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May 10

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Rudesheim am Rhein

Rudesheim am Rhein is one of our stories about what happens on a Rhine River Cruise.

Viking River Cruises cleverly planned most of our traveling for nighttime so we could spend our days in port. Today though, we had two cities on the itinerary: Heidelberg and Rudesheim.  Obviously we’d be cruising during daylight hours to get there, but that didn’t mean we would be bored.

Viking River Cruises Helvetia docked at Rudesheim

After our morning tour of Heidelberg Castle we returned to the ship and the sound of German music coming from the sundeck. As the ship set sail downriver we discovered that the crew had put together a fabulous lunch for us there. They had set up stations offering an incredible assortment of various German items such as brats, German meatball sliders, pulled pork sliders, German potato salad, and some other things that I don’t know the name of. Of course beer was flowing and there was plenty of Black Forest cake!

Cruising the Rhine to Rudesheim

This afternoon our ship was cruising the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our destination was Rüdesheim am Rhein, a typical wine-making town in the area. Of course the scenery was beautiful but we could do a lot more than just sit by the window and watch the passing landscape. Viking also kept us entertained with on-board events such as wheelhouse and galley tours, a history lecture about travelers along the Rhine and a demonstration of how to make a Rüdesheimer Kaffee, which is actually one of the main Rudesheim attractions.

We opted to skip the ship tours in favor of an afternoon nap (yay, downtime!) but got up in plenty of time for the lecture and a chance to try this famous coffee. Turns out to be very similar to Irish coffee but it’s made with Asbach Uralt, a special local brandy. Good stuff.

Traditional cup and saucer for Rudesheim Kaffee

Traditional cup and saucer for Rudesheim Kaffee

Dinner in Rudesheim

As evening approached we joined a group of shipmates to walk into Rüdesheim who had also signed up for an optional dinner in town, with authentic local food. What a pretty restaurant!

Walking into Rudesheim for dinnerRudesheim restaurant

Kathe Wohlfahrt restaurant in Rudesheim am Rhein

They definitely served a meal of traditional food – pork and sauerkraut – plus half a bottle of a local wine per person.

Rudesheimer riesling

While we ate we enjoyed some musical entertainment, but at the end of the meal I got drafted into the audience participation event: playing Edelweiss on cowbells.

Playing cowbells in Rudesheim am Rhein

and watching five people all trying to drink kirsch shots from glasses nailed to a board. Dan and I got drafted as well. The others were taller than I am. It was tough for this shortie to reach the glass, but I managed!

While we were in town chugging kirsch shots, the people who remained on board were treated to sauerbraten for dinner. This beef dish takes days to make and is one of Dan’s favorite foods. Good thing he hadn’t known they were going to serve it, or we might not have even gone into town!  We had such a good time in town though, that we got back to the ship late and missed the glass blowing demonstration that Viking had set up. Rats. I enjoy watching that sort of stuff.

UNESCO logoThe United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated certain places in the world as of outstanding cultural or natural importance to humanity.
Read more about why the Middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO Site on their website.
Or if you prefer, you can read about our own experiences at UNESCO sites.

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