The Retirees go Abroad – Cologne – On the Rhine to Koblenz and Boppard

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The boat sails at 10.30pm for Koblenz and whilst Kerry pretends to sleep I start this blog. It will be a rough night with the motor noise and things shaking through the night.

We are woken by the silence. The ship’s engines have stopped. We have arrived in Koblenz. Koblenz is at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers. After breakfast and a consultation with the tour manager we decide to go it alone. Map in hand we head for the Oberes Mittelrheintal a complex of stately buildings in the centre of medieval Koblenz. On one of the houses is a clock with a face below. The eyes in the faces move with the second hand and on the hour the faces extends its tongue – I don’t know why but it does. Alongside it is the local church (note two bell towers they are very big on twin bell towers) and nearby an impressive school.

The tour manager gave us a few clues as to what to look for and one was the pissing boy. We did not find the boy but may have found his father hard at work selling his wares. Then another church and a walking tour of Americans – weren’t we lucky. A little further along we came across a monument which represent the time line for Koblenz’s history.

Time is getting on and we want to visit the Skyrope and the castle across the Rhine. So we head for the river and find the Skyrope (a cable car) but it doesn’t open till 9.30am. As we wait Martin and Christine (co adventurers on the boat) turn up. It was their idea to go to the castle and not the tour offered by the boat so we join them in a trip up to the castle and then they headed off to view the park around the castle whilst we visited the castle. On the way up we could soon why this site was chosen for the castle – it commands the confluence of the two rivers.

Whilst most of the castle structure remains, the internal areas have been largely converted to various uses. The castle appears to be based on the Dutch design of a star shape with a gate separated from the main gate by a moat. Where once you would have entered the castle by coming through the barbican and climbing the steep hill to the castle gates; these days you came directly into the old fortifications. The castle is now a number of things from military museum to commercial. One of the displays was a trip around the world and through history with Play Mobil figures. In the court yard you have the best views of Koblenz and the two rivers and the old path climbing the hill.

We must return to the boat by 11.30 or miss the boat. So we take the return trip with the Ropewalk and walk to the junction of the two rivers where a bloody big monument has been erected. It appears to celebrate the first unification of the Germanic states. The horse a top the monument column was so real to life it even had the world’s biggest brass balls. Kerry had heard or read that there was even a memorial to the third reunification – parts of the Berlin wall.

We made it to our boat in plenty of time. One thing that we find strange is the dining room is located on the water line as you will see in the following photos. Some people are getting sea sick every time another boat passes. We retire for lunch and the boat sails to Boppard a charming little village just designed for trapping tourists. So we take the unconventional route behind the town to avoid the tourist shops. We were excited to discover an ancient tower now converted into a home and shop – quite unique. This lead us to the main square and the local church again with twin bell towers – what is it about twin bell towers. Digging around in the back streets we found parts of the old city wall still standing and now incorporated into houses and other buildings, the last remaining city gate and a variety of buildings dating from the 16th century. Not much else to report on Boppard. It has a chair lift but it did not seem to have anything other than views to visit.

Now it is time for a kip then shower time and dinner. Hard life!

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