St Goar

Along the Main after two days in Frankfurt

Guten Morgen,

   We spent the past two nights in Frankfurt.  The first night Michael Kahn, one of Randal’s Odyssey 2000 World Bike Ride, friends came to visit.  Michael is doing a solo 6 week bike ride through Germany stopping also to visit the town where his mom had been born.  It was great fun listening to Michael and Randal reminisce.  More about that in the Frankfurt emails to follow.  But first our stops in the two charming towns of St Goar and next email Bingen.

Ru

St. Goar

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Only one Einstein but I’ve seen several Goethe or the same Goethe several times during our travels.

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Beautiful terraced hillsides which is why the area is a UNESCO Heritage site

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We dwarf the marina building in St Goar.  Many marinas (really small local yacht clubs with a few visitor berths) along the river have docks too small for us.  So it takes good planning by Mary and Rick and some luck to find a spot for the night.  So far, so good.  We are early in the season before everything really gets busy.

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We arrived early enough to go find lunch in town.

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The Café Owner explained to me why coffee pots are shaped differently from tea pots.  His collection fills all the walls but he has hundreds more at home.  Visitors bring him coffee pots and I think then use that one when they come for coffee.

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And desserts!

“The different shapes for tea pots and coffee pots result from the nature of tea and coffee. Tea leaves float and the spout, which joins the body of the tea pot near the bottom, allows the liquid brew to flow out from under them. Coffee grounds, on the other hand, sink, so the spout is typically mounted near the top of the coffee pot, allowing the coffee to flow out from above the grounds. Additionally, the more rounded shape of the tea pot encourages movement and floats the tea leaves while the taller coffee pot lessens the movement of the liquid and promotes the settling of the grounds.”

http://www.coxsackie.com/reference/tpcpatk.htm

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Little girl outside the Café with her mom and grandparents

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I snuck this photo while she wasn’t looking but then she saw us and smiled!

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This couple was from California, and if I remember correctly, the second Americans we’ve met along the river.  The first was the baker in the bar in Oberwinter who had moved to the US in the 60s and become a citizen. 

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Main Street St Goar looking up at the Rheinfels Castle.

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We looked in at the Puppet Museum but really didn’t have to time it would have taken to justify the entrance fee.  But hopefully somewhere along the way I’ll get to see a puppet show.

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This alley looks like Cape Cod on Halloween.  But Germany is the country of the Brothers Grimm.  And after seeing Wicked while in London, I’m partial to witches.

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A statue of St Goar  just near the castle and some of the ruins.  

We didn’t visit the castle but we did visit the WC which was an adventure all in itself.

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Flush                                                                    Wash

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Dry                                                                            Pay toll  

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Looking down on Doramac and one of our last stops on the Rhein.

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Waiting for the train to pass on our way back to DoraMac.

Most places we overnight seem to have railroad tracks just behind our boat so we hear them, but not to keep me awake.  The tracks follow the river most of the way as does a cycling/walking path.

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Looking back at the Rheinfels Castle from the back of DoraMac

The history of Castle Rheinfels and the town of St. Goar

     As a guest at the Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels you will also learn the fascinating appeal of Castle Rheinfels or ‘Burg Rheinfels’ as the locals call it. At one time it was the mightiest fortress on the Rhine and its size and construction are still very impressive today.

Archaeological finds show that the current suburb of St. Goar was already inhabited in Roman times. Ships needed assistance to get over the reefs at the Lorelei. It is believed there was a ferry boat connecting the Roman roads.

The small settlement takes its name from the holy Saint Goar, who founded a Christian hostel for the poor and travellers here in the year 550 AD.

His grave became a well visited pilgrimage site, which was looked after by a community of clerics.

In the 8th Century it became the possession of Prüm Abbey (Eifel). The first steward of the monastery was the Count of Arnstein and, from 1190, the Counts of Katzenelnbogen. This meant the city was under military protection and the Count’s jurisdiction.

Built in 1245 by Diether V. von Katzenelnbogen, over the centuries Castle Rheinfels became the most important fortress on the Rhine. Visitors to Rheinfels are surprised by how extensive the ruins are and by the maze of military and underground mine passages that are still accessible today.

Although Diether V. was a member of the ‘Rhine Confederation’, in 1255 he raised the St. Goar Rhine Toll. It was soon after that Castle Rheinfels had to pass its first major test: 26 towns, with an army of 8,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry, supported by 50 vessels, besieged the castle for a year and 14 weeks, only to then give in and leave without taking it. After that the castle was considered invulnerable.

