Marksburg Castle and cruising in the heart of the Rhine River Valley, November 7, 2018

Our first stop today was in Braubach.

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The morning view of the Rhine, with mist laying low above the water and the valley, was lovely and intriguing.

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From the quaint, little town of Braubach we visited Marksburg Castle.  The castle was started in the 12th century as a gothic structure and was added to over the centuries.  One look at the castle, which is perched high above the Rhine, and you can understand why it was never captured in any war.  

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Walking through the castle was certainly a step back in time and the view from the “keep” was definitely exciting.

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We bused from the Hlin through Braubach to the parking area below the castle.  From there we hiked up to the entrance to the castle.  We needed to pass through two large, red doors to which only our guide had the key.

There were many interesting places in the castle.  As we walked through I tried to imagine living here seven centuries ago.  What did they do for their days and evenings?  How did they handle the cold of winter and the heat of summer?  What did they do for entertainment?  Here are just a few photos with captions.  Remember as you look at the photos that although the building is the original the furnishings are reproductions.

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Entrance through which mounted knights would ride their horses
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Area overlooking the Rhine where the nobles had their meals
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Wall tapestry
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Fresco in chapel
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Roof detail
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A knights armor in a gallery of armor
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Music area where nobles entertained themselves

Just a couple of other photos of the castle from on high.  Lets start with this one of the blacksmith’s shop.  My grandfather was a blacksmith and I took this one for him.  Unfortunately, I never knew him but he is still in my memory.

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Here are a couple more.  All of which I like.

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Tower
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Chapel ceiling
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Weapon room
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Braubach through the trees
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Rhine River
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Postal box into which I placed my postcard

From Marksburg we drove about an hour to pick up a day cruiser to navigate through the middle Rhine, the loveliest part of the river.  As we boarded the boat we were greeted by servers offering large steins of beer.  We were on for a Rhine luncheon cruise of salad, chicken with gravy and fries with a cheese cake desert. 

We left the dock, heading south, toward Strasbourg and ultimately Basel.  But today we were taking a three hour cruise.  Our tour director, George, who is swapping with us, narrated as we slowly meandered our way.  George is extremely knowledgeable about the Rhine and the history associated with the middle Rhine.  He is also witty and affable.

This section of the Rhine is populated with many castles, all built high up on the hills. Some have been renovated and others are in a state of ruin.  All are interesting and each possesses its own providence.  Interspersed between small villages and castles is a multiplicity of vineyards.  

As we sailed we saw the following castles.

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Ultimately, we disembarked in Rudeshime for a two hour bus ride to Strasbourg where we boarded the Viking Kara for the rest of our trip.  A day like this reinforces the fact that neither JoAnn nor I ever want to take a bus tour.

When we arrived we found our luggage in our room waiting for us.  All that remained was to unpack.  All-in-all the swap was pretty seamless and easy.  Just a pain.  We knew when we left home that the swap was a possibility.  Nature is alway unpredictable.  Viking handled the situation very well.  When we arrived at the Kara the Captain and crew were waiting, outside in a drizzle, to greet us and welcome us aboard.  That speaks volumes and is the sign of a quality organization.

Tomorrow we visit Heidelberg.

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