Castles, Legends and Koblenz

Viking River Cruises' Viking Vidar docked in Koblenz, Germany this morning. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Viking River Cruises’ Viking Vidar docked in Koblenz, Germany this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Viking River Cruises’ Viking Vidar continued her 15-day Grand European Tour this morning as we arrived in Koblenz, Germany on what would turn out to be a real scorcher of a day along the Rhine River. With the mercury pushing above 30°C by lunchtime (86°F), it was a good thing that our touring activities were confined to the morning, with an afternoon of relaxing scenic cruising.

Disembarking Viking Vidar in Koblenz and making our way to our coaches for our morning tour of Marksburg Castle. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

Disembarking Viking Vidar in Koblenz and making our way to our coaches for our morning tour of Marksburg Castle. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The last time I was here, it was the middle of December and I nearly froze my Koblenzes off. But the city has some truly gorgeous Christmas Markets, all nestled within a very Medieval, almost Black Forest-esque town that doubles as a proper city in its own right, with over 100,000 inhabitants that call it home.

It’s also old: in 1992, Koblenz celebrated its 2000th anniversary. My country – Canada – celebrated its 148th birthday on July 1. The United States, by comparison, turned 239 years old on July 4. We’re infants toddling around in diapers compared to Koblenz.

It's a gorgeous morning in Koblenz. Photo ©  2015 Aaron Saunders

It’s a gorgeous morning in Koblenz. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

But rather than hang around in Koblenz again, I opted to do something that typically isn’t available in the winter months: take the included excursion to Braubach, Germany and the imposing Marksburg Castle that sits perched high above the town.

After a 15-minute coach ride to Braubach, we arrived at Marksburg Castle. I can see why this tour isn’t offered in the dead of winter: the switchback roads leading up to the castle are barely negotiable by our giant Mercedes-Benz coach in the summer. They must be hellishly dangerous in the winter, when the possibility of black ice exists.

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Our Live Voyage Report from onboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Vidar’s Grand European Tour continues tomorrow from our first port on the Main River: Miltenberg, Germany! Be sure to follow along with our adventures on Twitter @deckchairblog.

 

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