In 1527 Philip I introduced the Reformation. In the 17th Century, and at great expense, his son Philip II rebuilt the castle as a Renaissance palace. Philip II was known for his brilliant and lavish court.

Under Count Ernst von Hessen-Rheinfels the flourishing town of St. Goar once again became the cultural centre of the region. Ernst tried to reach an understanding between religions and delighted in exchanging ideas with the intellectual giants of his time.

In 1794, during an attack by French revolutionary troops, the castle was surrendered without a fight and destroyed by the French.

St. Goar remained under French administration until 1813. In 1815 it was passed to Prussia, once again received the status of an administrative centre and became the Borough’s main town.

In June 2002 the cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, bounded to the north and south by the cities of Koblenz, Bingen and Rudesheim, was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Such sites are recognised as being of outstanding universal value and considered as part of the heritage of all humanity. That the Upper Middle Rhine Valley has been recognised as a World Heritage site reflects that this cultural landscape has evolved through the continuous intervention of man and nature for centuries.

http://www.schloss-rheinfels.net/castle-hotel/the-history-of-the-castle-rheinfels/

Koblenz

May 29, 2014  (15 years today for Randal and me!)

The Main River (pronounced mine) with one more lock to go today, Right Now!

Germany

   Since we left Ehrenbreitstein/Koblenz we’ve stopped at St Goar and Bingen, both charming places.  We hope to spend tonight in Frankfurt.

But now to prepare for the lock.

Ru

The Romantic Rhine (Middle Rhine)

area Koblenz – Bingen. This section of the Rhine passes through heavily wooded valleys and vineyards clinging to the steep slopes.  The road runs along the river on both sides with charming townships along the way.  There are no bridges for some distance above Koblenz but car and passenger ferries are frequent and well marked.

The Rhine has always been a great commercial highway.  For example about half the timber used in Holland came down the river in vast rafts or flüßels.  In mediaeval times  the Middle Rhine was largely controlled by  the great landowners on either bank.  They charged tolls of the trading vessels, and were prepared to use force to back up their demands.  Their castles appear at every turn of the river and give the Middle Rhine its romantic appearance today.  

http://www.tradboat2.co.uk/sourcepages/rhineships/rhineships.htm

Koblenz: the German Corner and a national heirloom.

At the famous Deutsches Eck, or German Corner, where the Rhine and Moselle converge, lies one of Germany’s oldest and most beautiful towns – Koblenz. Vineyards, forests and four mountain ranges form the backdrop to the city, whose 2,000-year history has given rise to beautiful churches and castles, palatial residences and grand town houses.

     The Romans, and later the Teutonic Order, were among the first to prize the majestic scenery of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. More recently UNESCO has recognised the area’s outstanding beauty by awarding it world heritage status. ……. Just beyond the fortress lies the site of the 2011 Federal Horticultural Exhibition, now a popular public park and outdoor venue. The cable car built especially for the show is still in operation, transporting visitors back to the western bank of the Rhine – the perfect place to begin a leisurely stroll through the beautiful old quarter.

     French joie de vivre and German tradition have produced a truly unique cultural fusion in Koblenz, characterized by cozy wine taverns, a genuinely welcoming atmosphere and great food – from gourmet cuisine to hearty fare. People come to Koblenz from all over the world to soak up this charm amid the narrow lanes, tucked-away corners and delightful city squares. A stroll through the old quarter could begin at the four towers, as the oriels of four baroque houses are known – one on each corner of the area’s main street crossing. At the Hauptwache guardhouse from 1689, guns, flags, muskets and horns serve as a reminder of the soldiers who carried out police duties here.  Further along is the Schängel fountain, which stands in the courtyard of the town hall. This famous landmark harks back to the time around 1800, when Koblenz belonged to France and a conspicuously large number of boys were christened Jean – which became Schang and then Schängel in the local dialect.  We can only assume that some of these boys must have been rascals, because at irregular intervals the figure in the fountain spits out a powerful stream of water onto unsuspecting passers-by! The Deutscher Kaiser is also worth a visit. This is not another monument as its name might suggest, but a Gothic tower house that now boasts a delightful restaurant on the ground floor. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of fine wine before taking the ferry to Stolzenfels Castle. Your boat passes by the Electoral Palace en route to this most impressive example of early Prussian art and cultural history. The people of Koblenz appreciate contemporary art as well, as is clear from the Ludwig Museum close to the Deutsches Eck. Its collection contains mainly post-1945 art, including works by Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages and Serge Poliakoff to name but a few. It’s such an exciting contrast: modern art in medieval walls, classics of the modern age in a captivating historical city. But don’t take our word for it. Come and see for yourself!

http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/towns-cities/koblenz.html

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There are an incredible number of ducks, geese, and swans many with lots of fluffy babies.  These pink legged birds look like they were created from left over parts of other water fowl.

