by, Jan Ross

Today was “Castles Day”. And my husband could not possibly be more thrilled. The best time he has ever had was when we got to stay in a castle in Ireland, so he is in heaven with all these German castles.

We cruised down the Rhine after leaving Cologne and, early in the morning, we entered the Rhine Gorge which is lined with one beautiful castle and lovely German town after another.

Beautiful towns!

We spent the whole morning up on the open deck, taking hundreds of pictures. The weather was cool but not unpleasantly so and cloudy but, luckily, not rainy. Just perfect for viewing the lovely little German villages and ancient castles.


And more castles!

This voyage up the Rhine was an absolutely incredible experience seeing the contrasts between the ancient castles and the more modern villages.

A village with the original old wall around it

We passed almost completely vertical vineyards perched on the sides of the mountains and were amazed that grapes can be picked from that angle.

Vertical vineyards!

We passed the famous Loralye statue on the side of the river and our cruise director shared some of the Loralye poem as she directed our attention to the various castles and sights we were passing. She was wonderful and spent the whole morning making announcements and commentary so we wouldn’t miss a thing.

Loralye statue

Just when we were getting chilly, the friendly crew brought us Rudesheimer Coffee, which is a special brandy, coffee and whipped cream drink which you only find in Rudesheim. I’m not a coffee drinker, but the rest of the group seemed to think these were wonderful!

We are getting to know several of the passengers on the boat and we had a lovely lunch together, where I tasted curry for the first time. I liked the mild but I think I’ll leave the hot for those who are more adventurous! We were discussing something at the table and they said I should blog about it so you would know when you plan your next trip to Europe that using the bathrooms in Europe is not free.

I found this out for the first time in a McDonald’s in Amsterdam where I popped in to use the bathroom and was surprised to see an attendant collecting money at the door. It was only 30 cents, but the only coin I had was one Euro, and by then I didn’t care what it cost, if you know what I mean! So always keep some change in your pocket for the bathrooms.

We arrived in Rudesheim in the early afternoon and tied up at the dock. Again I marveled at how convenient it is to get off and on the AmaLegro. So nice to just step off the boat at these small towns. They had a tiny little train waiting to transport us to Siegfried’s Musical Cabinet Museum.

I’m going to be honest here and say that I wasn’t sure how much I would like a museum for music boxes, but it is much more than that and very worthwhile and entertaining. Situated in an old house in Rudesheim, a guided tour takes you through the various rooms, demonstrating all the mechanical music cabinets, boxes, pianos, etc.

Fabulous antique musical merry-go-round

I had no idea they had created machines that could play most of the instruments of an orchestra a hundred years ago!

They even have one with a variety of little puppets playing different instruments. They were slightly eerie (wouldn’t want to see them playing on a dark night) but also fascinating.

Musical puppets


It is well worth a visit and perfect for families.

Dinner was a very special event – we ate at a castle! In the evening, we again boarded the little train and were transported to Rudesheim Castle which has a restaurant. We were treated to a wonderful meal and wine tasting by local vintner Georg Breuer. I can’t imagine a more delightful evening! The castle was fantastic with incredible views and the dinner was absolutely delicious.

When you are ready to travel with AmaWaterways, The Travel Authority is ready to help you plan that trip. You can call 1-877-AXP-1515 for information and details about these cruises. Be sure to print out this post or mention the code BLAMA to get the best deal on your trip. I would love to hear your suggestions for future blog posts. You can comment below or contact me by email at Thanks for reading – I truly appreciate it!

Safe travel!

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