Cheryl Smith's sabbatical 2011 travel blog

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

Our favourite Hungarian, Jimmy with the permanent smile

A taste of Germany on the deck

Lorelei Rock

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery

The hotel manager in a fantasy body apron!

The beer keg opened

And still it flowed!

Middle Rhine scenery

Middle Rhine scenery


Day 12 began cruising past picture-perfect scenery with castle-after-castle framing the horizon. The whole Middle Rhine valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site and as we sailed by in the hot sunshine, we agreed the area is indeed special. The river is dotted with castles in various states of repair, small villages with church spires visible in the distance, vineyard after vineyard and green field. Eye candy. The area has strong currents and hidden rocks and there are legends of Rhine Maidens luring sailors to the doom – likely the sound of the whistling wind sounded like singing.

The crew set up a taste of Germany on the top deck – in similar fashion to our taste of Austria – with music, food and beer. So there we sat sailing along the Rhine with beer and lunch on the top deck under the canvas awning – sweet.

We arrived at Koblenz in the afternoon and were given free tickets for the annual Garden Show, which included a ride across the Rhine on an aerial cable car. So off we went with umbrellas in hand as the skies looked threatening for yet another adventure. The rain started when we were in the tropical plants exhibition, so up went the umbrellas and we carried on around the massive outdoor displays. I felt like a local roaming up and down between the flowers and veggie patches.

The cable car dropped us off at the water’s edge and as it was late in the day, we drifted over to a local café for an adult beverage. Well, before we knew it we felt like having dinner without having to the leave the comfy spot we had occupied for so long. It did mean missing the captain’s farewell dinner on the Viking, but we were all just fine with that option. By now we found ourselves mentally finished with the trip and ready to get back to London and then home. The mood of the ship had changed with the announcement of the early departure and we had changed too.

After wandering around the streets of the old town of Koblenz we returned to the ship and our final packing. Thursday we were moving to a hotel in Cologne.

Robert make a time-lapse movie as we moved through the lock in Bamberg, it’s cool, have a look here.





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