Cruisin’ the Rhine…

I seized the opportunity of living right by the Rhine to do something I’ve always wanted to do – cruise down the Rhine along one of its most dramatic stretches.

I met up with my mate Sarah Winiger in Mainz and we stayed overnight there before boarding a boat mid-morning the next day.  The first part of the cruise was fairly plain, and we stopped off in the pretty village of Ruedesheim for a hearty German lunch in a biergarten.  We caught the next boat going downriver and it soon entered the more dramatic stretch of the Mittelrhine.  The river was fast-flowing and took us past hills covered with vineyards with a different castle or fort at almost every turn.  We went past the island of Pfalz and the cliff of Loreley before getting off at St. Goar for another look-see.  We caught the last boat of the day and made our way to Koblenz that evening.

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We caught a train the next morning to head up the Mosel River.  The train left Koblenz and wove its way up the Mosel Valley, one of Germany’s premier wine-growing (Riesling) regions.  Our destination was the regional centre at Cochem, which turned out to have a lovely old town centre by the river.  After a veritable feast at a local restaurant (I had the Schweinhaxen) we walked up the hill and through some of the vineyards to a beautiful castle at the top of the hill.

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