We spend a glorious morning cruising the Main (pronounced mian) River. It is sunny and very hot. Green forested hills, red sandstone quarried rock faces, and everywhere people waving to us as we cruise by. This is river cruising!
In the PM we visit a 600 year old Franciscan monastery. Started as a statue to Mary, pilgrims came. Capuchin monks built a church in monastery in 1633. During the construction, building materials mysteriously disappear and then are returned by good angels. So became known as the Angels Monastery. Now 3 Franciscans run it. Many locals come on pilgrimage and after Mass want food and drink. So they now offer accommodation, food and drink to individuals and groups. Have their own vineyard. We sample the wine, yum. We light a candle at Mary’s grotto.
At night we have a special tapas dinner in the forward lounge. Less tapas and more German in style, we enjoy the evening and dance on the ballroom floor as we leave.
Day 9 – Rudesheim
We enter the Rhine river on a cloudy, rainy morning. Much wider here, we see significant industry but also larger houses with their own small vineyard in front. This town is the 2nd biggest tourist attraction in Germany 3 million visitors/yr. Siegdried’s Music Museum – largest collection of data driven self playing musical instruments in Europe: 1780 founded.
I film the Weber Maestro – orchestra in a box playing. We sample the famous coffee with brandy at the Rudesheimer Schloss restaurant. It is right on the world-famous Drosselgasse St. Hildegard’a abbey sits high above.
Romantic Rhine: 70 km from Rudesheim to Koblenz. Series of small towns, ancient castles nestled in a steep valley gorge with vineyards. 4 or 5th century followed by Frank’s and Charlemagne. Crusaders learn how to build better castles and bring this skill back here in the 13th century. Many castles destroyed during Napoleon’s time. Later rebuilt by wealthy purchasers. We are castled to death with dozens of majestic structures to marvel at. Meanwhile dozens of high-speed trains, barges and ships go by like crazy – one of the most picturesque spots we have ever seen.