Day 4 Afternoon: Smooth Sailing on the Romantic RhineThe highlight of cruising on the Rhine in a longboat was definitely this day: the Middle or Romantic Rhine. To the left and to the right, small picturesque villages, castles on the hills, vineyards on steep hills.. As a UNESCO Heritage World site, everything must conform to keeping the history and charm of the area. No billboards, no Coca-Cola signs, no hideous concrete buildings...absolutely gorgeous!!
I am not very good at landscapes but wanted to try this charming scene. Not totally happy with how it turned out but gives you a feel anyway.
Here's the actual photo. It doesn't even look real. It's like storybook land from Disneyland
A castle here, a castle there. A church here, a church there. So beautiful. There was a train running all along the river and also, turns out you could bike the entire length as well. Maybe next time.
A castle on a hill. Most of these are now used as youth hostels or hotels or wedding destinations and so on.
Vineyards stand on steep terrain and 58% that existed in 1900 are now "wasteland". It is just too steep to use machinery so it's all done by hand which most farmers can't afford to do anymore. Couldn't believe that out of 455 vineyards operating in 1999, only 109 are left
I did not take this photo (Wikipedia) but it shows the narrowest, most dangerous passage on the Rhine. There is a legend that a beautiful woman, Lorelei, stood atop the peak and she was so beautiful that the captains of the boats couldn't take their eyes off of her. This is why there were so many shipwrecks here.
The truth is, it's just a dangerous, narrow "S" curve in the river.
Another view shows the danger. And the beauty.
This is the famous Pfalzgrafenstein Toll Castle that sits in the middle of the Rhine.
Anyone passing on either side of it had to pay a toll.
Pretty fancy for a toll booth, if you ask me!
On board, we got to experience the famous Rüdesheimer Kaffe
which I have described pretty well in my etegami.
The cups they use are unique to this coffee.
Beats a Starbucks coffee any day!
These two guys sat at the front of the boat to make sure we didn't crash into anything on the way. (my husband Dave and my brother-in-law Doug). Can you imagine a better view anywhere???