Cruising up The Rhine towards Basel

Claire & Lar – my new Irish pals


Moored in Cologne but didn’t see much of the city as had opted to go visit Drachenburg Castle, Access via an old and quaint rack railway. The castle was a bit 19th century repro and very limited access as they were preparing for a movie shoot. Trussing, lights and tripods all over the place. A tour guide who didn’t draw breath on the bus. Another 10 minutes of his psycho babble and I might have had to intervene!!! Cologne and it’s cathedral will have to wait until next year’s trip down The Danube.


A trip to Cochem down the very scenic Moselle River. Very steep vineyards. Great views of the river from Reischburg Castle. Still a bit repro but some old & original bits.

Back on board for lunch and then an afternoon cruising the Romantic Rhine passing a multitude of castles and ruins.

One of the highlights was supposedly Lorelei – many legends about damsel and mermaids luring sailors onto the rocks (The Neiberlungen etc). Basically just a large rocky promentory and somewhat of an anticlimax



A coach bound orientation tour of Heidelberg – one of the oldest University towns in Europe. Followed by a wander around the old town and cathedral etc

After a very early dinner the vast majority went off in all their finery for a Classical “concert” in a very smart Schloss. I opted out as one coach ride a day with babbling Americans is enough for me. Apparently the Schloss was very grand but the Concert wasn’t!!

Baden Baden

A walking tour of Baden Baden – a famous old spa town dating from Roman times. Now a hangout for wealthy celebs and oligarchs etc. Managed to stumble across a Faberge museum. Only one original egg but a fine collection of other jewelled masterpieces. A very fine slab of Black Forest Gateaux – massive but couldn’t resist!!

A lock or two on our way up river to Strasbourg – or at least the mooring that would be close to Strasbourg. At this point the river acts as the Franco/German border so France on the right and Germany on the left.


Coach ride to Strasbourg – Pretty dull until we got into the old town – which was fabulous and very picturesque…

A gobsmacking Cathedral. Unfortunately being Sunday we could not get inside, so interior shots are again courtesy of the Internet. Managed to find an excellent museum and a charming French girl who gave me a private tour of the archives with original 12th century plans and “blueprints” etc. How they managed without Autocad is a mystery…. – No photos allowed unfortunately

A statue of Albert Swietzer and an obligatory dog shot

Basel and the start of my Swiss railway adventure

Docked outside Basel and turfed of the ship at dawn – a few fond fairwells with Claire and Lar and a very nice Mexican couple but glad to see the back of the noisy US and Canadian contingents!!

Very efficient and painless transfer to hotel and early checkin. So have updated this post and will publish while I have excellent WiFi access.

A wander around old Basel planned for this afternoon before a train to Zurich tomorrow morning and the start of my Swiss railway and mountain adventure. Bracing myself for Snow and ice and maybe for shopping for thermals etc.

More later….. R

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