Cruising the Middle Rhine
It’s no surprise that river cruising has become a fast growing trend in the travel industry. It’s a wonderful way to experience Europe, with only having to pack and unpack once. Many major cities were built on the riverways since that was a main mode of transporting goods. Often times you dock and can walk right into the heart of the city! Instead of schlepping bags through airports and rail stations why not relax with a glass of wine and admire the beauty that surrounds the river?
The Middle Rhine is a perfect example of a beautiful canvas surrounding you from every angle. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, this part of the Rhine River is home to more than 40 castles and fortresses from the Middle Ages. On my recent Viking river cruise we were each given a map of the Middle Rhine that featured the names of each castle and fortress we passed. Our cruise director would announce the name and history of each as we sailed by. We were moving at a slow enough pace to get some great photos! I’d recommend finding a great spot on the top deck for viewing both sides of the river. There’s plenty of sitting and standing room.
Little villages dot the coastline and we passed several vineyards that move in colorful rows up and down the steep terrain that meets the river. This is a popular wine-growing region and we had the pleasure of sampling locally produced wine onboard the ship. Flocks of fluffy sheep could be seen grazing and an occasional train moving by right at the water’s edge.
This was one of my favorite experiences on the Rhine. Definitely something that fairy tales are made of!