Rhein River Cruise

A couple of weeks ago, we headed out with some friends for Rhein River cruise. This part of Germany is pretty stunning. The Rhein is, and has been, a major transportation route for hundreds of years. It flows from the Alps in Switzerland north to the North Sea, meaning that it is a cheap, efficient way to move goods between the interior of Europe and the coast. It also has a climate perfect for wine! The middle Rhein (roughly between the Frankfurt area and Cologne) is lined with vineyards, castle ruins, small towns, and stunning scenery.


We cruised from Bingen to Sankt Goar. On the map, they are only about 30 kilometers apart, but the cruise up took about an hour and a half. Unfortunately, forecast high for the day was roughly 105°F and the boat didn't have air conditioning, but it did have lots of windows that allowed a nice breeze in when we were moving. Nevertheless, it was still hot. 

Our cruise ship for the morning, Father Rhein

As we traveled north, we passed a number of castle ruins. Germany used to be comprised of many small ''kingdoms'' (for lack of a better word), and the castles were a way to ensure that the appropriate tolls were collected along the river. Today, they are majestic ruins sitting atop the hills, overlooking vineyards, small towns, and the river. Many of them are open to the public to explore. The boat we were on had information on each castle that we passed in German, English, and Italian.

Burg Katz. This one looks livable still! I wonder how much it would cost to buy?

Ehrenfels Castle Ruins

Berg Sooneck 

One of the many churches along the river. Churches like this are pretty rare in the states, but in Europe, I think every single town, no matter how small, has a church like this. And they are all stunning!

We disembarked the boat in Sankt Goar, one of the cutest little towns I have ever seen. Our destination (after lunch of course), was the castle on the top of the hill. Check back next week to see pictures from this awesome castle we were basically free to explore!

Lorelei rock, the narrowest point on the river, and the location of many shipwrecks (but probably not diveable)