Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rhine Cruise 2007 via Manhattan

In 2007 we took a cruise on the Rhine and other rivers in the area of Frankfurt am Main (sometime referred to at "Mainhattan" because of its skyscrapers. The cruise embarked from the Frankfurt airport. We decided to spend a day or two in Manhattan (New York City) on our want to "Mainhattan"

New York City, September 5, 2007

Our hotel (the Red Roof Inn) was across the street from the Empire State Building, so we walked to  that building on our first evening in New York City.

Barbara in the first-floor foyer of the Empire State Building

We rode the elevator to the observation deck.

Barbara on the observation deck of the Empire State Building
Northeast Manhattan from the Empire State Building
The MetLife Building
The Chrysler Building (just left of center)
Looking due north from the Empire State Building
Looking west toward New Jersey from atop the Empire State Building
Looking south from the Empire State Building as night falls
Same southward direction as it grows darker still
Weldon on the first floor as we exit the Empire State Building

Exploring Manhattan, September 6, 2007

New York City consists of 5 counties or boroughs (New York [Manhattan], Kings [Brooklyn], Queens, Richmond [Staten Island], and Bronx). We explored Manhattan.

We began by taking a Circle Line sightseeing boat tour around Manhattan Island. We took the subway west to Pier 83 on West 42nd Street. The tour circled Manhattan in a counterclockwise direction.

Barbara about to board a Circle Line boat
Looking east from the boat as it headed south on the Hudson River. The Empire State Building is in the center
Looking west to Jersey City, New Jersey from the Hudson River
Ellis Island, west-south-west of the southern tip of Manhattan
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty at a distance
Southern Manhattann, heading east from the Statue of Liberty
Heading north on the East River, Manhattan on the left, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in the distance
Southern Manhattan from the East River
The Brooklyn Bridge, looking west toward Manhattan
Same Brooklyn Bridge, looking east toward Brooklyn
The Manhattan Bridge (north of Brooklyn Bridge), looking west toward Manhattan
Williamsburg Bridge (north of Manhattan Bridge), looking west toward Manhattan
Empire State Building (pointed building on left) and Chrysler Building (pointed building on right) from the East River
United Nations Building, looking west from the East River
Yankee Stadium, looking east from the Harlem River in the Bronx
Northern Manhattan rural (!!) area east of the Hudson River (after rounding the northern end of Manhattan and heading south)
Grant's Tomb (left of center) east of the boat while heading south on the Hudson River
Circling Manhattan was a great introduction to the island I hadn't visited since my IBMer days. After a light lunch at a small Greek cafe on 34th Street, we took public transportation to other Manhattan locations.

Times Square, New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art
I'll refrain from boring you with other photos of our activities during the remainder of the day. In the evening we watched the play "Wicked" on West 51st Street.

New York City to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, September 7

On September 7 we left the Red Roof Inn in Manhattan and flew to Frankfurt

Main entrance to the Red Roof Inn on West 32nd Street, New York City
Looking upwards at the Red Root Inn
Looking up from the Red Roof Inn's lobby window at the Empire State Building (in the center)
Barbara waiting to board the bus at the Frankfurt Airport on September 8 after an overnight flight.

Bad Wimpfen near Frankfurt, September 8

The bus from Frankfurt airport drove southward for about two hours to Bad Wimpfen on the Neckar River. Bad Wimpfen a historic spa town in the Baden-Württemberg region of southern Germany.

Barbara as we arrive at the Charlemagne cruise ship.
We spent the remainder of the day taking a walking tour of Bad Wimpfen.

The first building on our walking tour
Bad Wimpfen is a mixture of the new and the old
Half-timbered houses everywhere in Bad Wimpfen
Bad Wimpfen Castle
Narrow cobble-stone streets of Bad Wimpfen

Contrasting architecture of adjacent houses
This is (the original?) Bad Wimpfen
Climbing around Bad Wimpfen
The Bad Wimpfen Protestant Church

Heidelberg, September 9

Overnight (and continuing into the morning hours of September 9) the Charlemagne went down the Neckar River to Heidelberg. Here are a few of the highlights of Heidelberg:

Friedrichsbau in the Heidelberg Castle Complex
Statue of Friedrich V on the outside of Friedrichsbau
Now that's what I call a big keg!!
Looking down at Heidelberg from Heidelberg Castle
Haus zum Ritter in Heidelberg
Barbara standing by "The Cat" status in Heidelberg
The corresponding mouse—beneath the cat—that the cat is eying
River Neckar in Heidelberg
Looking toward Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg

Traveling toward Frankfurt am Main, September 10

Most of September 10 was spent traveling from Heidelberg to Frankfurt. The Charlemagne traveled the Neckar, Rhine, and Main Rivers. Here is a nuclear reactor we passed on the Rhine:

Nuclear reactor seen from the Charlemagne
A church viewed from the Charlemagne, traveling the Rhine

Frankfurt and Mainz, September 11

Today we boarded a bus to visit Bad-Homburg and Mainz.

Barbara and Weldon outside the Frankfurt temple in Bad-Homburg
The entire cruise group at the Frankfurt temple
The bus drove from Bad-Homburg to Mainz, a city noted for the invention of movable type printing. Here are a few photos from my camera:

Barbara outside the Gutenberg Museum. It houses many treasures related to early printing.
Barbara by a fountain in Mainz
We took the bus back to Frankfurt, arriving late at the Charlemagne.

Bingen and Marksburg, September 12

Today was a second day on the bus. Our first stop was at Bingen, where we visited a museum for Hildegarde von Bingen, a 12th-century mystic, healer, and composer. We received a guided tour from a person named Hildegarde, who is the president of the Hildegarde von Bingen Research Society.

Inside the Bingen Museum, listening to Hildegarde, an expert on Hildegarde von Bingen
After the short visit at the Bingen Museum, we reboarded the bus and drove to Marksburg to see the oldest castle in Germany not to have been bombed in World War II.

Travelling by bus en route to Marksburg from from Bingen
Preparing to cross the Rhine to Marksburg (taken from inside the bus)
Arriving at Marksburg Castle
Climbing to Marksburg Castle
Slit in wall of Marksburg Castle through which to fire at enemies
Marksburg Castle coats of arms
Looking across a courtyard at Marksburg Castle
Looking up at Marksburg Castle
Cannons in Marksburg Castle
Indoor toilet at the Marksburg Castle as it appears from outside the castle
What that toilet looks like from inside Marksburg Castle
Kitchen in Marksburg Castle
Marksburg Castle's music room
Marksburg Castle armor exhibit
After our visit to Marksburg Castle, the bus took us to Rüdesheim an Rhein, where we shopped, etc. The Charlemagne stayed the night at Rüdesheim. We had the following fancy foil dinner onboard the Charlemagne that evening.

Koblenz, September 13

At 7:00 a.m. the Charlemagne left Rüdesheim for Koblenz, the last city of our cruise. The Rhine was foggy this morning.

Traveling through the fog on the Rhine
Visiting with the captain of the Charlemagne
We had lunch on the boat at 12:30, then took a walking tour of Koblenz.

Koblenz's equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, the first German emperor
Initial view of Koblenz from the Charlemagne
Evangelische Florins Kirche in Koblenz

A Koblenz street scene
A drug store in Koblenz
Koblenz Fountain
Two thousand history of Koblenz
Koblenz's St. Kastor-Basilika
Awaiting a recital by a Men's chorus from Sheffield, England
Farewell, Charlemagne Captain and crew!
Weldon at the farewell dinner aboard the Charlemagne
Barbara at the farewell dinner aboard the Charlemagne