Afternoon of Wednesday 24 May.
Our morning had been spent exploring the fascinating town of Koblenz. We had to be back on board for the boat's 12.30pm departure and sailing through the UNESCO World Heritage listed, Rhine Gorge.
I quote from a UNESCO google site:- "The 65km stretch of the Middle line Valley, with its castles, historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied landscape. It is intimately associated with history and legend and for centuries has exercised a powerful influence on writers, artist and composers."
We sailed through here in October 2008, on a gloomy, cloudy day. I was hoping to visit in sunshine this time but it was not to be, however it was much warmer and still thoroughly fascinating.
Stolzenfels Palace - a fortress in the 1200's, its appearance now was from rebuilding from 1836 to 1842.
Marksburg Castle - 14 Century.
Hard at work on the steep slopes.
Sterrenberg Castle - 13th Century
Maus Castle - mid 13th Century.
Rheinfels Fortress, established 1245.
The Lorelei statue - this feminine water spirit, similar to a siren or mermaid, is rumoured to send sailors to their death, by luring them near cliffs with her beautiful sining.
Pfalzgrafenstein Toll station in the middle of the Rhine was built by Ludwig the Bavarian in 1866.
Ehrenfels Castle ruins - built 13th Century, destroyed 1689.
We moored at Rudesheim about 5.30 pm.
Its a quaint and pretty village, reknowned for its wine making. We had a couple of hours to explore before sailing, later in the evening.
Day 5 - 25th May.
We woke to the sounds of docking in the port of Mannheim, which we had not previously visited.
An industrial city, it is home to Daimler, John Deere and Caterpillar. Its streets are laid out in a grid pattern, earning the nickname 'The City of Squares'.
The bells of this Jesuit Church were ringing, when we visited - beautiful.
Markplatz Square's baroque fountain.
Another midday departure had us sailing towards Speyer. It was a long weekend for WhitSunday, and it was wonderful to observe so many people on the river bank, enjoying the warmth of spring and the beauty of the river. Recreation cyclists in numbers I've never seen before.
It was about 3pm when we moored at Speyer, with its holiday atmosphere greeting us and escorting us through its lovely streets.
Friday 26 May, Day 6 - Strassburg, France.
Capital of the Alsace wine growing region, it is also the formal seat of the EU.
Barrage Vauban - a bridge, weir and defensive work of the 17th century.
Our morning was spent in the old city, but after lunch we chose to walk along a canal to the Parc de l'Orangerie. Its elegant fountains, statues, gardens, lakes, open spaces, woodlands and resident nesting storks, date back to the 17th century.
We found a lovely tranquil path, to take us back for more exploring of the old city.
We set sail about 6pm. It was a perfect evening to be gliding along the river. [9.30pm]
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