Cruising Castle Country

Guatemala Mission Trips                      Australia New Zealand Cruise March 2010

         John Knox Mission Trips           

       Nicaragua Mission Trip Nov. 2011

London to New York Transatlantic Sept. 2009                         Europe August 2010


    Did you know that there is a section of the Rhine River 129 kilometers long whose shoreline is dominated by 26 castles, in varying stages of restoration and/or decay?  And, of course, they all have their own names.  
    Most towns only have one castle, but Trechtinghausen and Rudesheim are home to THREE -- count’em --- THREE castles apiece.  And the towns of Kaub, Konigswinter,, and Boppard each have two castles.  Sadly, each of the other 14 towns can claim only ONE castle.
    As we are gliding down the busy Rhine river, our guide Ornulf is telling us the names of each one of them, along with other interesting anecdotes that at the time seem important and relevant and worthy of remembering.  But, alas, even the best intentions can go astray:  Ornulf stops his narration --  OH, NO! -- after castle #23 and says we can watch for the last three on our own. 
    And now, more than two months after this long-anticipated momentous all-day long adventure _  I mean, I was the one who insisted on seeing all the German castles - I can’t honestly find a good reason for taking the time to match the name to the picture of the castle.  So if you happen to see what looks like a repeat castle -- hey, cut me some slack; I combined Carol’s and my memory cards, and everything just started to look the same. 
    I DO remember that most castles served as toll-gates for passage down the Rhine.

Somehow, having chimney stacks in the background takes away from the aura.

Virtually every hillside is covered in some crop, usually vineyards or corn.  Camping is BIG in Germany; lots of campgrounds on the riverbanks.

Towns always want you to know where you are.

The mighty slate rock Lorelei in the Romantic Rhine Valley - around 16 miles/ 25 km from Rudesheim and 50 miles/80 km from Frankfurt airport - rises up almost vertically to 145 yards/132m above the water-level. Downstream the river is squeezed into its narrowest and deepest (24 yards/22m) point, so the Middle Rhine at this point used to be very difficult to navigate and the correct passage is (today) clearly marked with buoys.

Even in the 19th century, reefs and rapids made it extremely dangerous for ships to pass this point. The legend tells us, that a siren called "Lorelei" bewitched the hearts of the sailors and when they looked up to the rock, their boat crashed and they sank.

as well as what kilometer marker you’re currently at.

Germany is just simply a gorgeous country.

“Dueling Castles”

Had enough yet?  I have, I quit......