Day 12 - Wednesday, October 3, 2001

We woke early, about 6:30. Today was the day for the Rhine cruise. Breakfast was not served until 9:00 and our cruise started at 9:15 and we figured we could get breakfast on the boat. We drove to Rudesheim and I parked the car a few blocks from the boat landing in a free parking area and walked back to the boat. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful; sunny and warm, and today is cloudy and very humid. It had rained the night before and was still threatening. Our Eurail passes got us cruise tickets and we boarded the boat and ordered breakfast. I had a cheese plate and Barb had hot chicken wings and French fries. How's that for the breakfast of champions?

We chose the trip to St. Goar (pronounced Go-ARE) and back which would return us at 3:15pm. The other choice was to Koblenz which would not return until after 8:00pm and we didn't want to get back that late, plus we had seen a lot of the area already by car. We saw the old castles and churches and the vineyards on the hillsides and we arrived in St. Goar at 11:15 right on schedule. We got off the boat and began to check out the town and the shops. Our return cruise to Rudesheim would depart at 12:20. The town was deserted. It looked like a ghost town, with only a handful of shops open. We finally found someone to ask what was going on and they said "It's a federal holiday. It's Unification Day." The day that East and West Germany became one state, back in 1990. There were a few shops open here and there, one of which was a wine shop that we found about 20 minutes before we had to be back at the boat landing. Upon entering the store we were offered a taste of peach brandy. It was marvelous. We bought a small bottle of it and made a note to come back tomorrow when we would have more time.

We boarded the boat for the return trip to Ruedesheim. This ship was the "Goethe" a real steam-powered side-paddle-wheel boat. It was built in 1916 and is still in service today on the Rhine River, still in magnificent condition. We arrived back in Rudesheim about 3:15. We walked back to the car and headed back to Castle Liebenstein. We drove past the castle, all the way to Koblenz where we turned around and went back. We got back to the castle about 6:00pm and unloaded our treasures then went downstairs to have dinner. Someone else was at 'our table' (we had neglected to reserve it before we left) so we had to sit at a different table. There were 6 other people in the dining room besides us.

Our 'wait-person' appeared looking very much like Frau Blucher in the movie 'Young Frankenstien.' The resemblance was almost frightening. I expected to hear horses whinny and snort. I ordered the baked pork cutlet, which Barb had last night, and she had the fried pork cutlet (Wiener Schnitzel), both prepared by 'Mel' and both worthy of 5-star ratings. Until I started chowing down, I wasn't particularly hungry. We then ordered a bottle of wine, same vintage as last night, to take to the room to enjoy. It took Frau Blucher two trips to the wine cellar to find the right bottle. Instead of taking it to the room, we took it out on the terrace and drank it while watching the boats on the Rhine river many hundreds of feet below us. How romantic. We returned to the room and retired about 9:30.

Church in Rudesheim
Street in Rudesheim
The town of Bacharach
Outdoor Cafe in Rudesheim
A campground on the banks of the Rhine
One of the thousands of barges on the Rhine. Notice the automobile.. Most people live on their boats and use the car when they dock.
Castle and hillside vineyards
Rail crossing and advertisement for Rhine Cruise in Rudesheim
Back to Castle Liebenstein More Rhine Pictures To Frankfurt
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