Thursday, December 10, 2015

Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Tuesday of our Thanksgiving week vacation saw us spending the day sailing through the historic Upper Middle Rhine Valley, home to castles, historic towns, and vineyards.

Mooring at Deutsches Eck
Our ship docked in Koblenz at the Deutsches Eck, a headland where the Moselle and Rhine Rivers meet.  The area features a monument to German emperor William I and three parts of the Berlin Wall.  My eye was most drawn to an extremely solid-looking mooring ring with its green patina.

Rhine Gorge from Marksburg Castle
From Koblenz we took a motorcoach to Marksburg Castle, which has the distinction of being the only hill castle on the Rhine that has never been destroyed.  The view up the river from the castle walls was impressive.

Rhine Gorge from Marksburg Castle
This image is actually a merge of two shots to get good exposure on both the close stonework and distant river.

Marksburg Castle Blacksmith
Many areas of the castle were outfitted with period furnishings and paraphernalia, including the blacksmith shop.

Marksburg Castle Grounds
Though the trees were bare of leaves, they still had plenty of greenery courtesy of moss which seems to thrive in the humid air.

Marksburg Castle Grounds
Some vines were still quite vibrant in the late November cold.

Marksburg Castle
The lighting conditions were not ideal for shooting castle portraits, with the skies being about as uniformly gray as possible.  Still, I felt the need to at last shoot some for documentation.  So here's the view we had of Marksburg as we got back onto our ship in Braubach.

Maus Castle
The afternoon was spent sailing down the river past a number of other castles, including a pair in close proximity with an odd naming coincidence.  I give you Maus Castle ...

Katz Castle
... and Katz Castle!

Living like we do in a town that was just incorporated in 1961, seeing and visiting places whose recorded history goes back more than a thousand years is a treat in any weather!

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