Today we were excited about exploring Koblenz and the castle district of the Middle Rhine in Germany.
We’d looked out to see the most wonderful equestrian statue; an historical monument depicting the well known German Emperor, William the 1st that was initially erected in the late 1800s. Sitting grandly right on the tip of the headland it signalled yet another historical window into Germany’s past. It is now viewed as a dedicated landmark to the continued unification of Germany.
We were on the outskirts of the city of Koblenz (Population approx 110,000).
It was green and it was spring.
We’d soon be heading off to explore the medieval past with our scheduled visit to Marksberg Castle this morning.
Marksberg rises high above the small town of Braubach on the banks of the Middle Rhine. Amazingly,it still remains firmly intact despite the two world wars and the significant turmoil and destruction of the 20th century. It’s one of the very few castles that remains in original form despite the centuries of battle and the civil calamities that are all part of early German history.
This castle’s survival provides a kind of lens through which we can view our affluent German ancestors, their enemies, their servants, their goals and their daily lives in days of yore.
As we disembarked our Longship Tor, we saw that Viking had organized their very own….. very modern Viking Fleet of Buses to Transport us in comfort up to the Castle for the morning’s sightseeing. (We weren’t aware they owned a fleet of company buses prior to this.)
Well anyway once again there would be many wonderful travel photo opportunities and I was looking forward to them all. My battery was charged and my beloved camera was close by. Dearly Beloved (D.B.) was kindly helping to carry the photographic paraphernalia as he often does.
First we saw the neat traditional outside structure of the castle itself.
Then there was the well maintained historical inner core.
Finally there was the wonderful view down to the river.
After our morning’s immersion in daily castle life, it was once again back to our Longship Tor for lunch.
As usual, the Viking Chef’s had very been busy in our absence. (I still occasionally wonder what life may have been like if I could’ve actually taken one or two of those wonderful chefs home with me! Anyway enough with the daydreaming). They had prepared yet another delicious buffet.
For today they’d naturally chosen a variety of the more traditional German recipes such as wurst, sauerkraut, salads and freshly baked pretzels. The dishes were made from the very freshest of local ingredients which had again obviously been sourced from the surrounding bakeries and farming areas along the Rhine.
After a fairly busy morning we were now able to relax up on the beautiful Aquavit Terrace with our fellow travellers as we watched in awe of the surrounding scenery on this lovely Spring Afternoon.
There seemed to be castles everywhere…well at least castles every couple of kilometres or so. They perched high on the hills overlooking the river. There were times when there seemed to be castles everywhere you looked…and sometimes they were even on both banks of the river in the same area.
I recall that the the weather that afternoon was delightful…not too hot, not too cold……..just right in fact.
With the soft white clouds floating across the beautiful blue sky, our chilled glasses of German Moselle were adding an even more magical quality to the fairy tale vista unfolding before us……It was yet another glorious afternoon sailing down the Rhine… one to savour and just enjoy.
- 11th September – from Koblenz up the middle Rhine. (laurencewesley55.wordpress.com)
- Castles and Vineyards Along the Rhine (innovationthroughexploration.wordpress.com)