Avalon River Cruise Blog
Avalon Affinity - Romantic Rhine 7 Night River Cruise
Avalon River Cruise - Koblenz, Germany - October 21, 2009
Koblenz is one of the oldest Roman cities in Germany. The Romans wanted to control both rivers to control commerce in the area. Again the history of this area is similar from town to town and this one was mostly rebuilt after World War 2 but to a very nice original style. I am listening to the commentary from the local guide when I hear one of the old guys in the back remark "This should be called the bombed out city tour" as many of these towns were destroyed in WWII when we were chasing the Nazi's back across the Rhine and to interrupt supply lines. There is a very big statue of the Kaiser Wilhelm at the confluence of the rivers. You are able to climb to the top to shoot pictures of the area. There also seems to be a Kaiser Wilhem statue in many of the cities we have visited as we saw him a few days ago in Rudesheim. He united the Germanic Nations around WWI. We meet a very nice couple from Netherlands that are taking a driving vacation in Germany. They are from Haarlem near Amsterdam and we have a nice discussion about the World, American politics and life in general. They show us three sections of the Berlin Wall that are located in the park and the man shoots a picture of us by the river. The Berlin Wall is one of the most interesting features of this town, but it was not on the walking tour so we are glad that the man from Netherlands pointed it out. The saying in bronze on these sections says in German DEN OPFERN DER TEILUNG which translates into The Sacrifice of the Division with the dates from 17 June, 1953 to 9 November, 1989.
All across Koblenz there are statues of the people of the old town at various places. There is the old lady and the cop who is getting an earful because the large dog keeps peeing in the produce. There is a short little man with a drum that used to play his drum and march in the town square on Sunday mornings hoping to bum a cigar from the rich guys. He always had a little tiny stub of cigar in his mouth and the statue does too. Other whimsical statues are all along the way in this town including the old lady with the wide eyes and the cats plus the little girl splashing with the ducks and the boy who spits water at you if you are standing in the wrong place on the five minute mark. All aboard is 5:30 today, but we go back to the ship early to check the email before we are on the move again.
We pull out of Koblenz about 6PM and head up the Rhine. We are scheduled to arrive in Cologne about midnight. We are not too sure about the dinner choices tonight, so we both opt for one of the standing orders the Chicken Marsala. In addition to the changing menu, there are standing choices, just in case you do not like tonight's selections. The food and beverage program was good onboard with a lot of choices for a small boat. Dinner companions keep changing each evening as we did not pick a table and stick with those guests earlier in the week. This was interesting in a good sense on most evenings except for the one night we got stuck with the oddballs that nobody wanted as dinner companions. The soup of the evening is vegetable minestrone and desert is a lemon sorbet. After dinner, the cruise director has put a three piece musical combo called "La Strada" onboard in Koblenz that is two violins and a rhythm guitar. This is the best musical act we have seen all week and they do the gambit from Mozart to Gypsy music. They are so good, Gina buys a CD. It is almost midnight when we arrive in Cologne. It seems surreal after traveling through little towns since Basel when we pull into the bright lights and glitz of Cologne which is one of Germany's largest city on the Rhine. If we had known, we were parked next door to Papa Joe's Jazz Club we would have headed out, but that will have to wait for our next trip through Cologne. As we plan to river cruise again with Avalon, we expect we will be passing through Cologne again as that is on multiple programs as one of the crossroads of Europe.