Last week I asked: Where is the Lorelei?
The Lorelei (there are several variations of the spelling) is a famous German myth.
It was popularized by Heinrich Heine in his poem, “Legend of the Loreley;” a story about a lovesick maiden who lured unwary sailors to dangerous currents and reefs with her bewitching song sung from high atop the cliff.
The stretch spelled disaster for many a sailor who piloted this treacherous stretch of the river only to have his ship fall prey to the jagged reefs below the surface.
Captains and crews need no longer fear this stretch of the river because the reefs have been removed; however it is said that the siren’s song can still be heard echoing in the valley below.
Lorelei originates from the words “ley” or rock, and “Lore” from lure.
There is a statue of Lorelei atop the 433-foot massive rock cliff at the bend of the river.
I did some research before I booked my Rhine River cruise.
Tauck was a cruise company that had been recommended by some English friends we met in Asia.
I had never heard of them.
Everyone I know who took similar cruises booked with Viking.
I was surprised to find out Tauck was the first company in the United States to be granted a tour operators license.
I picked Tauck mainly because they had single rooms with no supplement, and it was truly all inclusive: all tours, all libations (which flowed freely) and included all gratuities.
I was surprised that there was a lady who had been on 23 of their cruises!
When we arrived in Basel I had booked my own hotel for three nights and Tauck arranged for Mercedes cab to transport to the hotel and to take me to the airport – gratis.
The only bill I had when I disembarked was for a massage and for the hairdresser.
The meals were gourmet and so were the pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres.
The cruise was truly luxurious.
On one of the shore tours they actually gave everyone 20 euros spending money!!!
Tauck has its own busses and tour guides.
I love their narrations as we sailed the Rhine.
Did you ever want to me mayor of a town?
One of the smallest towns on the Rhine has a restaurant/bar attached to a church.
In fact one has to have to enter the church through the bar.
I understand it is for sale and when you buy it you become the town mayor, vicar of the church plus a restaurant/bar owner!
There are a lot of vineyards along the way and even though the tours were free there were often choices one of which was to Alsatian Wine Route with a stop at Chateau Haut-Koenigsbourg built in the 1200s.
Cycling and a visit to Caracalla Spa in Baden-Baden were also included options.
I love going through locks.
There are 14 of them on the Rhine trip.
On the way to Utrecht we went through the first lock.
It was impressive.
After our cruise ship pulled in so did another huge ship.
There was less than a foot between us, then a smaller one pulled in behind us.
Utrecht has been awarded the title of most beautiful canal town in Europe multiple times.
I loved sitting in the Compass Lounge and watching the countryside dotted with numerous castles and picturesque towns slide by.
The Rhine has been traversed by many groups for 1000s of years, all of whom left their mark.
Travel Trivia Tease™: What South American country is landlocked?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!