Depth Indicators

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A water depth of 172 centimeters is indicated by the Koblenz Pegel clock at that time and place sort of.  Because you have to look on the chart at a specific location on the river and see how many centimeters to add to the pegel number for the real depth and you subtract the pegel number to tell you if you can fit under a bridge.  The higher the pegel number, the higher the water level, in relation to the height of the bridge, the less space there is for you to fit under the bridge.  Thank you Rick and Mary for the better explanations than all the Internet sites put together. 

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Pegelhaus Koblenz

Here are the official and more complicated explanations of Pegel. 

In the upper reaches, at Kaub and Bingen water depth  gauges (Pegelstände) have been set up to advise skippers of the actual depths on a daily basis.  The current minimum depth of the river is displayed in centimetres, and the Pegelstände also broadcasts to skippers each day. (Note. A number of real time depth indicators for the Rhine and Mosel may be found on the internet or try www.loreley.de/vbglorel/kaub  )

http://www.tradboat2.co.uk/sourcepages/rhineships/rhineships.htm

Pegelhaus

During the measures for fortification of the town of Koblenz under Elector Lothar of Metternich at the beginning of the 17th century, a Rhine Crane was erected for loading and unloading ships, which is the present day water gauge house. According to plans by the Jülich builder Johann Pasqualini a simple octagon construction with a profiled plinth was built between 1609 and 1611. The pilaster shows the date when it was completed (1611) on the ledge.

With the expansion of the Moselle wharf, the crane house continued to lose importance. 

From 1819 to 1945 there was another ship’s bridge from the crane house to Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein. After this, only the water gauge house was used. Next to the entrance to the present day restaurant, the highest water levels during the different centuries can be seen. The blue gauge clock is on the left.

The berths for the tour boats are found in the direct vicinity of the gauge house along with the ferries to Ehrenbreitstein.

http://www.koblenz-touristik.de

Determination of equivalent water level

The river bed is constantly being transformed by the effects of the current. This is a factor directly influencing the available water depth for vessel traffic in the navigation channel.

The normal minimal water level during the period between 1839 and 1848 was able to be established within the framework of the CCNR. During that period, the discussions concerning the determination of water depth were carried out for a number of years in order to define the conditions for determining the water level. This model was used as the basis for the concept of equivalent water level (IW gleichwertiger Wasserstand), which has been measured and defined in regular intervals (1908, 1923, 1932, 1946, 1952, 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002). The equivalent water level will be re-determined in 2012 within the framework of the CCNR in order to accommodate the changes in the Rhine river bed.

Determination of the equivalent water level takes place in three stages:

•The reference water levels and an equivalent flow rate are defined

•The water level at Cologne (Wasserstand der Pegel Köln) is determined

•The water levels at other points are consequently determined

In 1849, the Central Commission organised an inspection voyage from Basel to the sea with the aim of determining the actual and the required water depth. This practice was institutionalised by the Mannheim Convention, which specifies in Article 31: "From time to time hydraulics engineers delegated by the Governments of all the riparian States shall conduct surveys to examine the state of the river, to observe the results of measures taken for its improvement and to note new obstacles which impede navigation. The Central Commission (art. 43) shall designate the time and the parts of the river where these surveys are to be made. The engineers shall report to it on the results". Currently, the national authorities for waterway management are responsible for performing this inspection, and they present their report to the Committee for infrastructure and environment.

Further information on equivalent water level can be obtained from Generaldirektion Wasserstraßen und Schifffahrt – Außenstelle West

http://www.ccr-zkr.org/12030100-en.html

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“……..the Deutsches Eck at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle.  In 1891 Kaiser Wilhelm II deemed this historic landmark, given its name by the knights of the Teutonic Order, the perfect site for a special monument. Here people could give thanks to his grandfather, Wilhelm I, the man who unified the German Empire.  Alas, the statue was reduced to rubble in 1945, and in May 1953 Theodor Heuss, President of West Germany, declared the remaining plinth a poignant monument to German unity.  Finally, in 1993, a replica of the statue was raised into position on the plinth, where it towers majestically over the two rivers at a height of 37 metres. Every year the impressive structure attracts more than two million visitors. Towering on the opposite side of the Rhine is Ehrenbreitstein, Europe’s second-largest preserved fortress. At nearly 120 metres above the river, this is the perhaps the best place to enjoy views of Koblenz.” http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/towns-cities/koblenz.html

http://www.spiegel.de/  shows flood waters surround ng the statue.

