Cruising to 170 travel blog

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz, defended by Kathy the Great

Looking up to Marksburg Castle.

And looking down.

Fertilizer delivery chute...

Some friendly torture anyone?

Our first lock, of 60 some to come; on the River Main.

We sailed thru the night from Cologne to Koblenz, arriving about 8:00. Today’s excursion was to Marksburg Castle on the Rhine, just beyond Koblenz. We bussed about 30 minutes to the Castle and it was amazing. Built in the 1200s, it has been preserved in its traditional state as a museum. It passed thru several owners over the years, not by conquest so much as a result of reversals of fortune. But for the occasional handrail, it remains in its raw historic form, with floors and stairs that can be quite challenging to navigate. Our docent guide was a young 20-something but impressively knowledgeable about the castle history. On the outside of an upper floor, there is a small chamber room suspended about 25 feet above a garden. It’s plumbing entails a small trapdoor and a gravity feed source for the garden fertilizer. No castle worth its salt would be complete without a torture room and this one was chillingly complete. Tour over, we headed back to the ship, but it had relocated while we were away so that our return trip was only 5 minutes or so. It seems there are so many cruise ships that getting dock space is tricky. This was the second time we were let off short of town and then let back on in town.

At 2:00 we had a narrated transit through what is touted as the most beautiful segment on the Rhine... and it poured. A handful of us gluttons for punishment braved the downpour and had a playfully fine time in the rain on the “Sun Deck.”

Thereafter we enjoyed a lazy afternoon.

Dinner was a gas, with two other witty and playful couples. We talked travel and life experiences and thoroughly enjoyed the conversations. We’ve met some very interesting folks.

After dinner it was 60s and 70s rock in the lounge. We had quite the dynamic duo... the Bulgarian guy on piano, organ and vocals, and the Estonian gal on saxophone and vocals. They poured their souls into their performance and the crowd loved them, but they did seem just a little ridiculous, with their unique mix of Americana and non-American accents. All in good fun.

During dinner we experienced our first ever river lock. It was cool. And then later, back in our stateroom, we watched lock #2, up close and personal. It was part fantastic and part gross, with some slimey things hanging off the side wall of the lock, a mere few inches from our faces. Upward then onward!


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