Along the Rhine and Mosel Rivers

sapphire73sapphire73 Major grinsPennsylvaniaPosts: 1,602 Major grins
edited September 6, 2016 in Journeys
We traveled along the Rhine and Mosel rivers in November on a relatively small river cruise vessel. We had been to Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands and Belgium before but it was different traveling on the water and sampling various ports. (Our travels are usually more adventurous but my fitbit was impressed with the amount of walking we did.)

Basel, Switzerland
We arrived in Basel and had a good tour of Basel the next day.

1. Basel, first night on the water (hand held)
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Sailing toward Strasbourg
At 4pm, we sailed for Strasbourg, France. We were up on the sun deck sipping wine with friends as the sun disappeared and we approached the first set of locks.

2. On our way to Strasbourg
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Strasbourg and Riquewihr France
The next morning, we took the canal boat ride in Strasbourg after stopping by Notre Dame Cathedral. That afternoon, we took an optional tour to a winery and to Riquewihr. Hope to explore this area again as we had very little time in Riquewihr and the light was fading fast.

3. In Strasbourg, wandering on our own
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4. Swans
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Baden-Baden
Spent the afternoon here and enjoyed visiting several shops. Lovely drive through the countryside to get here.

5. Baden-Baden - Fountain
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Speyer
Speyer is one of several ports that exceeded my expectations. I knew that I would enjoy visiting Strasbourg, Riquewihr, Kinderdijk and Bruges. But I hadn’t given much thought to Speyer. The town was founded by the Romans and is one of the oldest towns in Germany. The area we toured – between the cathedral and just past the Old Town Gate – was charming. Our walking tour led us through the domgarten (park by the cathedral) to the Imperial Cathedral and then down the main street.

That afternoon, six of us had an opportunity to visit an elderly woman in her home. She talked about her experiences trying to help refugees, and she told us about her experiences as a refugee from Prussia during WW2. It was a privilege to hear her story.

6. Speyer - The Pilgrim
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The Castle Stretch of the Rhine River
We sailed through the castle stretch early in the morning. It was windy and cool but the light was good for photos. The rain held off, and we enjoyed seeing the castles.

7. Rheinstein Castle
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8. Ehrenfels Castle Ruins
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Boppard
It started raining as we made a quick visit to Boppard after seeing the castles. I wish I had spent a little more time at the Roman ruins and inside St. Severus, a lovely Catholic church built in the 13th century. We continued on to Winnigen after lunch.

Cochem
After a short stay in Winnigen, we went on to Cochem. This was another port that took me by surprise. It was Sunday morning so not much was open, but there was plenty to see. We started off with a tour of the Reichsburg Castle, then had a walking tour of Cochem.

9. Cochem - City Wall with Reichsburg Castle in background
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Bernkastel and Trier
Our next port was Bernkastel, a lovely town in the Mosel Valley. This is another area I would like to visit again.

We visited Trier the next day. It was rainy and windy, so my camera was tucked away for most of that day. But we loved walking around and having lunch in town.

Zell and Luxembourg
Our next stop along the Mosel River was Zell but we took the optional tour to Luxembourg, an all day trip.

10. Luxembourg - Detail on door of a Cathedral
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11. Luxembourg - The American Cemetery
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Bonn and Nijmegen
We enjoyed visiting Bonn and Nijmegen. I limited myself to sharing 20 photos here and didn't choose any from those stops. Sometimes it is the experiences you savor more than the photos....

Kinderdijk
I was looking forward to seeing the windmills at Kinderdijk. The weather forecast was not promising, and we were deluged with rain as we took the boat ride along the canal. The rain continued as we made our way inside one of the windmills. But then it stopped. I was able to walk along the windmills with hardly anyone else in sight.

12. Kinderdijk - Windmills at dawn (before the tour)
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13. Kinderdijk - Windmills after the rain
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14. Kinderdijk - Welcoming the Sun
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Willemstad
15. Sailing from Kinderdijk to Willemstad
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We docked in Willemstad but went off to visit the Delta Works. As we were leaving, we noticed parents bringing their children to see Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and Zwarte Piet (black Peter) who were arriving by boat.

Antwerp
We had a lovely walking tour of Antwerp, gradually making our way to the main square to view the cathedral and the guild houses. This was a good place to sample pomme frites and Belgian chocolates. (This was a repeat for us as we had been in Brussels last summer and enjoyed both treats there.)

16. Antwerp - Rising Moon
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Ghent
We spent a few extra days in Belgium before heading home. We toured Ghent one morning and found a lovely place to eat lunch by one of the canals. We sat outside, but had blankets and portable heaters to keep us warm. The food was delicious. (I had Gentse Waterzooi.)

17. Ghent
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Bruges and Ypres
Our next stop was Bruges where we had two full days. It was cold and rainy the first day. We toured Bruges in the moring and went to Ypres in the afternoon. We visited the In Flanders Field Museum and toured trenches, battlefields and cemeteries. The weather was a bit damp and chilly but this helped me empathize all the more with the soldiers who spent so much time in the trenches during World War 1.

18. Ypres WW1 Cemetery
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We had time the next day to tour Bruges in better weather. Looking forward to visiting Belgium again at a different time of year!

19. Bruges - Old Home on Canal
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20. Bruges - Canal with Dog at the window
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Camera Equipment
These photos were taken with a Canon 70D, 28 mm lens, 18-135 mm lens, and 10-22 mm. I could have left the 70-300 mm lens at home but did use it a bit. No tripod as we were doing a lot of walking, so low light shots were hand held.

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