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Where’s Randal?  What better sculpture in the art museum plaza;  Daniel Coulet’s Thumb

http://www.ludwigmuseum.org/engl/exhibitions/current_coulet.htm

http://www.ludwigmuseum.org/engl/exhibitions/current.htm

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This reminded me of a Virginia Dogwood, our state tree.  There is a variety with pointed petals called a Kousa Dogwood.

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When I’m an old lady I shall wear purple…AND DYE MY HAIR RED!  Maybe in lieu of a Red Hat.

http://redhatsociety.com/about/legacy

clip_image012 clip_image013Görres square:

The Görres square is located in the heart of the old town, and is known for its historic fountain, presented by the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz to the city of Koblenz in 1992, to mark the 2000-year-anniversary of the city. The column at the centre of the fountain is ten metres high, and depicts scenes from the city’s history, from the Roman beginnings to the present.

http://www.cityhotel-koblenz.de/76.html

Görresplatz

Archaeological finds prove that the area around the present day Görres Square had been inhabited by the Romans. In the middle ages the square was the property of the Castor foundation and later, the Order of Jesuits. In the 19th century it continued to be constructed and was handed over to the town. The square which is called Görres Square today has also be known as the "Large Square" or „Parade Square“ and at the time of French occupation at the end of the 18th century it was also called "Place Verte". At the end of the 19th century, the area was named after General August von Goeben who also gained a memorial on the “Goeben Square“. Von Goeben was the commander general of the Koblenz VIII army corps for 10 years.

After the Second World War, the square was "demilitarised" which means that the Goeben memorial was removed and the square was named after the Koblenz publicist and historian Joseph Görres.

The fountain in the middle of the square with its 10m high historical columns is worth seeing. The artist Jürgen Weber tells the story of the town of Koblenz in 10 overlapping scenes presented three-dimensionally.

http://www.koblenz-touristik.de/

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A play ground with a crown shaped play area.

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This ginormous place had lots of history but Randal and Rick were most interested in the fountain and I prefer ordinary people history to that of the rich and famous. 

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Noah’s Ark Koblenz. 

“The inventors fountain stands at the Löhr Center towards the pedestrian zone.  In the middle of the well there is a boat. Noah’s Ark was probably the model here, because on the boat there are all sorts of animals.

The fountain was created by the German sculptor Gernot Rumpf (* 1941). He is especially known for his fountains and statues with Palatine and biblical motifs, which can be seen in a number of German cities, as well as in Jerusalem and Tokyo.”

http://www.waymarking.com/

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There were moving parts and water shooting out from it.

We saw a $ 1,000,000 Noah’s Ark amusement area being developed in Dordrecht.   It had been built by a carpenter who dreamt the Netherlands  would flood.

Ehrenbreitstein

On the way to the Meinz River Bingen and Frankfurt

Guten Morgen

   Our marina was on the Ehrenbreitstein side of the river, Koblenz on the other side.  We wandered through both just enjoying strolling along and stopping each day to try out a local wine.

Ru

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Ehrenbreitstein on the right and Koblenz on the left side of the river

The small orange circle on the right side of the river (mid photo)is the location of our marina.  The bigger orange circle is where the Rhine and Mosel meet and there is a giant equestrain statue representing German unity.  (More about that in the Koblenz email.)  We took the ferry across our first afternoon but used the bridge to return and then both ways the second day.  So it’s not so far as it might look.

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Mozart Globe though I always thought kugel was a noodle pudding my mother made.    I could have titled the photo on the left, “Kindle NOT!” 

Cycling/walking paths line the river pretty much the entire way.  How wonderful!

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We didn’t visit the fortress but did eat at a kabob/pizza joint across the street from the lift that takes you there on the Ehrenbreitstein side.  You can also take a cross-river cable car from Koblenz.

“As the vine flourishes, and the grape empurples close up to the very walls and muzzles of cannoned Ehrenbreitstein; so do the sweetest joys of life grow in the very jaws of its perils.”

