a river cruise. Dinner is always at 7 pm and after dinner you can sit in the lounge where there is some live music (singer and guitar player). This evening our program director, Stephen organized trivia which was fun.
Tonight we enter the Main River and start going through 42 locks.