DANUBE & RHINE BLOG 06

Friday May 14, 2010

The sun hasn’t showed itself in Germany yet! It’s unseasonally cold, according to the locals – this is normally the time of year families go tenting, and (despite the weather) we’ve seen lots of brave souls under canvas along river’s edge.

We’ve left the Rhine and are now on one of its tributaries, the Main. And look, I’ve gotta tell you, this river-cruising is ohhh-sooo-luverly:

  • Imagine gliding almost silently along vast stretches of blue-green waterway … at times surrounded by dark wooded hills, at other times by fields of brilliant springtime greens and yellows.
  • Imagine watching countless towns and villages slip past the big windows of your cabin … most of them old, all of them spic-and-span in a Germanic kind of way, with the required churches and steeples and onion domes showing prominently above the rooftops and treetops.
  • Imagine, stretching everywhere on high-up slopes all around, acre after acre of vineyards (“winyards” according to the locals, who seem to have trouble with ‘v’s when talking to us wisitors).
  • Imagine lots of shipping, huge tankers, barges, container vessels and cruise ships of all shapes and sizes, parked up and/or passing us both ways on these busy rivers.
  • Imagine, night and day, the Amadeus Elegant checking in and out of locks, scores of them thus far, as we continue to head upstream.
  • And imagine people waving at us from both banks … people walking their dogs, riding their bikes, fishing, tending their gardens, and just standing there … making us feel welcome.

 

After lunch today we arrived at the charming fairytale town of Wertheim (situated at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers), where we ventured forth in drizzling rain to admire an imposing ruined castle that stands on a hill overlooking the town, and visit a famous glass museum (where yours-truly got to ‘blow’ a Xmas Tree ornament out of red-hot molten glass).

We then continued by coach to Miltenberg, a small medieval town on a bend in the river, where we enjoyed another on-foot tour along narrow cobbled streets – past gabled, half-timbered houses … the historic church of Saint Johann Nepomuk … and the Gasthaus zum Riesen, one of Germany’s oldest hotels (which has operated without interruption since 1411).

It was still raining when we caught up with our vessel in the evening. But we didn’t care: we’d had another unforgettable day – and awaiting us on board was another gourmet dinner!

TOMORROW: Two more highlights await us – the city of Wurzburg and its opulent Residenz palace, plus the beautifully restored medieval town of Rotherburg. So stay connected to this website …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on ‘COMMENTS’ (or ‘NO COMMENTS’) beside the title for the day’s blog, and type away! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief. And if you want a better look at our photos, just click on them and they’ll enlarge –  magic!