So did American author Herman Melville of “Moby Dick” fame write about the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, or Festung Ehrenbreitstein.

http://www.mygermancity.com/ehrenbreitstein-fortress

http://kaga.wsulibs.wsu.edu/  was an old newspaper article I came across telling about American soldiers taking possession of the fortress after WW 1. 

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If you wanna see it you gotta go up…  Our friend Linda Levy on B’Sheret coined that phrase in Greece but it seems true of everywhere.

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Looking into the town of Ehrenbreitstein

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Looking back across the river to Koblenz

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Rheinburg House had been our destination but it was locked up and under renovation.

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Back down into town

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The smaller black plaques are the more recent High Water Marks on the stone wall of the railroad bridge. 

     “January 10, 2011 – 05:04 PM   Flooding that inundated cities and towns along two of Germany’s most popular wine routes over the weekend began to subside on Monday. The region was spared the kind of catastrophic flooding seen along the Rhine and Mosel rivers during the 1990s.

The Rhine River spilled over its banks in Koblenz and parts of Cologne, causing shipping and other water traffic between the cities to be suspended. In Koblenz, where the Mosel converges into the Rhine, flood waters swept over the city’s main landmark, the famous Das Deutsche Eck (German corner) monument to German Emperor Wilhelm I.  (The bigger orange circle on the map.)

But the worst appeared to be over near Koblenz. "I assume that we have reached the peak (of floodwaters)," a spokeswoman for the Rhine Flood Center in Mainz told reporters. On Monday afternoon, water levels there remained stagnant.

http://www.spiegel.de/  shows the photo of Das Deutsche Eck

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When he’d asked me for the camera, I thought Randal had intended to take a photo of the high water plaques.  No.  Randal liked the stone squares (think home in VA we’ll build one day) and later we stopped to admire the sone mason at work.

I stopped to admire the different artist “atelier” in the town.  Unfortunately none was open.

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http://www.galerie-sehr.de/      and the Atelier of Anja Bogott  http://www.anja-bogott.de/

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Dog walking has a universal language anyone can understand. 

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Homes everywhere seem to be painted in bright colors.  The small arched doors lead to the cellar.

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Lovely nautical inspired door.

 

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And interesting roof design.

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Randal confirmed with the car’s owner that the top is indeed painted with gold leaf.

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Beethoven’s mother’s home is now a musuem but was closed the day we visited.

  “Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, to Johann van Beethoven (1740–1792), one of a line of musicians of Flemish ancestry, and Maria Magdalena Keverich (1744–1787), whose father had been overseer of the kitchen at Ehrenbreitstein. Beethoven was one of seven children born to them, of whom only Beethoven and two younger brothers would survive infancy. Beethoven was baptized on December 17, 1770. Although his birthdate is not known for certain, his family celebrated his birthday on December 16. “

http://www.symphonyinc.org/node/151

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Harbor master at the Kaiser Wilhelm Rhein Marina braiding a line. 

Oberwinter

Upriver from Koblenz

Guten Morgen,

   We spent the evening of the 24th at Oberwinter.  It doesn’t get better than the evening we spent there. 

Ru

Oberwinter !

I’ve not been able to find anything about Oberwinter, but that’s fine.  The folks we met there are much more important than anything we saw or could have read. 

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I looked up from my computer to see the scenery had definitely changed.   Long days of slow river travel are good times to catch up on writing. Notice the stone structure on the top of the hill.

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I zoomed in on the computer and you can see people up there; maybe watching us cruise past.

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The scullers were going down river with the current but the sea kayaker had to paddle against it. 

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A hill castle for which the Rheine is famous.

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Looking back down river from where we’d just come.

Our overnight stop was the marina in Oberwinter which means “upper winter.”

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The small town was a short walk from the marina

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DoraMac in the Oberwinter marina.

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You see women of all ages with the red color but there are many who are bolder and choose the blue or green.

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Gaststatte ALT OBERWINTER where we stopped to taste the local wines

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When we first came in I snuck this photo: by the time we left we were all old friends and Randal had treated everyone to their drinks.  The man in the blue hat had spent about 40 years in the US working at various venues as a baker.  He became a US citizen and will be returning to Nevada where he has many friends. 

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Andreas Klein who made us so welcome.

We ordered wine but then I bought some peanuts to counteract the wine.  Soon Andreas delivered a plate of wonderfully spiced meatballs to the table and then some bread squares with some kind of spread.  Both house specialties.  Both tasted wonderful even to me and I’m really cutting back on meat.

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I think this is Mrs. Klein  (we weren’t really  introduced)  who is giving Mary a lesson about local wines.

