Tales from the River – Rudesheim, Germany, Oct 02, 2011

It was cold this morning, in the 50’s outside. This afternoon, however, it was in the 70’s and humid. Honestly? When does autumn get here in Germany???

We departed the ship about 2 pm and were loaded onto a mini-train that took us on a mini-tour of the town, ending up at the music museum and the gondola ride. Because of the warm weather and the national holiday tomorrow, the town was very crowded an there was a one hour wait just to buy the gondola tickets. We had a choice of wandering for an hour and returning to pick up our tickets and getting in the gondola boarding line OR going to the music museum OR just saying forget it, wandering the town and walking back to the ship. Yes, you guessed it. We opted for a glass of wine made from locally grown Riesling grapes for Ed and a cup of Rudesheim Coffee for me at Speisenkarte Restaurant.

I have to admit, I’ve never had a cup of coffee made quite this way. They brought a special coffee cup with a bit of Asbach brandy, also locally produced, in the bottom. The waitress set fire to the brandy and made quite a production of spooning the fiery brandy up the sides of the cup. When she deemed it ready, she poured the coffee, dousing the fire, and added a dollup of whipped cream topped with large chocolate sprinkles on top. Oh, my, how good was that! It was a little warm to be drinking a hot beverage but it definitely was worth it.

There was a local musician playing an electric keyboard on the outside patio. I couldn’t believe it. He was playing “Blueberry Hill,” a great old American song, when we first arrived but then he changed to German songs and had some in the crowd joining in singing. When he played “Roll Out The Barrel” on the accordion, even I joined in, in English, of course.

We then strolled through the town, down the steep hill, to the river and reboarded the ship. We saw so many restaurants and souvenir shops along the way and, yes, we did buy a few things, for ourselves and for some people back home. We will be going to many other Germany towns so we weren’t in any rush to get something we really didn’t want, just to be getting something to take home. That was nice; having the time to wander at will, in no particular deadline.

Tonight, we have the meeting to talk about what is on the schedule tomorrow, dinner, and then, at 9 pm, we get to hear another local group called Duo Ambiente in the bar. I’m sure we will enjoy it as much as last night’s performance but we won’t be half as tired tonight as we were last night. One, we didn’t walk as far or as long as yesterday. Two, I think our legs are getting used to all of the exercise. I hope so anyway.


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