Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oct 14 - Koblenz - Ruedesheim Germany

Koblenz morning until 11AM
This morning you may wish to join an optional tour of Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, before returning to the ship and continuing towards Rudesheim.
We opted to walk into town on our own. It was Sunday morning so nothing was open. The view from our cabin.

Koblenz, population slightly over one hundred thousand, is a real river town. It is situated on both banks of the Rhine River and on the Moselle River. The rivers’ meeting point is known as the Deutsches Eck (German Corner). In addition to these two magnificent rivers there are three mountain ranges and a third river, the Lahn not far away. The name Koblenz means confluence or merging rivers.

In the late 19th century a monument was erected for General August von Goebenhim at the "Goebenplatz", for 10 years he was commanding general of the Koblenzer VIIIth army corps. After WW II the square was "demilitarized" (Goeben-monument removed) and the square was named after Koblenzer publicist and historian Josef Görres. In the middle of the square the 10 meter high fountain “history column”, artist Jürgen Weber tells in 10 juxtaposed “floors” in 3D scenes the history of Koblenz.

This statue was fascinating and we took photos of each the "floors" which I'll show in a later post.

Since everything was closed up we strolled back to the boat the long way along the promenade.
There we came across the largest statue/monument ever.
A monument of Emperor Wilhelm I dominates the park. Originally erected in 1897, it was destroyed at the end of World War II. In 1953, a flag and flagpole were mounted on the base as a memorial to German unity. It was rebuilt in 1993 based on original plans. Today, unity is marked by a ring of flags from every state of the reunited Germany.

Can you see John standing at the bottom of the stairs???

The sun was trying its best to come out and it was not cold at all along the water.
Speaking of big...

We got back on board and start sailing to Ruedesheim.

Koblenz recently celebrated its two-thousandth anniversary. During the Middle Ages Koblenz took advantage of its strategic location to control both Rhine and Mosel trade. Most of the city is situated on the west bank of the Rhine. On the east bank, facing the city, is Festung Ehrenbreitstein, Europe’s largest fortress after Gibraltar. This fortress sits on a mountain four hundred feet above the river. It now hosts a youth hostel and a museum.
As we sail we get a very good view of the fortress.

I will cover the afternoon sail down the Rhine in another post as it was just wonderful and deserves to stand on its own.

Ruedesheim – we arrived around 5PM but it is dreary and wet outside so we decide to remain on board for a while. For the people who purchased the optional tour of the town a tourist train arrived to escort them around.

Around 6PM we decide to walk into town armed with umbrellas provided by the boat.

We walked around and then decided to have dinner in town to sample some local flavour. This would be a wonderful town to visit in the daylight and better weather. It had the feel of a seaside resort town full of quaint little lanes.

We settled on a restaurant The Lindenwirt based on a guy standing outside in his lederhosen.

Sample of the menu

We chose the plate for two people as stated on the menu:
Unsere beliebte Spezialität •
Our guests’ favorite
Rheingauer Sauerkrautplatte
Saumagen, Rostbratwurst und Schweinshaxe
mit Sauerkraut und Kartoffelpüree
“Rheingauer Sauerkrautplatte”
Saumagen, roast sausage and knuckle of pork with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes

Even though it was a Sunday night there was a band playing (Abba!!) and other songs. One couple even had their dog with them which is so strange to any North American to see a dog in a restaurant.

We were told that we must try the local specialty, Rüdesheimer coffee, which is brewed with a powerful local liqueur (burned to caramelize the flavor), thick cream and chocolate sprinkles, and served in delicate porcelain cups. 

Just the thing on a rainy, damp autumn evening!

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