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April 26, 2022
Miltenberg, Germany: Welcome to Bavaria!

Once again, Viking provided us with a map of the day’s destination

At 9:00 pm last night, near the end of dinner, our Viking longship suddenly turned left. We departed the Rhine River and joined the smaller, more intimate Main River. (It is pronounced almost like the Central American word “Mayan.”)

This morning we continued to sail on the Main, passing through a number of canals in the pouring rain. It was a rare morning to sleep in, though we had a demonstration from a local glassblower at 10:00 am.

We did not dock until after lunch at 2:00 pm. By this time the rain had stopped, and we had clear (but overcast) skies for the rest of the day.

Today’s port was Miltenberg in the German state of Bavaria. Miltenberg is between the Main River and the Odenwald mountains, so the town occupies a long and narrow strip of land. This is a quintessential Medieval German town. Viewing the old and half-timbered buildings, you feel like you have stepped into a time machine, a fantasy land, or a fairy tale. This town was spared from bombing during WWII and didn’t need to be rebuilt, so everything is authentic.

Russell and Cameron went on the included “Miltenberg Walking Tour” excursion. In another bit of logistics, the ship docked in Freudenberg, where guests caught a motorcoach to Miltenberg. Everyone would later rendezvous with the longship in Wertheim.

Guests had a 1-1/2 hour guided tour through the pedestrian-only old town. The guide was a red-headed former nun, and regaled us with stories about Catholic children being forced into monkhood and nunhood (the average family had 17 children), and tales of witch trials.

Miltenberg welcomes you with this rather unique statue, indicating the public restrooms

The town occupies a long and narrow strip of land

Miltenberg is a fantasy land of half-timbered Medieval buildings

Note the second story (see the horizontal wooden crossbar) is not level with the ground

After the tour, Russell and Cameron still had another 1-1/2 hours to explore Miltenberg on their own before the longship caught up with them. Cameron had a local pretzel (he had to find an ATM to get some Euros), then he and Russell climbed the stairs to Miltenberg Castle for a stunning panoramic view of the Main River.

Miltenberg Castle sits above the town

The stairs up to the castle

The view of the Main River from Miltenberg Castle

Meanwhile, Gail took the optional “Freudenberg Hike & Garden Visit.” This took her to another old Medieval town. Climbing 440 steps to the 12th-century castle, she enjoyed her own panoramic view, a garden tour and some local snacks.

Freudenberg old town

Freudenberg Castle is where witches were imprisoned during the Middle Ages

The view from Freudenberg Castle

We all returned to the ship just in time for dinner. After an afternoon spent out in the cold German air, it was nice to sit down to a nice, hot German meal.

Note the ceiling display at the bakery where Cameron bought his pretzel

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