Middle of the Rhine

“The Rhine is unique: it combines the qualities of every river. Like the Rhone, it is rapid; broad like the Loire; encased, like the Meuse; serpentine, like the Seine; limp and green, like the Somme; historical, like the Tiber; royal like the Danube; mysterious, like the Nile; spangled with gold, like an American river; and like a river of Asia, abounding with fantoms and fables.” -Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Today we spent the morning cruising the Middle of the Rhine before we arrived at Marksburg Castle. During our cruise, we passed many small German towns, endless vineyards, dozens of castles located on the hilltops overlooking the river and the notorious Lorelei Rock.

IMG_9581 IMG_9586 IMG_9593 IMG_9608 IMG_9614 IMG_9616 IMG_9622 IMG_9623 IMG_9629This rock has become famous because as the story is told, the beautiful siren Lorelei stood atop the rock and lured many sailors to the rock. If a sailor passed the rock at nightfall, the water would lash him against the rocks and he would fall to his death.

 IMG_9600We had the chance to cruise by Marksburg Castle before we disembarked to actually tour the castle. Marksburg Castle is the best-preserved castle on the river and has been standing for over 800 years. The castle is very isolated, and this is the reason it was never attacked during any of the wars that devastated Germany throughout history.

IMG_9420 IMG_9638 IMG_9649 IMG_9655 IMG_9659 IMG_9666 IMG_9687IMG_9465After the castle we returned to Koblenz where we had the opportunity to visit the largest Christmas market in the Rhineland-Palatinate wine growing region. We were able to taste stollen and drink our glühwein under the famous “Schangel” fountain. IMG_9468 IMG_9471 IMG_9474 IMG_9478 IMG_9489 IMG_9495

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