Europe 2014

Rüdesheim and Andernach, 7 May


  Arriving in Rüdesheim, we were greeted by a pair of geese and their goslings on the river bank. †
  We took the excursion to Siegfried's Musical Cabinet, a collection of mechanical musical instruments in a glorious old house. *
  The instruments were demonstrated by a young women in period costume, who looked and moved a bit as she were also an automaton. *
  Note the gloves so that she does not damage these valuable antiques. *
  This remarkable instrument played six violins, with rhythm accompaniment. *
  A close-up of the complex mechanism. *
  A piano that reproduces not only the notes to be played, but also how hard they should be struck. *
  One of the other members of our tour trying his hand at a hurdy-gurdy. *
  Decoration on a carousel organ. *
  Rüdesheim is apparently one of the most visited small towns in Germany, although it is hard to tell why. Apart from the Musical Cabinet, there is little in the town's two or three streets apart from restaurants. *
  Rüdesheim is famed for its coffee in which brandy is set alight on sugar cubes, then drowned in coffee and topped with whipped cream and chocolate. You sure don’t feel the cold after that. *
  The end result. *
  After lunch, the Amabella set off along the Rhine, passing through the very scenic Rhine Gorge. We have forgotten all the names of the castles, and the dates when they were built and destroyed, but here are a selection of them. *
  Goethe, a paddle steamer and the oldest ship on the Rhine. *
That evening we were invited to Schloss Namedy  to dine at the home of Princess Heide von Hohenzollern. They were a branch of the same family as the Kings of Prussia. The Princess has a castle to keep running and, in the best tradition of the bossy lady of Country House Rescue, she has discovered that using the castle for weddings, meetings, musical soirees and APT cruise dinners is a way to get much needed funds. So that is what she does. Apparently she has contracted for 80+ of these dinners for APT this year, poor lady. However, she very graciously greeted us, allowed us to roam around some of her home and fed us dinner in the hall of mirrors, along with some very good piano interludes from what she terms “the upcoming young masters”, pianists of outstanding talent who are rising in their field. Nick and I led the procession into dinner (mainly because we happened to be closest to the door) but it did allow us to choose the best table.
  One should always be welcomed with champagne (or at least sparkling wine). *
  The castle courtyard was impressive. *
  We were then invited inside the castle, for a few more drinks as we moved around. *
  Eventually we were taken into the Hall of Mirrors, where dinner would (in the fullness of time) be served. *
  Waiting for some food. The service was amazingly slow. *
  An "upcoming young master" performing. The dinner went on to past 10.30, and we were all glad to get into the buses and return to the ship. *

Then on overnight to arrive in Cologne.


Copyright © 2014 by *Lynn Booth or †Nick Booth. Please contact us if you wish to use a photo.