August 2016 Rhine and Mosel River Cruise
We were talking about how we missed river cruising, so when we got an email from Grand Circle Cruise Line offering the last couple of cabins for a trip we had not taken at a steep last minute discount, we snatched it up. We added a three night pre-trip in Bruges, then stopped in Ghent on the way to our ship in Antwerp. From Antwerp, we cruised through parts of the Netherlands, into Germany on the Rhine, a few days side trip down the Mosel, then back to the Rhine, through the castles area, and down along the German/French border, ending in Basel, Switzerland. The weather turned out great, and we met a lot of nice people. Very nice trip.
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We started the trip with three nights in the beautiful medieval city of Bruges (Brugge in the local language of Flemish.) The city center is pretty much car free, and great for walking, which we did a lot. We also spend some time in canal boats and took a half day trip into the countryside and a look at part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall on the North Sea
We started the trip with three nights in the beautiful medieval city of Bruges (Brugge in the local language of Flemish.) The city center is pretty much car free, and great for walking, which we did a lot. We also spend some time in canal boats and took a half day trip into the countryside and a look at part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall on the North Sea
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After our stay in Bruges, we traveled to Antwerp, where we boarded our cruise ship. On the way, we stopped to explore Ghent, which also has a large pedestrian area in the city center and nice guild houses along the Leie river. Ghent is the site of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent December 24, 1814, ending the war of 1812. I went up to the top of the bell tower on the main square for a nice view of the area, and we had a nice lunch in a city center restaurant.
After our stay in Bruges, we traveled to Antwerp, where we boarded our cruise ship. On the way, we stopped to explore Ghent, which also has a large pedestrian area in the city center and nice guild houses along the Leie river. Ghent is the site of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent December 24, 1814, ending the war of 1812. I went up to the top of the bell tower on the main square for a nice view of the area, and we had a nice lunch in a city center restaurant.
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Antwerp was where we boarded our river cruise ship, the River Harmony. Upon arrival, we took a walk around town, tracked down an ATM, got familiar with the city center. That evening we had our first port talk on the ship and dinner. After more strolling around town the next morning, we had lunch on the ship and sailed toward the Netherlands.
Antwerp was where we boarded our river cruise ship, the River Harmony. Upon arrival, we took a walk around town, tracked down an ATM, got familiar with the city center. That evening we had our first port talk on the ship and dinner. After more strolling around town the next morning, we had lunch on the ship and sailed toward the Netherlands.
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is a very small town reclaimed from marshlands in the 16th century. It became a town in 1565. In 1583, to protect against Spanish invasion, the town, then called Ruigenhil, was fortified by William I of Orange with a surrounding wall and mote in the shape of a seven sided star. When William I of Orange died, the city was renamed in his honor to Willemstad.
is a very small town reclaimed from marshlands in the 16th century. It became a town in 1565. In 1583, to protect against Spanish invasion, the town, then called Ruigenhil, was fortified by William I of Orange with a surrounding wall and mote in the shape of a seven sided star. When William I of Orange died, the city was renamed in his honor to Willemstad.
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In 1953, a North Sea storm caused a major storm surge and flooded a large part of the Netherlands, particularly in the estuaries of the rivers Rhine Meuse and Scheldt. Plans had previously been made to close these inlets off and turn them into large fresh water lakes. Instead, largely because of the huge impact on the ecosystem, it was decided to create barriers that could be closed off just to stop storm surges. This work took about 40 years to complete.
In 1953, a North Sea storm caused a major storm surge and flooded a large part of the Netherlands, particularly in the estuaries of the rivers Rhine Meuse and Scheldt. Plans had previously been made to close these inlets off and turn them into large fresh water lakes. Instead, largely because of the huge impact on the ecosystem, it was decided to create barriers that could be closed off just to stop storm surges. This work took about 40 years to complete.
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is the oldest city in the Netherlands, celebrating its 2,000th anniversary in 2005. In the first century, it was a Roman village call Oppidum Batavorum. In 104 Emperor Trajan renamed it Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum, or Noviomagus, meaning "new market", which was the origin of the current name. On February 22, 1944, allied forces bombed the city by mistake, killing 800 people. A few months later, Nijmegen was liberated following the U.S. ‘Operation Market Garden’, which was portrayed in the movie "A Bridge Too Far"
is the oldest city in the Netherlands, celebrating its 2,000th anniversary in 2005. In the first century, it was a Roman village call Oppidum Batavorum. In 104 Emperor Trajan renamed it Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum, or Noviomagus, meaning "new market", which was the origin of the current name. On February 22, 1944, allied forces bombed the city by mistake, killing 800 people. A few months later, Nijmegen was liberated following the U.S. ‘Operation Market Garden’, which was portrayed in the movie "A Bridge Too Far"
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Is a Dutch village build on a polder (land reclaimed from the sea) that needs to be constantly drained to keep it above water. Today this is done by modern diesel pumps. Historically it was done with more primitive water wheel type pumps powered by windmills arranged along a series of canals with progressively lower water levels. Some of these windmills are still used for this purpose. The windmill operators live in the windmills.
