Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Along the Rhine, from Mainz to Cologne (and back again)

Over the weekend I took a trip from Frankfurt to Cologne and back. I did the day long cruises on the Köln-Düsseldorfer line on the middle section of the Rhine River. But getting to the cruise part was a bit of a challenge on both ends of the journey. From Frankfurt I had to take a train to Mainz, and then a taxi to the boat at the Rhine River, all during a heavy rain. But the rain stopped when the boat launched at 8:45 AM. 36 stops along the river later, we arrived at Cologne at 8:00 PM. This trip was downstream, so it was possible to do the whole distance. This was not possible for the return trip upstream. So from Cologne I had to take a train to Koblenz, and then another taxi ride to the Rhine. The boat left Koblenz at 11:00 AM and 18 stops later we arrive at Mainz at 7:30 PM. I walked to the station and then took a train back to Frankfurt. Unexpected taxis and trains made the trip a little more expensive, but the river cruise was spectacular.

One of the sailors would take a break every so often and chain-smoke 4 or 5 cigarettes in a row.

Incredible castles and churches were on both sides of the Rhine. Oh so many castles...

Lots of boats carrying people and cargo were going upstream and downstream. Even these sailors had to do laundry.

The color of the Rhine was not as beautiful and pure as one might think.

Another sailor (with lots of tattoos and pierces; what one might expect of a sailor) taking a break at one of the stops.

Even Japan was represented along the Rhine. Why? I couldn't tell you. But there were lots of international flags at various stops. The boat gave information about various places along the Rhine in various languages. First was German, of course. Next was English, then French, Japanese and Chinese. The latter three languages were used only when people from those countries were aboard.

A tai chi facility along the banks of the Rhine. Go globalization!

The skyline of Cologne as we entered the port. It was a fantastic trip, well worth the money and effort.


Esther Rimer said...

what caught my eye are the hills- any idea what those plants/crops are that are being grown down the sides? Curious! I would think erosion would be common with that method of row cropping.

visual gonthros said...

This is prime wine-producing country. So much of what you see are grapes.