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  • Day18


    July 14, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    L'Europe en Camping Car recommended a visit to Rüdesheim am Rhein so we drove the few kilometres down river. Whilst there were many interesting looking buildings the place seemed to have become very much a tourist hotspot with Viking Cruise piers, kebab houses and souvenir shops. There was even Hollywood style 'Rüdesheimer Rottland' lettering on the vine clad hillside!

    Deciding to move on, we followed directions from 'Aunty Satiya' who told us to cross the river. It was only when we reached the ferry terminal that we realised there was no bridge to cross! After a few seconds of indecision, we boarded with questions like 'how much is this going to cost?' and 'do we need a ticket?' ringing in our ears. It worked out great, with the ticket master asking us how long the van was and charging us just less than €10.

    As we are doing a Rhein tour we were keen to wake up with a view of the river so we splashed out €16.50 to stay at Bingen's riverside campsite (still much cheaper than the majority of places in the UK!). It turns out that having crossed the river, not only did we have a view of the Rhein but we got to watch the sun set and rise over it too!

    A tandem ride through the adjacent nature reserve revealed a refreshing display of flora and fauna, including Black Kites, nesting Storks, a range of butterflies and damselflies and stunning poppies in barley fields.

    We used our last day at the campsite to pluck up the guts and head out in the canoe. The nature reserve was sectioned off from the main part of the river by a wall running down the channel, but as the river was in flood, the water had risen over it and the flow was still fast. 3.5km upstream and back satiated our yearning for the water and we returned happy (and about 4 times as quickly as we'd headed out!)
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  • Day16


    August 30, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Rüdesheim am Rhein is a town in the Rhine Valley, Germany. It’s known for winemaking, especially of Riesling wines. We just walked ourselves through the town today, very beautiful.

  • Day14

    Oct 3 - Rudesheim

    October 3, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    We left about 3:00 p.m. on a little tram car train to go the Seigfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett for a tour led by the effervescent Rita. This is a museum containing the world’s best collection of self-playing musical instruments - from tiny music boxes to street organ grinders to a huge “Mighty Wurlitzer” pumping out carnival calliope-type music at full volume. We have been to this museum before, but it’s easy to visit again. There is no other museum like it.

    We took the nearby cable car that skims over the vineyards and goes to the Niederwald Monument. Made of 32 tons of bronze, this 35-ft tall symbolic figure of “Germania” was completed in 1883 to commemorate the unification of 25 small states into the country of Germany in 1871. The sweeping views from the hill top gave us yet another look at the beautiful Rhine River.

    We came back down on the cable car (had to stand in line in light rain for 15 minutes) then checked out the great Christmas store and then Drosselgasse - one of Germany's best know streets. This street is only about 10 feet wide and is packed with wine-bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. From lunchtime onwards, it’s full of traditional music and songs that follow contain only one theme - "wine, women and song”.

    We walked back to the ship rather than wait for the tram. Had dinner with Jane and Phil again - lots more laughs. Tonight’s after dinner entertainment, in keeping with the party theme in Rüdesheim, was a traditional Germany folk music band - think oom-ph-pah - done with an accordion, a clarinet and and a trumpet. The band played for about an hour, and 5 minutes after they were off the ship, we set sail. Next destination - Mannheim.
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  • Day14

    Oct 3 - Cruising the Rhine

    October 3, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    This morning and the early afternoon are all about just looking. We sailed all night back up the Moselle to Koblenz and back onto the Rhine River. The Middle Rhine Valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Here, the river forces itself into a narrow, winding valley where the scenery is spectacular with its ancient fortresses, many castles, tiny villages with half-timbered houses, jagged cliffs, old growth forests and hillside vineyards. We’re traveled this stretch three times now and it’s just as enchanting as it was the first time.

    After breakfast, we donned several layers and I added my trusty scarf, toque and gloves, and went to the top deck. We weren’t navigating under any low bridges so the back deck which sits three feet higher than the front deck was open. I walked three miles, around and around, but with ever-changing delightful scenery. Doug chatted with new friends.

    Kilometre 555 marks the location of the 430-ft. high cliff, known as at the Lorelei - it is one of the most famous sights of the Rhine Valley. The river narrows to just over 100 metres, and the treacherous currents and underground rocks have often caused ships to founder. Legend has us imagine the existence of a beautiful maiden sitting on the rock, combing her long hair and singing a sweet song that lures distracted sailors to their destruction. The modern bronze “Lorelei” statue near St. Goarshausen is from 1983.

    I retired inside after 3 hours because my phone battery was almost done - have used only my phone for photos on this trip. Doug had bailed earlier because he was cold. We continued to enjoy the fabulous views from the comfort of the lounge. Then I lost him - again. Found him in the gym working out. He may have been the first person to use that miniature gym on this cruise.

