ROMANTIC RHINE TRIP

May 6

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                                   Rudesheim Pictures

The day started out cold and windy as we followed our tour guide into town. A large sound stage was set up in the town square for a celebration of the anniversary of the cathedral. We had trouble hearing our guide via the wireless equipment, but he knew a lot about the city and its history. He took us to the Gutenberg Museum where we watched a demonstration of early printing techniques, and then we went to a small room to view a 2-volume Gutenberg Bible. It is written in Latin and illustrated by hand. From the museum we walked over to the 1000-year-old cathedral for a brief visit. After the tour we walked with Bill and Jenny through the city to find the Roman ruins of an Isis temple that had been discovered during the construction of a shopping mall. We had a hard time finding it because the tour guide had said the mall would look like a greenhouse when he actually meant that the building was green. After seeing the excavated temple, we parted ways with Bill and Jenny to take a quick walk to the St. Stephan church to see stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall. We wished we could have stayed longer because they were absolutely the most beautiful windows we had ever seen. Stepping into the sanctuary, one stops in amazement at the lovely light streaming in. Chagall began this project when he was in his 90ís, and they are done in 18 shades of blue. A few of the stunning windows were completed by his protege.

 After lunch back at the boat we arrived in Rudesheim.  A minitrain took us into town to visit Siegfrieds Musical Cabinet, a music box museum. Tony and I stayed with the tour through two rooms and then ducked out to look around in the nearby shops.  We purchased a small music box that plays the famous Loreley song. When Bill and Jenny completed the museum tour, the four of us joined our cruise director and our fellow passengers for some Rudesheim coffee on the patio at one of the local establishments. Although I do not drink coffee, I did drink this. They make it by setting a shot of brandy aflame to carmelize it and then adding coffee and whipped cream. Quite tasty! A musical trio entertained us as we enjoyed the coffee. When we had finished, the four of us made our way to the local cable car station and rode up to see the German national monument up close. It is very large, so we had already seen it from the river. The cable cars took us high over the vineyards, and we could see a long stretch of the Rhine River below. At the top, we walked around the monument and then continued to admire the view. We visited the gift shop where the clerk talked to us about a trip he had taken to Colorado. After our return cable car ride, we went into the well-known Kathe Wolfhart Christmas store and purchased some Christmas decorations. That evening the four of us stayed for a wonderful German dinner in a restaurant in town instead of eating on the boat.