We flew into Frankfurt where we were met by a Viking representative. After waiting for another couple to arrive, we were driven to Wurzburg where we boarded the Theodor Fontane. We were early and our cabin was still being cleaned, so we walked around the charming town for a couple of hours until we could get settled in our cabin. We were a little surprised to find that our cabin was smaller than we had expected with small twin beds, but it was not a problem. We had read that the Theodor Fontane was a smaller, older boat that is better suited for some of the rivers we would be navigating.
The next day we boarded buses to take the city tour of Wurzburg and tour the Bishops' Residenz, which was amazing! That afternoon we traveled to medieval Rothenburg, which should not be missed. You feel as though you are in the middle of a Grimm fairy tale.
On to Heidelberg the next day--a beautiful, red-roofed university city. We toured the ruins of Heidelberg Castle and then had a city tour with lunch at a local restaurant.
The next morning after breakfast we walked off the boat into Mainz. We decided to explore this quaint city on our own instead of taking the tour and had a marvelous time wandering the cobblestone streets and seeing the beautiful churches and half-timbered buildings. We were in sight of the river and our boat at all times, so there was no chance of getting lost.
That afternoon we sailed to Rudesheim where we boarded a winery train and toured a vineyard, plus a wine-tasting. Rudesheim is absolutely charming--one of our favorite stops. Since the boat was docked overnight, we walked into town, had dinner at a local restaurant, and then explored the brightly lit Drosselgasse.
We sailed into Braubach the next morning and toured Marksburg Castle. Unbelievable!! That afternoon we had a lovely cruise to Cochem. The small towns along the rivers are picture perfect with castles "protecting" them from above. Don't forget your camera!!
We toured Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, which is amazing. Not to be missed! Then on to Bernkastel. We loved Bernkastel, especially the wine-tasting at a wine cellar. Most unusual. It was unlimited tasting!!
Our final stop was Trier, the oldest city in Germany. Be sure and go in the 2 churches for they are breathtaking. Our guide was from Arkansas! Just delightful!
We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The food,new friends, tours, guides--everything. Viking did a great job of keeping us informed of our schedules each day. Our guides were very personable and knowledgeable. But the charming, clean (spotless!)towns along the rivers with their castles and vineyards covering the hillsides were the stars. Viking provided the perfect vehicle to enjoy them. What marvelous memories we have!!