THE MIDDLE RHINE, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE, IS FAMOUS FOR ITS RHINE CASTLES:
Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise – Avalon Waterways – Day 4
Today was a special cruising day for us as we sailed through the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine. Apart from the narrow gorges and stunning scenery, another feature of the Middle Rhine is its abundance of castles. So unique is this section of the Rhine that it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Middle Rhine is very popular with river cruises and it is often also slotted into land-based tours as a "Rhine Cruise" and there are various day trips along this area of the Rhine.
Cruising the Middle Rhine
The first part of our day was spent sailing through the Rhine Gorge and as we were blessed with a splendid temperature of 27°C, everyone was on the sundeck enjoying the scenery and views of the Rhine castles. If you’re lucky to have an informative Tour Director, as we did in Hendrik, you’ll enjoy a commentary on the various castles (and there are a lot of them!) over the PA system.
Every mile along this section of the river we admired a different, magnificent castle. As Hendrik pointed out yet another castle or interesting village along both sides of the river, we found ourselves turning our head left and right to keep up with his commentary. And then there were all those charming riverside villages and towns with their beautiful churches with elegant spires.
Liebfrauenkirche in Oberwesel is one of the prettiest church in the Rhine Valley. The Middle Rhine is also a wine-producing region and the hills in the area are covered with vineyards.
On the eastern bank of the Rhine, near St. Goarshausen, we cruised past the legendary Loreley Rock, soaring some 120 metres above the waterline.
The Loreley is linked to a popular folklore where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. Yes, you wouldn’t want to jump into the Rhine near this rock as the cross-currents are very strong here. And, it’s not only the mesmerized sailors who have come to grief at the Loreley. The rock below the waterline and the strong currents have caused a number of boat accidents here. As recently as in 2011, a tanker loaded with sulfuric acid capsized here.
Our next stop after lunch was the wine producing town of Rudesheim.
More information on Rhine Castles here: Rhine Castles
Photos of Rhine Castles: Rhine Castles Photo Gallery
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