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Koblenz, Germany
Sunday, June 19, 2016   Related topics:

This morning we got to enjoy a few extra hours of sleep as Viking Alruna sailed up the Rhine toward the town of Koblenz. At 8:30, Dewi, the Program Director, began her narration about the Rhine valley, talking about points of interest visible as we slowly sailed toward Koblenz. The weather was perfect for viewing the castles, vineyards and small communities that dot the landscape.

Castles around every bend in this part of the Rhine river

By noon, Alruna was docking in Koblenz and soon we were getting ourselves ready for our afternoon tour of Marksburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site located above the town of Braubach, Germany. The castle is about 12 miles from where Viking Alruna is docked so, once again, we grabbed our QuietVox units and headed for the motorcoaches.

Viking Motorcoaches

Once we arrived at the castle, we began the arduous walk up the steep driveway leading to the castle entrance. Here, we met our local guide, Mark, who began taking us through various rooms and explaining the history.

Marksburg Castle

One of the most popular rooms was the armory, where we could see different styles of armor used throughout the centuries. And of course, the torture chamber was another group favorite!

Armory at Marksburg Castle

After we returned from the castle, Rickee and I decided to walk into Koblenz and do some sightseeing. We have docked here before, but never seen the city. The walk into town takes about 10 minutes, and it is a pretty easy walk. There were a few shops and cafes open and the town was buzzing with activity. Once again, the weather is perfect, making it hard not to get out and walk.

Church in Koblenz

We get back to Alruna in plenty of time to change for dinner. Tonight's theme is "A Taste of Germany" and chef Mark has prepared a German feast for the Alruna guests. Local musicians are on hand to entertain as we line up at a buffet complete with sausages, meatballs, roast beef, pork knuckle, pork belly, suckling pig, roasted chicken, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and a few dozen other things I have left out. I tried everything but the chicken, and everything was delicious. We have noticed over the years how Viking continues to improve. And, food is certainly one of the most notable improvements.

Chefs fill plates as we walk through the buffet line

Guests who were interested were invited to visit the galley to see where all of the food on board is prepared. It is amazing what the galley team can do in such a small workspace. A German accordion player circulated through the restaurant entertaining us with lively music and even got some of us involved in the chicken dance!

German musician

Dewi, Evelyn and the rest of the staff were dressed in traditional German outfits and everyone got into the spirit of the evening. It was one of the most enjoyable evenings we have had on a cruise. Tomorrow, we will be docked in Cologne, Germany.

Originally posted on: 5/11/2016
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