21.10.2011 - 21.10.2011 9 °C
Oct 21 Rudesheim - Day 31
Having spent 11 days getting to the Rhine we can't see it! We awoke to a London style pea souper fog which after 4 hours is still with us. We haven't seen much of Rudesheim other than the store fronts. The 'to be' spectacular views of the Rhine from the sky lift was a freezing cold experience with a view of the grape vines directly below. It cannot have risen above 0 degrees.
In the Rhine Gorge the sun struggled to shine through the fog but eventually it did. On each side of the gorge there is a fortress every km so we did the 'to the right to the left thing'. Some built by the Germans and some by the French as a symbol of their power rather than as military outposts. This river has for centuries been the life line to this part of Europe. Hence the need to defend it along it's entire length. Between the castles are the stone wall terraces that support vineyards on the steep slopes of the gorge. The autumn colours are spectacular. Still very cold and we are layered up all day when outside in an effort to keep warm.
Late in the afternoon they bussed us up a steep slope from Braubach for a Marksburg castle visit. One of the better tourist traps in that the castle had never been flattened and while it has been changed over the years, still retains much of the original feel; the natural uneven rock base to the entrances, steep narrow passages and stairs etc We had a Medieval Dinner perched high above the Rhine. Music and entertainment were provided and then they bused us about 60km downstream to Andernach where our ship had gone on ahead while we were Medievaled.