Wertheim, Cruising, Koblenz, Germany

Map of Viking River Cruises: Grand European Tour

(Click on photos for a larger version.)

June 11

This morning there was a one-hour walking tour of Wertheim before the ship left for Koblenz, Germany. Because my husband and I were still feeling poorly, we skipped the Wertheim tour.

The ship spent the afternoon cruising along the Main (pronounced mine) River and then the Rhine River. My husband took both of these two photos on the Main River:

Castle and wall
Castle and wall
Swan family
Swan family

June 12, Koblenz, Germany

On the morning of June 12 we continued cruising. My husband took this photo of Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, a toll castle on tiny Pfalz Island in the middle of the Rhine River near Kaub, Germany.

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, Rhine River
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, Rhine River

After lunch we arrived in Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. We took the Moselle excursion, on which we learned about the history of wine making along this river and visited a winery in the town of Winninger. Wine making is the main occupation of this town, which features grape vines as street decorations:

Winninger street
Winninger street

Vineyards line the Moselle River:

Winninger vineyard
Winninger vineyard

Notice that the rows are vertical rather than horizontal, despite the steep slope of the hills. Vintners originally adopted this arrangement to take advantage of having rain water travel downhill. Some vintners now use irrigation systems but continue this arrangement because it’s cheaper to install long vertical pipes than it would be to install many more shorter, horizontal pipes.

Notice, also, that just about every available bit of space on the hills is cultivated.

Our tour guide told us that the annual grape harvest requires a lot of people. All the wine makers help each other out, and family and friends also come to help. Our guide herself takes time off from her job to help with the harvest because it’s such an important part of her town’s identity.

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