Cruise to Koblenz

First Full Day of Cruise - Tuesday, July 27, to Koblenz

Our Rhine journey, aboard the French-operated CroiseCruise ship, Symphonie, embarked from Strasbourg and sailed from there to Koblenz and back, a journey of about 150 miles in each direction. The area is the Central or Romantic Rhine, made famous by Goethe and others writing in the 1700s and 1800s, full of historic rivalries, mythology, castles and fortresses, vineyards, and more. Only four days, the cruise was amazing.

Strasbourg began as a Roman military camp circa 12 BC, became a frontier town of Germanic tribes, was burned to the ground by Attila, and was rebuilt by the Franks after 500 AD and named Stratiburgum (town of the roads) for strategic and geographic reasons. Its economic and political successes for 1500 years were due to powerful bishops and nobles and a hardworking merchant/craftsmen class. Through the centuries, internal class conflicts and outside political forces kept it moving back and forth from French to German rule. Today, it's the French capital of Alsace and seat of the Council of Europe, where the EU Court of Human Rights and the EU Parliament meet.

Our cruise was safe, clean and well-run. However, we were the only English speakers aboard. And they put us at our own table in the back of the dining room! The other passengers were French middle-class retirees (mostly) and one Parisian couple with two teenage daughters.. My French is limited, so a cruise manager had to translate for us after major announcements. One lovely Strasbourg lady befriended us, as did the young family. Our ports of call were Koblenz, Rudesheim, and Mannheim (in order to bus to Heidelberg, which is inland on the Neckar River). In Koblenz, the second night, we met up with one of Jan's former colleagues from DePaul and his wife.

Here are a few sites along a way filled with numerous castles and fortresses, many that were infamous for forcing merchant and other vessels to pay tolls and taxes over the centuries. There are 100+ castles along the Central Rhine, apparently the largest group of its kind in the world. Tried, but coiuldn't fit descriptions in for most of them. We're slowly changing the format to more videos, or stills turned into videos, for easier viewing.

Up river to Rüdesheim

Loreley to Koblenz