Travel and Culture

Two German Towns

Miltenburg and Rüdesheim are two river-side towns in Germany. European river cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest (and vice versa) pass these two towns and you’ll be lucky if your ship stops for you to spend some time here, like mine did.

Miltenberg is a beautiful village with a population of approximately 9000 people and situated on a bend of the Main River. Historically it has been prone to flooding but the occurrence of this has been greatly reduced by the building of a protective wall. Because of its situation it used to part of a trade route. Some of its interesting features are The Wurzburg gate which is east of the town centre and the church of St Jakobus. The church was Gothic in design but lost its original exterior when it was rebuilt in the 1830s.  Miltenberg also has lovely little market square, naturally with old cobblestone paving.

However, I am a shallow creature and was rather overwhelmed by historical features. I went for the little walk and not far from the landing where my ship had docked, I discovered a motorcycle shop and saw a beautiful red motor scooter – a Honda Cub 125 selling for €3680.  I love motorbikes and had sold my 1979 Honda Cub 50 only five years ago. Could I afford this Honda 125 and arrange to take it back to New Zealand?  No. Be sensible.

The town of Rüdesheim is situated on the Rhine River within the Rhine Gorge. It is a picturesque town and known for its wine making. It was first settled by the Celts and then later by the Romans. We visited Siegfried’s fascinating music museum which was full of old musical instruments that I’d never seen before. One old large wooden cabinet housed a full band with percussion including drums, trumpets and stringed instruments that played with no human hand involved (except the one that turned on the switch).

The cabinet belted out an item and the whole thing shook with the intensity of the music and volume. I was gobsmacked as was everyone else who was watching it. It was hilarious and we all laughed.  The engineering of this instrument was amazing. How did people make such complicated things nearly 90 years ago? Another old musical instrument that fascinated me was an old gun with a long muzzle. When the trigger was pulled a delicate little bird popped out tweeting a delightful song.

Rüdesheim and Miltenberg have similarities but are still very different.  I hope you get the opportunity to visit these two lovely German towns.

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