Left Cologne last night and and sailed into the Rhine delta in The Netherlands. We arrived in Kinderdijk around 3 PM. It was one of the few, if not the only time, we sailed during the day. Kinderdijk is a World UNESCO site with 19 original windmills.
Still in Cologne and back on schedule. We have had to dock at the Cologne Winter Harbor because it was the only area available with depth enough to accommodate the cruise ships. There are many here. We bussed into the city for a walking tour in the morning.
After the boat ride we stopped at Marksburg Castle for another very good lunch before touring the castle and returning to the Viking Lofn.
They bussed us back down to Assmanhause from Cologne and we loaded on a very nice and large day boat for a morning sailing trip up the middle Rhine and all its castles and Loreli. The bus trips down and back were long but eased by the fact we were riding along the Rhine most of the trip.
Remagen Bridge. At around 10 PM we passed the remains, the west side tower, of the Remagen bridge. The captain slowed and shone a spotlight on it. A very touching moment given the importance of the bridge in ending the war earlier and the bravery shown by the troops in capturing it.
After the castle tour we were bussed back into town, just below the castle, and were given a walking tour of the city. After some free time we took a 2 and a half hour drive to Koblentz to embark on our new ship.
Day 4 The Rhine is at historical low levels (actually, the lowest ever recorded) so our boat is not able to navigate the middle section of the river so the boat moved to the Strasbourg harbor and we were all loaded onto busses for our trip to Heidelberg and eventual transfer to our new ship.
Woke up this morning a little late and in Kehl, Germany. Woke at 5 to 8 and was scheduled for the Strasbourg tour at 8:15. So panic ensued. Cleaned up, got dressed and made it but we didn't leave until 8:30 so I had time for breakfast.
We woke up docked in Breisach, Germany this morning and after breakfast we took a shore excursion to the Black Forest. We took a one and a half hour narrated bus trip through small German towns and into the Black Forest.
Yesterday was the beginning of our much anticipated Viking River Cruise on the Rhine from Switzerland to Amsterdam. By coincidence Mike, our cross street neighbor, was flying out of Orlando yesterday as well, and since he was only going to be gone 5 days he drove his car and parked it there.