The last couple of days have seen the return of steep sided hills and slopes on either side of the Rhine. Since we left the Alps the river has mostly flowed through farmlands and flood plains, with occasional wide valleys. Now, however, we are travelling the Rhine Gorge section of this massive river (I’m guessing that one kilometre of the Rhine here would have as much water as 100 kilometres of our Murray River back home in Australia. Or not… But it is a MASSIVE river!)
This section of the Rhine is wonderfully twisty, surrounded by steep, high hills, the beautiful terraced Riesling vines, a few dozen castles and pretty villages starting to hum with spring-loving travellers. The busiest railway lines I’ve ever seen speed countless trains every hour along BOTH sides of the river, carrying their human and commercial loads along the gorge. Meanwhile, on the water, the river traffic is increasing every day as cargo barges and cruise-ships churn up the river or speed down it, the cruise liners depositing their human cargo regularly at the lucky villages selected to share in the booming cruise business.
All very exciting! Especially with today being another sunny, warm spring delight AND we had a good path, no head wind and not too many stops needed to consult our guide maps or negotiate blocked roads under repair. Consequently, we achieved a record average speed and gave ourselves lots of time to explore Koblenz, an interesting city of 100,000 at the junction of the Rhine and Moselle rivers.
It was days like today we had in mind when we were imagining this tour… they are magic!