This morning, ms Grace was gently sailing toward our next stop, Remagen, Germany. Our afternoon arrival gave guests the opportunity to sleep late and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. At 10am, Iris, one of our Tauck tour directors, gave an informative presentation about Carnavale held each year in Germany. Her talk was briefly interrupted by "Trudi", a citizen of Cologne who thought she was more qualified to talk about Carnavale. Before Trudi was escorted out of the lounge, she made sure we all had red balls on the end of our noses to get into the spirit of things.
Trudi takes over the show
At noon, we enjoyed lunch in the Compass Rose Dining Room before our arrival in Remagen. Scenery replete with castles, churches, vineyards and small German communities pass by the large windows in the restaurant as we dined. This is a beautiful part of the Rhine River.
One of the many castles along the Rhine River
At 1:30pm, Grace arrives in Remagen, Germany, and docks about 15 minutes from the famous Remagen Bridge. Christian, a local guest lecturer, was on hand in the lounge for a brief presentation on the history of the bridge and the part it played in World War II.
ms Grace docked in Remagen
The bridge was the subject of the 1960's movie "A Bridge Too Far". It was built during WWI and used primarily for military purposes in order to bring more troops and materials to the Western Front. On March 7th, 1945, an advance unit of the 9th U.S. Armored Division arrived here at the last intact bridge left, just after German soldiers twice failed to demolish the bridge. In the days immediately following, the German High Command made several attempts to bomb the bridge. Hitler even ordered the execution of five officers for failing to demolish the bridge before the Americans arrived. On March 17th, after undergoing several bombing raids, the bridge finally collapsed and 28 American soldiers lost their lives.
The remaining towers of the Remagen bridge
The bridge towers on the left bank contain The Peace Museum, an exhibition that recounts the history of the bridge. I found the memorial plaques embedded in the bridge tower to be especially meaningful.
Plaques on the wall of Remagen Bridge
After we walked around the bridge towers and took a few photos, we decided to take a walk through town. Remagen is a quiet little town of about 16,000 and is certainly not a tourist town. In fact, very few riverboats even stop here. Of course, we were on the hunt for some kind of souvenir, but there are no souvenir shops here. Finding our way into town was pretty simple: just walk one block up any road from the river and the next street you come to is the main street. We stumbled upon a pretty amazing 6th century church right in the middle of town
In the town square, almost right across from the Rathaus (Town Hall), we found a Tourist Information office, which looked to be closed. But, Rickee tried the door and they were open. We were inquiring about souvenirs and the attendant pointed to a glass cabinet in the corner. Lo and behold, there was a Remagen magnet! Our collection continues to grow. So, if you are ever in Remagen and looking for souvenirs, you had better find the Tourist Info office, because that's the only place in town that has anything!
Rickee outside the Tourist Info office in Remagen
After seeing all there was to see in Remagen, we walked back down the hill to the river where ms Grace was waiting. When we get back on board, we were welcomed back with a warm towel and a smile. The sun is starting to come out for the first time in three days, so we head up to the Sun Deck where we find some very comfortable seating forward of the Bridge.
Comfortable seating on Sun Deck
A waitress is taking drink orders, so we place an order and just relax and enjoy the beautiful view and the warm sun. All beer, wine, soft drinks, bottled water and cocktails are complimentary on Tauck, a very nice added benefit of a Tauck river cruise. After about 45 minutes, it is time for ms Grace to depart for Cochem and as soon as the boat leaves the dock and begins sailing up the river, the breeze starts to really cool things off. We take our drinks down to the lounge to enjoy the view from there.
Neither Rickee nor I were really hungry enough for a full dinner in the Compass Rose, so we decided to go back to Arthur's. We both had a bowl of delicious vegetable soup, after which, I had a cheeseburger and she had a delicious chicken wrap. It was exactly what we wanted.
The substantial burger at Arthur's
It has been another wonderful day aboard Tauck ms Grace.