Who says Scenic River Cruises are just for oldies?
Personally I could get used to this style of travel. What’s better than a luxurious hotel room that goes with you?
The Rhine River is a European river that begins in the Swiss canton of Grisons in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Franco-German border, then flows through Germany and eventually empties into the North Sea in the Netherlands. It is the twelfth longest river in Europe, at about 1,233 km long.
The best part of this style of travel, is that the ship slowly cruises down the river, where you can watch the world go by – spotting countless castles along the way.
We got to stop a few towns along the way, but these 2 stood out to me.
Cologne is more than just Germany’s 4th largest city – located on both sides of the Rhine River, the city is home to the famous Cologne Cathedral, The University of Cologne, one of Europe’s largest and oldest universities.
Cologne is a major cultural center of the Rhine Valley, and is home to more than thirty museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions range from local ancient Roman archeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture.
We started with the majestic Cologne Cathedral. It is a renowned monument of Gothic architecture and is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.
Construction of the Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880.
Next stop was the Romano Germanic Museum. It has a large collection of Roman artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built.
The museum protects the original site of a Roman town villa, from which a large Dionysus mosaic remains in its original place in the basement, and the related Roman Road just outside. In this respect the museum is an archaeological site with a museum built around it.
Here are some of my favourite artefacts.
And this is the ancient mosaic floor which is in near perfect condition.
Afterwards we went for a wander around town, here is the Fishmarket Square, behind it, the Gross Sainkt Martin.
The town is so cute with coloured buildings and beautiful architecture.
Naturally we worked up quite an appetite, which was satiated with pastries and coffee.
Overall I loved Cologne and can’t wait to be back one day to explore more.
Idyllic Rüdesheim is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Wine-growing has a long tradition in Rüdesheim and has established the town’s reputation as a producer of acclaimed Riesling and Pinot Noir wines.
Our tour took us to the town’s Music Museum which houses countless antique musical instruments. Although not quite for me, it was still good fun. I loved the outside of the building.
At the museum you can see a vast collection, dating back three centuries, of fascinating musical instruments, ranging from tiny, delicate music boxes to an enormous orchestrion.
Tools and machines for the production of organ pipes, cardboard sheet music, rolls of sheet music and perforated disks are also on display in the collection.
Somethings were more creepy than others.
Afterwards we strolled around the cute town.
And were happy to find this street vendor selling strawberry champagne cocktails.
Now even though we are actually served 3 several course meals a day, we were dying to try local Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Apple Strudel so we decided to stop for a mid afternoon lunch.
I asked the first local looking restaurant where we could find the best traditional food around, and of course he convinced us it was at his restaurant.
We were in no way disappointed.
For fun, the owner set us a task to make one toothpick sit at a right angle to the other using only the two toothpicks, two forks, a salt shaker and beer glass.
The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying local wine in this traditional beer garden. This was all we could manage given the fact we could all hardly move.
Next time I come, I will have to take a stroll through the vineyards or explore Ehrenfels castle ruins, I’ve heard they offer the best views of the Rhine Valley.
Anisa – The Macadames. xx