After the excursion to the Marksburg Castle, we were scheduled for a cruise up the Middle Rhein River (from Koblenz to Mainz), and to see all the castles along the way. Unfortunately, the area had been having a drought for some time, and the river was low.
Let me explain about the ship we were on. It is a “long” ship (443 feet), only two passenger levels, since it must pass through some “locks” along the way.
A larger, deeper, ocean-sailing ship wouldn’t be able to navigate those locks. Therefore, because the river was so low, we were unable to traverse the Middle Rhein River on the Gefjon. All the passengers (185) – and a few of the crew – were transferred to another ship for the Rhein River cruise. While our luggage and most of the crew stayed with the Gefjon, they were forced to dump of all the fresh water they had on board (over 100,000 gallons). In spite of all that, there were spots along the way where there was only 12″ of water below the ship! I guess it was a good thing we were off! Didn’t want to get grounded!
So, instead of seeing the castles from our ship, we all were transferred to the Konigsbacher – a tourist/sight-seeing boat – for the remainder of the day.
We played “cat and mouse” with the Gefjon all the way to Bingen – we would be in front for a while, then the Gefjon would be in front. Fun to watch, with the crew waving at us as we passed each other.
We did see some castles (we counted 31) while we sailed, and Carl West described them to us. However, as it was beginning to get too dark to see any other castles, Carl announced that it would be another 90 minutes before we could board the Gefjon again! Many groans!! I looked at Fred and vehemently said – “where’s my Kindle???!!!” Unfortunately, it was locked up in the safe in our room. It was a rather boring 90 minutes, for sure. Billie (our concierge) and the boat’s crew brought out cake and tea for us – charged to Viking, which was nice.
There was a flag flying on the Konigsbacher and I wondered what it represented. When I asked the crew, they said it represents their home town.
We finally stopped at Bingen, and both the Gefjon and the Konigsbacher were lashed together, so there were only a few steps to get across to get to the Gefjon.
We were finally able to get to supper at 7:30 p.m. Our table mates were Nancy and Jim from Arizona (they formerly lived in Metro West in Orlando), and Rachael and her mother, Carol, from Sacramento, California. Rachael earned her law degree from UNM (the University of New Mexico).
Bed by 10:00 p.m. and we were very tired!
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~