Published on September 19th, 2013 | by Jordan
Cruising with CAA’s Cindy Hillaby (Part 4)
In Part 4 of the “Cruising with CAA’s Cindy Hillaby” series, Cindy talks bicycles, food and her cruise ship. Catch up on the rest of the series here!
We started our Monday leaving the city of Koblenz, Germany. Though we didn’t know what to expect when we pulled up, it was definitely the highlight of the trip! We docked on the side of the city where the ‘old town’ is positioned. Nestled atop a stone wall was this contemporary but medieval town with all the charm and character you could ever want. Our cruise manager, Rolf, took us for a late evening walk around the town to take in some of the historical stories. I would definitely put this city/town on my come-back list. Breathtakingly beautiful!
Today is castle day – the part of the river cruise where you can see castles mounted along both sides of the river. Who would have ever guessed that the Rhine had its own rush hour! The traffic cruise boats and industrial traffic caught me by surprise. Before we got to the Rhine Gorge part of the river, we witnessed quite a lot of industrial cargo ships in transit…not my favourite part, but the Rhine plays a significant role in industrial transit within Europe.
Friendly waves between ships make it all good! Vineyards also cover the hillsides and I can tell you that the wines served at meals have been truly amazing. The chef chooses them personally to complement each dish. I chatted with Chef Stefan last evening, commending him and his team for the gastronomic excellence so far!
We bumped into a couple from Boston last night who were still awaiting their lost luggage on day 5! We offered a couple of t shirts but as luck would have it for them, the luggage finally arrived! Happy faces at breakfast!
As we toured down the winding Rhine, so did the rain and winds…ugh! The one day we wanted perfect weather. Most of our viewing was from inside, so we would run up on deck for some photo ops. Overall, some amazing views that are beyond expectations.
We finished our day in Rudsheim – a quaint little village of 7000 people. 3 million people visit each year for the harvest of grapes (as that’s the region’s prime industry). They grow the vines on steep hillsides, and as a result, have to hand-pick the grapes as they are without machinery. We boarded one of our included tours to visit a local weinbau – Adolfo Storzel – and they no doubt passionate about their crops and wines. Adolfo Storzel produces just enough to serve their own village!
Rudsheim has an old traditional feel to it and I’m starting to realize that all these villages seem to have buildings that stretch back to the beginning of time. They all have a charm to them and sure welcome both locals and visitors. As we made our way back to the boat we passed Hindenberg bridge. I have to say it was rather shocking but still, another humbling moment.
Today, a fresh start in Speyer! We went for a bike ride through and around the city with our guide Wolfgang. Another classic German town with more cafes and restaurants than you can count! A great day, except for the rainstorm in the middle of our ride. We stopped at an ancient jewish prayer hall and bath. Post WW2, it was recovered from the rubble and is now a protected area.
I am hoping the sun will return one of these days but it isn’t stopping us from seeing everything we can.
Tomorrow, Straussbourg France!
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