    About 2:00 p.m., the ship arrived in Rúdesheim, a town of 10,500 residents that plays host to over three million tourists per year. We are double-bunked again. We watched with amazement as the captain and his crew nudged the ship to within mere inches of the other ship without so much as the slightest bump. The crew ably hand loaded provisions onto the ship and garbage off the ship.

    More about the day in the next footprint.
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  • Day30

    Siegfrieds Music Museum

    April 24, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    With the strech of castles in the Rhine Gorge behind us, we arrived in the lovely little town of Ruedesheim It is in a wide and very calm section of the river and high on the hills around it are many vineyards.

    We hopped in a little train-tractor that toured quickly thorough the narrow streets to the Music Museum. This was housed in an old building that had paint friezes from the 16th century. The museum was filled with various mechanical musical instruments that had been restored to working order. Some had hundreds of moving parts and some used etched drums to play the music. Our guide set them playing and it was quite magical to see the one with violins hiding in cubbyholes of a piano playing (a violino).Read more

  • Day20

    Siegfred's Mechanical Music Instruments

    July 8, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    The largest collection of working mechanical music instruments and cabinets in the world. Some instruments are 300+ years old. Siegfried started the collection and still lives at the museum even though nearly 90 yo. Quite extraordinary. Just a few featured in these pics...they played about 20 for us, some not exactly perfect, but incredibly engaging nonetheless. There's not a digital control in the place, everything is purely mechanical.Read more

  • Day21

    Having ones cake and eating it too

    October 1, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We'd been told by the excellent Cheri, our Tour Director, that we'd be getting into the main part of the Rhine gorge overnight and that we'd be in an area of castles from about 4.30am. No castle is worth getting up that early for, but in a heroic act we set the alarm for 6.30am. Looking out the cabin window everything was still pitch black, so whatever we missed, we would have missed anyway.
    We headed up to the top deck at about 7.30 and joined a few hardy souls who were already there and madly taking photos. No question, there was plenty to see, with many photogenic little riverside towns, impressive church towers and, yes, quite a number of castles. Our GPS-driven audio guide would tell us what was coming up, which was very helpful. Brian managed to get quite a few (hopefully) good photos. We shall see.

    The only slight downside was the weather. There was a cold wind blowing, and even though we were well rugged up it was a bit of an act of endurance. After a couple of hours, having viewed the famous Lorelei, we retreated to the lounge to watch the changing view from there. Every so often, when there was an interesting sounding alert on his audio guide, Brian would head upstairs to get some more pictures..

    We were headed for the town of Rudesheim, where we'd been given the choice of two alternative shore activities. We could visit the museum of mechanical musical instruments or we could take a ride in a semi-enclosed gondola to the summit of the hill overlooking Rudesheim.

    As the weather was so unpredictable we had opted for the former, even though Brian was cynically expecting it to be little more than a rather kitsch tourist trap. How wrong he was! It was absolutely amazing and we'd love to have spent a lot longer than the allocated 40 minutes there.

    The museum has been in the hands of the one family for three generations and they have a true passion for collecting and restoring these ingenious machines. Most of them date back to the early years of last century and many are in good working order. Some of the more elaborate ones are up to 2.5 metres tall by about 2m wide and incorporate various instruments - piano, multiple violins, pipe organ, drums and so on. They contain the most ingenious mechanisms which are governed by perforated paper rolls similar to pianola rolls. The working models were able to play instantly recognisable versions of very well-known musical pieces.

    We'd been told that we would have enough time if we so wished to buy our own tickets and take the gondola ride. At that stage the weather had cleared a bit so we strolled the 50 metres or so and bought our tickets. It really is a highly scenic and enjoyable ride to the top. We travelled the whole way above vineyards, the Rhine Valley being famous for its wines. The views on the way up and from the summit are really great. One looks over the very picturesque town and beyond it to the river. There is also a giant memorial at the top, built in 1877 to commemorate Germany's victory in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

    Rudesheim is a beautiful town. While it is undoubtedly busy during the tourist season, we were fortunate enough to be there when it was very quiet. While doubtful at first we were pleased to have enjoyed both of the available tour options and so, to have had our cake and eaten it too.

    Having dined in a palace with a real live princess the previous night it would have been too much of a shock for us to go straight back to dining with the hoi polloi in the main restaurant the following night. Fortunately we had a way out of that difficult situation. The ship also has a gourmet restaurant, named Chef's Table , seating up to 24 guests. Anyone can book it at no extra cost, the only stipulation being that one can book it no more than twice on a voyage. We'd already booked it a couple of days previously for 1st October, so that worked out rather well. Our table of nine had some real characters and was rather riotous, particularly after a few glasses of the free-flowing wine had been consumed. As one might expect, the six-course meal was superb.

    As we were leaving the restaurant a quiz night was just starting in the main lounge, so we decided to join them. We won, the prize being a box of chocolates which none of us really needed. On the strength of our quiz success and of having got on so well together we made a block booking for the Chef's Table for 6 October. A great day all round.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Rüdesheim am Rhein, Ruedesheim am Rhein, Rudesheim

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