Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cruising on the Rhine

Now for what might have been my favorite day of the whole trip.  Although maybe I felt that way because we actually had time to rest in the afternoon.

First we hopped on a bus which took us to Marksburg Castle which is the only fortress of the middle Rhine ‘to have escaped destruction or well-meaning restorations.’  Since construction began in the 13th century, it was like a trip back into the Middle Ages.

I know it looks newer than the previous castle, but they plastered over the rock walls way back when and it was repainted only 100 years ago.

These cannon were 500 years old and shot really far.  (Okay, I don’t remember how far, but it was really, really far.)

Here’s Ron inspecting the kitchen.

As you can see, it was very different from the previous rebuilt castle.  The dining hall was furnished in a simpler style.

But still quite beautiful with the hand-painted walls.

Or covered with lovely tapestries.

They had an indoor toilet but the output just fell outside the castle.

There was even a dungeon with various instruments of torture.

After making a quick escape to the outside, we noticed two things.  First, the plants under the toilet looked especially lush.

And second, out boat was sailing off without us!

But never fear, our bus managed to catch up and we were treated to ‘A Taste of Germany’, including sausages, cheeses, and beer on the sundeck . . . 

While cruising along the beautiful Rhine.  We even had appropriate live entertainment and saw lots of scenic towns, each with its own castle.  It was unbelievably lovely and special.

We noticed the trains are doing a booming business with both passenger and freight trains passing often.

This particular castle had a unique method of holding prisoners.  Can you see it?

Here’s a close-up.  If this was an inducement to confess, I think it would be very effective.

But the day wasn’t quite over.  I know it sounds hopelessly touristy, but when we docked in Rudesheim, we rushed off to ride the cable car.

It carried us over the ever present vineyards and up to the impressive statue of Germania.

Unfortunately, she is covered for renovation and has been since 2008.  I wonder what’s holding up the progress.  But there was a great view from the top.

And as a reward for making it through this long post, here's a pretty German rose.


  1. I did that wine cruise three times while I was in Germany.
    Thanks it brought back a lot of memories.

  2. I had no idea Germans grew so many grapes,,,,and ON such an incline..omg how do they get up there to pick the grapes?
    Castles everywhere...BOY I dont think I'd want to hang out in that Bird Cage thing...YET dont forget in Lower Manhattan, they had all sorts of ways to keep one honest, they had the dunking chair-- a chair attached to a long pole, they tied you to the chair and dunked you UNDERWATER until you admitted your guilt...I GUESS everyone said YES I DID IT..they also had the yoke, the rack, and the BURNING STAKE! yikes.

  3. I thought they used that prisoner basket for people that missed their boat...

    At least you didn't miss lunch!

  4. "First, the plants under the toilet looked especially lush."

    Well, no wonder; they were well fertilized :-)))

    Just sitting on deck and watching the beautiful scenery go by ... sounds pretty nice to me.

  5. I remember being in another castle in Europe that had a potty with a long exit. Love the movie! Your cruise looks so smooth!

  6. Great pictures! It looks like you and Ron had a great trip. I went on a cruise of the Rhine with YMT Vacations a couple of years ago but didn't luck out as much with the weather. Somehow the castles look more inviting in the sunny weather!