Viking Cruise Bergen to Basel - 2022

CRUISING THE RHINE RIVER Besides visiting the many

towns along the river, the other attraction is seeing and photographing the many storied castles perched on the cliffs and hillsides of the river. Most of them are in the Middle Rhine. During our passage through this beautiful section of the river, we were most often on the top deck listening to the guide point out the individual palaces and points of interest. Since it was quite cold in the wind, the ship personnel thoughtfully provided us with blankets and towels to wrap ourselves. We were also given a map which pinpointed the individual castles for us. Unfortunately, that map did not make it home with us and I cannot remember the names of all the ones we saw. The structure we were most interested in seeing is the “Mouse Tower.” In Kay’s book “Winters Wrath” that tower plays a significant role in the story. Whether the old tale about the corrupt clergyman who tried to hide in the tower but was killed and eaten by mice is true or not, we were so happy to see the tower that is very real indeed. The other fascinating thing about cruising along the Rhine is learning about the difficulties in navigating it. Locks are necessary in many places and great variations in water levels along the course create real problems for ship captains and anyone using the waterway. Besides the locks, they are also other physical structures, like dams & reservoirs which help maintain constant water levels. From Amsterdam to Basel, ships are constantly going upstream against the current which is quite strong in many places. This creates navigational problems in addition to the many places where rocky shores and jutting natural stone barrier are present. Navigating the Rhine requires formal and extensive training and considerable experience before a student can receive his credentials. Much of the river is flanked by cliffs, forests, and farmlands. There are a few “beaches” where people can drive RVs and camping vehicles to spend some time on the Rhine, but most areas are too steep and rocky for such activities. Many times, we felt like we were floating through a tree-lined and narrow hallway. However, that is not to say that cruising on the Rhine is not thoroughly enjoyable. On a Viking river boat, you can totally relax, feeling pampered and well-fed, and immerse yourself in a beautiful part of the world. Click here to see Kay’s Photos

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