We had stayed away from cruises in that we generally do not like orchestrated tours and crowds. But this ship with only 198 passengers was fine. Seems like groups broke down to about the size of 10-15 people. The tours were interesting and in many places just wet the appetite to visit for a longer period. These will be the last three days on the tour. Enjoy our trip.
Our last days were spent visiting Wertheim, the Middle Rhine Cruising, Koblenz, Cologne and finally Kinderdijk prior to arriving in Amsterdam. Each of these places continued to present picture post card opportunities and memories. So Wertheim is one of the best preserved middle aged villages in all of Germany, for two simple facts, No military importance, Plus when the locals learned that the Allied Forces were arriving and had destroyed many other towns they surrendered( even while occupied by Nazi troops). I have really good memories of this village in that our group seemed to really click together, we had lots of free time to wander around and my new friends Ken and Don found an electric heating pad. Yep, I have been unable to find one in our trips around France, ( lots of water bottles, but no heating pad) So a special gift for me. At any rate I enjoyed walking around this town and up to the top of the hill and the castle ruins to see the view.
We were back on board and gone by 12:45 Pm, Made a stop in Freudenberg to pick up some guest that had done a different bus tour. By the way, I did not mention, but at almost every stop there was the option to take the local tour or take a bus tour. Being our first time cruising we generally stayed with the main program, except for a few previously noted trips. The one trip I wish I had taken was a bike trip along the river with a stop at a few points of interest, but having just recovered from the sinus infection, opted out.
Cruising the Middle Rhine from Wertheim to Koblenz was really enjoyable. We passed too many castle ruins, small villages, etc. to count. There are supposedly over 50 castles in this area, all used to collect tariffs and taxes for boats using the river. The nice thing, the water level was down, the bridges were high so the sun deck was open all the time. The arrival in Koblenz was perfect. We docked next to a park and it was completely full of tents, exhibits, etc, all dedicated to a huge beer garden party.
The Koblenz castle sits across from the docking area and main part of town. It can be visited by cable car, or by local bus. It is the second largest preserved fort in all of Europe. First settled in 400BC, a Roman Fort from 400-500 AD, the current fort was begun in 1100 AD.
We arrive the next day in Cologne. Now we had just spent several days there in December for the Marche Noel, so we passed on the scheduled tours, and instead took some friends on a more leisurely walk of our favorite places. It was fun to be the tour guide, look our Rick Steves.
Last day of cruising prior to arriving in Amsterdam took us to Kinderdijk to see windmills. Really impressive. Have to say I cheated a bit. The weather forecast said heavy rains during our visiting time. So once the ship docked, I left early and crossed over to see a bit by myself. Got a few nice photos. When I returned the tour was just getting organized. As they crossed the road the down pour began. Glad I missed this one.