This is Wednesday, July 26th. The forecast is for light rain and temperatures around 70 degrees. The ship will be cruising the middle Rhine where there are many castles and ruins. Dave got a printout of the castles along the river and the Program Director, Boyen, was in the wheelhouse letting us know what castle was ahead and where to look.
The direction of travel is from the bottom of the map to the top. Because of the rain and blustery conditions on the top deck, I remained in the lounge and took pictures from there so some of these landscape pictures are not the best quality. I will post some castle pictures and landscapes of the Rhine valley as seen from the ship but won't try to identify any of them.
The hillsides are covered in wine grapes, mostly Rieslings and Chardonnays. In places the hills are so steep we couldn't see how the grapes could be picked without some kind of harness to keep from tumbling downhill. As the day progressed, the rain stopped and some blue sky could be seen.
This is the 700 year old Marksburg Castle. It was built for protection of the town of Braubach and to reinforce customs facilities that supported the town. This castle was not a royal residence. It did house prisoners and disabled soldiers in the 1800's.
After we docked in Koblenz, those of us going to the castle boarded buses and were driven back to Braubach. The castle sits 500 feet above the town. This meant for some climbing although an incline had been built for easier access on foot. At the top of the incline were great views of the town and of the Rhine.
We waited our turn for the guided tour. Rough stone walkways and passages made for horse access made for dicey footing.
Rough stone and rough hewn doors reinforced with iron was what castles were made of. We went inside to see what the living areas looked like.
They had a wine press and other wine making equipment.
This was in the scullery area of the kitchen.
The hearth area where meat was roasted and most of the cooking was done.
The common gathering area with a rug made from a pig skin. Tapestries and art work would have signaled that people of wealth lived here. The bedroom was located above the kitchen and had a small window. Warmth from the kitchen and a wall without a window where the bed was located kept the inhabitants from intense cold. The guide pointed out the short and narrow bed. People of those ages slept propped up so beds didn't need to be as long as beds of today. They feared laying flat as that was the position of death and they didn't want to go there in their sleep.
There was a chapel for religious observance.
This room showed what armored fighters would have worn over time starting with full body armor and ending with a man in uniform with a long gun.
The tower where prisoners were kept and a tapestry showing the types of torture used to elicit a guilty plea.
The torture room and some implements that were used.
The smithy. Note the large bellows for stoking the fire. This area was open to the courtyard for good reason.
When the tour was over, we took the stairs down to the bus. That was a lot faster than following the incline.
This was a nice selfie, I thought.
That evening Viking presented for dinner: A Taste of Germany, accompanied by musicians. I am in the background here, looking at the dessert table, I think.