Thursday, April 25, 2013

Viking's Grand European River Cruise: Miltenberg, Germany

Viking River Cruise, Day 5:  Miltenberg, Germany (Facebook collage)
(click any collage to enlarge)

As you see, we're moving right along!  With 8 of our 15 days in Germany, you'll be getting a great feel for the country we call our neighbor to the east here in the Netherlands.

 Today's excursion wasn't until after lunch, so we had a lovely morning inside...
often looking out, in freezing-cold, rainy weather, while others were more sensible.

This was our first day to witness one of the 60+ locks we passed through on our cruise.
In this case, we had to wait for 2 barges to take their turn first.

When it was finally our turn, we were amazed by how tight the fit was!
In fact, these longships were built specifically with these locks in exact specification.
And because the bridges along this stretch of the Main River are so low, the sun deck was off-limits.
Astrid peeked over the top while I stuck my neck out.  HA!

And then we meandered along the Main River towards Miltenberg, our next stop,
with sights all along the way, of course...which is the point of a river cruise!

 And why Miltenberg, you ask?
Because it's considered one of Germany's most picturesque half-timbered towns!

And lucky for us, it was the Wednesday before Palm Sunday,
with Easter decorations in the town square.

Nearby is the hotel Zum Riesen ("Inn at the Giant)",
believed to be Germany's oldest inn, from 1158.

The town even has its own Mildenburg Castle, built around 1200 and seen over the rooftops.
The castle interior is now a museum of art collections.

The most visible landmark from the river is the 13th century St. Jakobus (St. James) Church.
Its twin towers are seen from everywhere throughout the town.
[top image above is Astrid's!]

The church we entered, however, was not St. Jakobus.
In fact, we have no clue which one this is...unless it's the Franciscan Monastery Church?
Whichever, it was small and charming.

Speaking of churches, as we traveled farther south into Germany,
the more Roman Catholic it became, as evidenced by its religious niches all over town.

 Statues, emblems, artwork...stories for every one of them....

...including the weathervanes and hanging signs.

Impressions, impressions, impressions....

...enough to warrant more hours to explore....

...and more stories to tell.

But alas, we had to hop on the buses to catch our boat in Wertheim, 29 km to the east of Miltenberg.

 In fact, Astrid had climbed the hill behind St. Jakobus to watch the boat leave earlier in the day.
(all Astrid's images, above)

And because we beat the boat to Wertheim, we had fun watching it come in and dock...from the outside.
See how low that bridge is?  If necessary, the wheel station can be lowered just enough for the captain's peek.

Looking in, we saw the few who had stayed behind...and the crew eating supper.
It was 6 p.m. and soon it would be our turn to eat, at 7 p.m.

What a day!


  1. I've now put Miltenberg on my list! Fabulous and how lucky to see the Easter decorations. There's one photo that really stood out for me...the one directly below "The castle interior is now a museum of art collections." It took my breath away!!

    1. That image you chose, Robin, is Astrid's (the same from her collage of 3 images later on). She'll be delighted it took your breath away, as it does mine! You'd LOVE LOVE LOVE Miltenberg. Actually, you'd love so much of Germany!

  2. 'What a day' indeed. I am wracking my brain to figure out what church we went in.... I really don't know. But what a town, what a fabulous houses and so well preserved. A visit to remember. Going through those locks was fascinating, of all the locks maybe we only noticed twice a 'bump' and the rest when very smoothly. Talk about good 'piloting'.
    I keep repeating myself, but all the time you spend making these fabulous posts are worthwhile, I am reliving the cruise again. Thank you so much MDSTLL.

    1. This is so fun, reliving all these different places, MLMA. I'm just glad we have this kind of technology nowadays to chronicle and save "everything." Hartstikke bedankt.

  3. This is a stunning selection of pictures from your cruise Ginnie, I am really impressed at how well you have conveyed the feeling of traveling & exploring. Those German places look wonderful.

    1. You're a sweetheart, Chris, to check out this site/post and to comment. It means the world to me. As Astrid and I often say, this is for we don't ever forget! Thank you.

  4. what a day indeed and what a lovely port stop to enjoy architecture. wow! i'm loving the architectural details you're showing here Ginnie. you surely know how to spot the pretty.

    1. Many thanks, Maria. You know me and architecture!!! Especially half-timbered houses! It doesn't get much better than that for me. :)

  5. I feel so cozy coming back to the boat after a busy day out walking in the chilly air. :-)

    This city really is full of beautiful half-timbered houses, more than I've seen all in one place!

    1. Cozy is a good word for that longship, Ruth. We'll always have such fond memories of it. :) And yes, that's one of the best half-timbered towns I've ever seen. I have a special place in my heart for them!

  6. What a grand, grand holiday! Your photo collections show much more than one shot at a time. You saw so much and it is great to see it through your eyes.

    Google ads are so funny. Since the day you posted a link of the sister ship and company, and I clicked on it, I have been seeing ads on sites for river cruises of Europe. My daughter checked on delivery status of eyeglasses on my computer. Ever since, I get ads for eyeglasses.

    I almost left this comment after the lambs in the last post. I loved that post. My neighbour who died last year kept sheep and lambs his whole life. I had helped him with lambing, docking tails, giving injections, medicating and deworming for the 29 years I lived here. I miss them and him so, so much. There is nothing like watching baby lambs playing. One of the joys of life in the country that everyone should get to witness.

    1. You would love this river cruise, Cuidado! I wish everyone who wanted to could take it because it's so educational.

      And as for those sheep and lambs, maybe only the windmills here are more soulful. Astrid says I become a different person when I watch them. :) It's probably true! And yes, everyone should get the chance to witness them! I totally agree.

      Thank you for looking at my posts and for commenting, which means the world to me!

  7. Hi Ginnie, such a lovely post and beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Many thanks, Linda, for stopping by here and commenting. I'd love to know how you found me???

  8. All of the buildings, the museums & churches, just magnificent ... truly! Those shots that you got of the people on the inside, especially the crew having dinner, are so special. I agree that you will have stories to tell for a long, long time.

    1. Thank you, dear Susan. You can see how jam-packed our time was. Never to be forgotten! I'm glad you could get a glimpse of it all. :)

  9. I would have been outside photographing too! :) Miltenberg with its cobbled streets and rooflines and detail! Sigh. I would love to walk through the castle's art museum. Astrid's photo of St. Jakobus is outstanding! What a lovely day.

    1. Seeing a town like this after the appetizer, Margaret, would be a real thrill. I'd definitely want to go visit that castle. And I'd want to walk up and down all the streets, looking at all that fabulous architecture! Thank you.

  10. Now I understand how you get from Miltenberg to Wertheim! My itinerary did not say. Great idea to climb the hill and take a picture of the ship leaving. Did you have to miss the tour in order to do that or did you have time to do both?

    1. Good question, Carol! The longship took us to Miltenberg right after lunch and then continued on to Wertheim while we were walking around Miltenberg. Astrid was able to climb up the hill quickly to see the ship leaving before we started our walking tour. If you chose to stay on the ship, riding it to Wertheim, of course you missed seeing Miltenberg. But it was definitely worth the stop and getting rejoin the ship later by bus!