Is a Dutch village build on a polder (land reclaimed from the sea) that needs to be constantly drained to keep it above water. Today this is done by modern diesel pumps. Historically it was done with more primitive water wheel type pumps powered by windmills arranged along a series of canals with progressively lower water levels. Some of these windmills are still used for this purpose. The windmill operators live in the windmills.
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was the capital of Germany during the cold war. After the re-unification of East and West Germany, the capital was moved back to Berlin. Bonn was the birthplace of Beethoven and host a significant University.
was the capital of Germany during the cold war. After the re-unification of East and West Germany, the capital was moved back to Berlin. Bonn was the birthplace of Beethoven and host a significant University.
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After walking around the city, visiting the Beethoven birthplace, talking with a student at the University and having lunch back on the ship, I did a web search for interesting things to see in Bonn and came across a museum dedicated to mechanical commputing machines called the Arithmeum. We had a couple of hours before leaving port, so I walked back to the University to visit this museum. Quite a fascinating collection put together by a professor at the University.
After walking around the city, visiting the Beethoven birthplace, talking with a student at the University and having lunch back on the ship, I did a web search for interesting things to see in Bonn and came across a museum dedicated to mechanical commputing machines called the Arithmeum. We had a couple of hours before leaving port, so I walked back to the University to visit this museum. Quite a fascinating collection put together by a professor at the University.
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After spending the night cruising up the Rhine from Bonn and heading up the Mosel, we woke up docking at Cochem, home of a nice castle. We took a bus up to the castle on the other side of the river and got a guided tour. I stayed in the town to explore a bit and walked back to the ship, where we had lunch and then headed further up the Mosel River.
After spending the night cruising up the Rhine from Bonn and heading up the Mosel, we woke up docking at Cochem, home of a nice castle. We took a bus up to the castle on the other side of the river and got a guided tour. I stayed in the town to explore a bit and walked back to the ship, where we had lunch and then headed further up the Mosel River.
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After spending the night cruising up the Mosel from Cochem, we woke up docking at Bernkastel-keus, a beautiful medieval town on the Mosel. The two towns, Bernkastel ("Bear Castle") on the right bank and Keus, on the left, were merged in the early 20th century. We visited the Bernkastel side in the morning, had some lunch in town, then headed further up the Mosel River.
After spending the night cruising up the Mosel from Cochem, we woke up docking at Bernkastel-keus, a beautiful medieval town on the Mosel. The two towns, Bernkastel ("Bear Castle") on the right bank and Keus, on the left, were merged in the early 20th century. We visited the Bernkastel side in the morning, had some lunch in town, then headed further up the Mosel River.
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We docked in the morning at Riol and were bussed to Trier, a city that dates back to the time of Roman Emperor Constantine. There are still Roman structures there, notably the Porta Nigra (Black Gate) and the Basilica. The High Cathedral of St. Peter is the oldest cathedral in Germany.
We docked in the morning at Riol and were bussed to Trier, a city that dates back to the time of Roman Emperor Constantine. There are still Roman structures there, notably the Porta Nigra (Black Gate) and the Basilica. The High Cathedral of St. Peter is the oldest cathedral in Germany.
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Zell was founded by the Romans in the first century. It is a wine producing town with some nice places to walk. The wine produced in the Zell Vineyards is Zeller Schwarze Katz (Black Cat Wine.) We had a nice quiet day there, walking around and relaxing by the river.
Zell was founded by the Romans in the first century. It is a wine producing town with some nice places to walk. The wine produced in the Zell Vineyards is Zeller Schwarze Katz (Black Cat Wine.) We had a nice quiet day there, walking around and relaxing by the river.
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We docked at Boppard, Germany, another historically Roman town, and our first stop back on the Rhine. In the morning, we explored Marksburg, a castle overlooking the river, then took some time to walk around Bopard and have lunch before cruising through the segment of the Rhine famous for historic castles. We had seen this section of the Rhine years ago on our first river cruise, but we got better pictures this time and it was great to see it all again.
We docked at Boppard, Germany, another historically Roman town, and our first stop back on the Rhine. In the morning, we explored Marksburg, a castle overlooking the river, then took some time to walk around Bopard and have lunch before cruising through the segment of the Rhine famous for historic castles. We had seen this section of the Rhine years ago on our first river cruise, but we got better pictures this time and it was great to see it all again.
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