“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Budapest” (Day 15)

May 2

~  Main and Rhine River cruise

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[A plane, a bridge, some water – we are about to get under way on the Main River, cruising all morning into the Rhine until we arrive in Koblenz.]

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[Apparently contrails were somewhat new to me?]

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[Now the fun begins!  As you are probably aware, pigeons are not known as the brightest of creatures.  This one found it’s way in here through the open air steps – the other three sides, however, are bounded by glass walls.  The bird could not figure how to get out of this “trap.”  A crewman eventually had to come, remove a couple steps so he could get in . . . to shoo the pigeon out!]

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[Another castle along the river?  I’m astounded!]

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[We obviously went through a canal here, though at this point in time I have no recollection of it.]

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[From the Main River we’re angling into the Rhine at the city of Mainz.]

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[Several photos of Mainz . . . ]

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[Interspersed with Pam taking pictures of Mainz . . . ]

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[It was a beautiful day . . . ]

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[The Super pensive?  Or just relaxing?]

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[Pretty day, pretty city]

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[Home of the movable-type printing press!  Remember that Gutenberg guy?]

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[As long as  we’re on the roof, what’s happening on the lower deck below?]

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[OK, jacket off, happy!!]

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[Here we began wondering if we were going left or right for Wiesbaden?]

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[This may be Wiesbaden?]

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[We went right . . . ]

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[Wiesbaden, we are here!]

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[And here’s why the interest . . . ]

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[After Professor Doctor Colonel Kiehne graduated from Jefferson High School in Alexandria in 1965, he matriculated to West Point.  He was the first appointee ever from our congressional district.  When he graduated from West Point in 1969, his first duty station as a newly minted 2nd Lieutenant was in the building we are shooting below.  He was stationed there for a year and a half, as I recall.  This was his first reunion with that building.  There are something like 19,000 U. S. citizens in the Wiesbaden area, mostly associated with our military.]

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[Tom said it hasn’t changed much, from what he could see . . . doubt the power lines were there then?]

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[But on to the rest of Wiesbaden.]

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[Biebrich Palace, about which I know nothing but guessing a spa.]

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[The Super and someone of unknown personage enjoying the trip from front row seats.]

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[We’re traveling the Middle Rhine here . . . ]

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[So these shots of civilization after Wiesbaden are likely Bingen.]

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[Our hostess took pictures of her charges wherever we went. Then she’d post them as slide shows on the TV’s in the bar.  So, here are John, Helen, and the Super way back when we were in Budapest.]

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[Meanwhile, back on the Rhine . . . ]

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[Germania Statue commemorates the unification of Germany in 1871 at the end of the Franco-Prussian War.  It’s in the Niederwald landscape park, near Rudesheim am Rhein in Hesse.]5-2-16-31-copy

[I’m going to take a flying leap here . . . Trechtinghausen?]

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[We’re in castle central country here which makes identifications difficult.  I have ever reason to believe, however, that the following four photos are of Ehrenfels Castle.  But I could be wrong?]

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[Pam is ever vigilant for photo ops as castles and vineyards dot both sides of the river. From “Germany Travel”: For the 120 kilometres between Bingen and Bonn, steep vineyard slopes join castles, glorious residences and the famous Loreley rock as the river twists and turns through a landscape steeped in history. The Siebengebirge hills and the Loreley divide the region into two distinct areas in terms of wine classification. The southern section, the Upper Middle Rhine Valley between Koblenz and Bingen, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2002 for its outstanding, vineyard-sculpted countryside. Ample motivation for the growers to continue their sterling work on the steep, vine-clad hillsides.  The main grape is Riesling.]

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[A Gothic church in Lorch.]

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[Bacharach, with Castle Stahleck on the hilltop, in the following three photos.]

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[Our new made friends, Gerry and Anita.]

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[Pfalzgrafentstein Castle on the Falkenau (or Pfalz) island near Kaub.  It was a toll castle back in the day.  In the background is Gutenfels Castle . . .]

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[Based on mu extensive research, it appears to be the most photographed castle in these environs.]

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[Only one other person in the history of the entire world has ever taken this shot – and it’s only identified by the name of the family that took it?  So I don’t what it is, but I suspect it’s in Oberwesel . . . ]

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[This is definitely Oberwesel.]

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[And here we’re coming upon The Loreley . . . ]

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[You all know the story, right?]

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[Needless to say, just to be on the safe side, I locked myself in the room as we passed.]

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[Loreley on loan from the internet.]

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[Castle Maus ahead . . . ]

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[And here.]

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[And again, in the burg of Katz.  So, it’s Katz und Maus!]

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[Loreleystadt-St. Goarshausen . . . so the abridged story is (edited from Wikipedia) Loreley was a sort of siren who, sitting on the cliff above the Rhine and combing her golden hair, unwittingly distracted shipmen with her beauty and song, causing them to crash on the rocks.  Men are so gullible.]

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[Meanwhile, back at the castles . . . I found an almost duplicate copy of this shot on the internet.  It was labeled “a castle on the Rhine.”  Thanks!  Upon further review, it’s Rheinfels Castle.]

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[Greenpeace, protecting the whales of the Rhine!]

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[Fellow tourists going to from whence we came.]

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[This may or may not be what I think it is.  I think it’s Maus Castle.]

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[And now Sterrenberg Castle.  Are you writing these all down?]

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[Kamp Bornhofen, a nunnery]

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[And on the other side, Boppard.]

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[Skiing for wine?]

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[Helen wants to check out this “skiing for wine” thing.]

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[Our Swiss radar is tracking the contrail.]

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[The largest vineyard in the Middle Rhine known for its Rieslings.]

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[This cannot be an easy job.]

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[The Marksburg in Braubach . . . ]

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[Of the 40 hill castles between Bingen am Rhein and Koblenz, the Marksburg was the only one which was never destroyed (Wikipedia).]

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[Did I get enough shots of The Marksburg?]

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[Onward, a fellow Viking boat.]

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[Stolzenfels Castle – it helps when you can read the town name on a building.]

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[Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting to see . . . ]

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[Coyote Ugly in Germany?]

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[The Seattle Space Needle?]

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[As we approach our destination city of Koblenz . . . ]

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[A big white building of apparent import.]

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[Identified as a Prussian government building.]

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[Again, appears to be a building of import . . . or maybe a hotel?]

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[The Prussian building, again.]

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[Koblenz, we are here!  And will be visiting you in the next posting.]

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The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff.  ~  Britney Spears

Up Next:  Koblenz (the city)

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