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Strangers become friends! 

We left with very warm feelings generated by more than glasses of local wine.

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We walked back through town to the boat.

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This house had a lovely garden and strange ceramic figurines all around the windows.

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A lovely view the next day as we made our way towards Koblenz, our next stop.

Cologne 1

Guten Morgen,

“Germany is a country for which Jews have a very visceral reaction.”

http://www.obermayer.us/german/german_conscience.htm

During our travels I’ve made attempts in several countries to seek out the “Jewish presence.”   I visited synagogues in Singapore, England  and India and while in New Delhi attended a Friday night service with Jewish cruiser friends Linda and Michael on B’Sheret.  I’ve visited Jewish cemeteries in Malaysia and Ipswich.   I’m neither spiritual nor practicing, though both my sister and I as well as all of our Jewish friends attended Hebrew school and had a Bar or Bas Mitzvah.  I learn for the history and the story.

Seeking out the very long, sad, and complicated Jewish history of Germany is not what our journey along the rivers is all about.  Meeting people as they are today is why most people become cruisers.  Learning the basics of a country’s history and seeing its architecture and natural beauty is part also.  But most important is to keep an open mind about everything.  If not, there’s no point in traveling.  So though I will write about monuments to the Holocaust, that’s just part of what I see.  I feel an obligation to do that but also to talk about the lovely people we meet along the way. 

Unfortunately most all my knowledge of Germany and a good deal of Western Europe comes from TV or movies which is probably worse than having no knowledge at all. But I’ve never been interested in the history of European kings, queens or battles.  The life of everyday people is what I find interesting.   So as we travel along I can tell you what I see, but not much more than that. 

Cologne for a day……

Cologne, German Köln ,  fourth largest city in Germany and largest city of the Land (state) of North Rhine–Westphalia. One of the key inland ports of Europe, it is the historic, cultural, and economic capital of the Rhineland.

Cologne’s commercial importance grew out of its position at the point where the huge traffic artery of the Rhine (German: Rhein) River intersected one of the major land routes for trade between western and eastern Europe. In the Middle Ages it also became an ecclesiastical centre of significance and an important centre of art and learning. This rich and varied heritage is still much in evidence in present-day Cologne, despite the almost complete destruction of the Inner City (Innenstadt) during World War II. Cologne is the seat of a university and the see of a Roman Catholic archbishop. Its cathedral, the largest Gothic church in northern Europe, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996; it is the city’s major landmark and unofficial symbol. Area city, 156 square miles (405 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) 989,766.

Cologne is the fourth largest of Germany’s cities (only Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich are larger). Some four-fifths of its population is of German nationality; of the remainder, most are southern European guest workers who have moved to the city since the 1970s, chiefly from Turkey and Italy but also from the Balkan states. The predominant religion of the German community is Roman Catholicism, but there is a large Protestant minority. There is also a sizable Muslim community and a small Jewish one.

http://www.britannica.com

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Paper streamers were in evidence but I don’t know why.   Lots of lovely old buildings too

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Wake up! 

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Ulrepforte

The name Ulrepforte is derived from the earlier name for potters, the Euler or Uler, who once had their businesses here.  You can see from the ruins that the Ulrepforte was originally a larger city gate with two towers.  In the 15th century a mill was built here, the tower of which has been preserved.  It belonged to the nearby Carthusian monastery.  At the other side, a small bastion was added on.  In 1881, the city wall was torn down. Only very little of it still remains intact.

      Today the "Kölsche Funke rutwiess", which is the city’s oldest traditional carnival corps, has its headquarters here. This is an historical reference to the city’s former defences: The foundation of the Red Sparks in 1823 was an ironic allusion to the city soldiers of the former Imperial City of Cologne.

The city soldiers, or sparks, were not particularly respected. They were seen as harmless drinkers with little battle courage. Reference to this is made by the sleeping radio next to the old gate (The word ‘Funke’ can mean both a spark or radio).  Two other traditional carnival societies, the Blue Sparks and the Prince’s Corps, are in residence nearby, on the other side of Ulrichgasse, in the old fortified towers to the right and to the left of the surviving section of city wall.

The two other surviving medieval city gates are Severinstor at Chlodwigplatz and Eigelsteintor in the north of the city.  http://www.shoppingguide.ihk-koeln.de/

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Flyer for a puppet shoe; I’d love to see one and a clock with a second hand that was a butcher’s knife.

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The maps said one way to the Synagogue but the street sign pointed otherwise.  We made the mistake of following the sign rather than listen to Mary.

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More streamers and street art.

Visiting the Synagogue was an experience.  First of all it was Friday so I wondered if a visit would even be possible.  But we pressed the buzzer and were allowed into the hallway.  There we were asked to show our passports which we didn’t have.  Then they asked if we were Jewish.  I said I was but Mary is Catholic and Rick’s parents were Protestant but he grew up in a Chicago neighborhood with lots of Jewish people.  But did Rick or Mary have any ID?  No as a matter of fact.  But I had my VA driver’s license and as Mary and Rick were my good friends, we were all allowed in.  Unfortunately nothing was in English and there was no one about to speak with.  But we walked around and took photos with their permission.  Later when we visited the tourist office and I asked for information about the synagogue I was handed a “Holy Cologne” brochure with a photo and one paragraph and was told visits were only allowed by booking with the tourist office.  I shouldn’t have told her we’d already visited as that made her smile go away.  Because of security issues visiting synagogues outside the US and Israel is more complicated and I’ll remember that for the future.  As it was the two gentlemen manning the door were very nice.  I left a donation on our way out.

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Renovation work hides most of the exterior.

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“Since 1899, the neo-Romanesque synagogue on Roonstrasse has been the largest religious and cultural centre for the Jewish communities in Cologne.  After being burned down by the Nazis on 9 November, 1938, the synagogue was rebuilt between 1957 and 1959.  The building’s main front has three arched portals and a large gabled façade with a centrally positioned rose window.  In 2005 Benedict XVI became the first pope to visit a Jewish house of worship in Germany when he went to the Cologne synagogue during the 10th World Youth Day.  Cologne Tourism brochure “Holy Cologne” 2014/2015

The Roonstrasse synagogue was reopened in 1959, having been restored with the financial support of the German government. It contains a memorial hall, with a plaque paying tribute to all the Shoah’s victims, and specifically to the 11,000 Jews deported, most to their deaths, from Cologne.

http://www.germansynagogues.com/

The Jewish community in Cologne is Germany’s oldest, dating from Roman times. The city’s Roonstrasse Synagogue was destroyed in 1938 during the Nazis’ Kristallnacht pogrom and not rebuilt until 1959.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4807640

http://www.tabletmag.com/ tells about Jewish life in Cologne today.

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Doors into the main sanctuary : I’m guessing each one of the symbols represents one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel

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The main sanctuary

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      Lovely stained glass windows       

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German Hebrew prayer book

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The destroyed synagogue

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I believe these are models of the 5 synagogues that were pre-WW 2

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A map showing what was once the locations of Jewish areas in Cologne  and what I think is the memorial plaque referred to above.

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Brass memorial plaques were embedded in the sidewalks

“Those who tread on the brass plaques actually keep the memories alive by inadvertently rubbing the rust off the metal and bringing back the shine. Even if they’re liable to overlook the little inscriptions. So the plaques are intended to be trodden upon. And to spark sidewalk chats among passersby while Demnig is busy hammering in the engraved cobblestones. To read the inscription you’ve got to bend over – which may be interpreted as bowing to the victims in tribute. …..

     The artist hit on the idea of the “stumbling blocks” in 1993 while commemorating the murdered Sinti and Roma gypsies in Cologne.

     By August 2008 Demnig had laid some 15,000 stones in over 345 towns, and there’s still a steady stream of incoming requests.”

http://www.goethe.de/kue/arc/dos/dos/zdk/en78940.htm   brass memorial sidewalk plaques

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Rick and Mary trying to turn the sign post to point in the correct directions; but it really wouldn’t budge and we didn’t want to attract too much attention  messing around with a street sign. 

Cologne

http://www.museenkoeln.de  Cologne’s National Socialism Documentation Center

     “The establishment of the NS Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne is itself a typical example of the politics of memory in Germany. It could not have been established without citizen involvement, nor could it continue without this important element today.”

Karl Wozniak

by Jane Ulman

January 3, 2014 | 10:47 pm

   “One dark November evening in 1938, as 14-year-old Karl Wozniak and his younger brother, Max, left their Cologne apartment for a walk, they saw a fire burning in nearby Horst Wessel Park. They headed toward the flames and spied a group of Nazis standing around the fire. They stayed in the shadows, saying little, and soon returned home……”

http://www.jewishjournal.com/survivor/item/survivor_karl_wozniak

Cologne 2

Kilometer post 616 on our way to 591 for the night at Koblenz.  We are now doing 5.7 K

Ru

Cologne 2

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The synagogue was quite near the intersections of Mozart and Beethoven Streets

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I have to admit I like heavy clear/colored  plastic furniture

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So here we are.  We spent our time in the older areas closer to the river but you can see the ring shope of the city it much bigger.

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Look one way and you see an ice cream cone sculpture and the other looks like a cake with white icing.

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We’d seen similar street performers in London but never how they set up so as not to give away how they balance.  Wonder if the ones in London did the same thing?

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Perfume testing didn’t go so well in Dordrecht but Mary was willing to try it again.  We were in Cologne after all.

Eau de Cologne

The original Eau de Cologne is a spirit-citrus perfume launched in Cologne in 1709 by Giovanni Maria Farina (1685–1766), an Italian perfume maker from Santa Maria Maggiore Valle Vigezzo. In 1708, Farina wrote to his brother Jean Baptiste: "I have found a fragrance that reminds me of an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain".[1] He named his fragrance Eau de Cologne, in honour of his new hometown.[2]

The most famous Original Eau de Cologne is 4711, named after its location at Glockengasse No. 4711. It was also developed in the 18th century by Wilhelm Mülhens in Cologne and is therefore one of the oldest still produced fragrances in the world. On 12 December 2006, the perfumes and cosmetics company Mäurer & Wirtz has taken over 4711 from Procter & Gamble and have expanded it to a whole brand since then.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eau_de_Cologne

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http://www.koelner-dom.de/index.php?id=2&L=1  site of the Cologne Cathedral

The Dom

Cologne’s skyline is dominated by the Dom. On the left wall, past the transept, is the original stone-etched letter of protection of Cologne’s Jews issued by Archbishop Engelbert II in 1266. At the rear of the cathedral, the left side of the middle panel of three stained-glass windows depicts Elijah, Abraham and Isaac, Samuel, Salomon and Sheba.

http://www.germany.travel/

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The nine pieces of baroque tapestry were designed by Peter Paul Rubens and show the “Triumph of the Eucharist”. They are only displayed for few weeks in about May to June each year.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/

This is the only source I could find about the tapestries.  The Cathedral brochure had no info nor could I find any on the website. 

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Mary is a Franciscan so especially wanted to visit the St Clare chapel.

“Altar of the Poor Clares, about 11350/60.  This is the oldest remaining sacrament altar with a permanently fixed tabernacle.  This lavish winged altar can be opened in three different transformations.  It originates from the Franciscan convent of St Clare in Cologne and was brought into the cathedral in 1811.”  DOM brochure

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(photo from the Cathedral brochure)

Jewish privilege, 1266

“What makes this privilege so unusual is that it was published ‘in stone’ in the cathedral. Following riots against the city’s Jews in 1266, Archbishop Engelbert of Falkenburg complied with the Jewish community’s request to be granted a privilege. The stone charter outlining the details of the privilege is divided into two stone plaques. The socle and crenellations are not original and were rendered according to a design by Arnold Wolff. The privilege granted the Jews the right to bury their dead without hindrance, exempted them from death duties and arbitrary taxes, and granted them a monopoly in the lucrative money-lending business. The taxes paid by the Jews constituted an important source of income for the Archbishop of Cologne, which explains why he was so keen to protect them. “

http://www.koelner-dom.de/index.php?id=16891&L=1

I only read of this afterwards but could visit on the website.

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The Sherlock Holmes Club……?

We saw these guys in the Deerstalker hats.  When they saw me taking photos they waved and I asked them if they were all “Sherlock Holmes.”  They all were except for the painted guy who said he was David Bowie.  There were lots of bottles of beer on their table so they were having a good time.

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They also enjoyed hamming it up.

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A festival of Rhine wines.  Mary and Rick each tried one but I took a pass.  However, the next evening in Oberwinter I tried a lovely very dry white Riesling and quite liked it.

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Looking into the Marina from the Harry Blum Platz just near the marina exit.  It was 1100 feet from DoraMac, at the very furthest dock to the harbor master’s office just inside the entrance to the marina.

Randal had to walk back and forth 5 times during the day we went touring and he stayed to do boat work.  There was a gigantic building with Microsoft just next to us.

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Looking back in the early morning light at the clock tower in the Harry Blum Platz. 

River Passage from Papendrecht to Germany

Scenes along the river from Dordrecht, Netherlands to Emmerich Germany.

Ru

River Passage from Papendrecht to Germany

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The Piet Hein the ship reminded me of Piet Hein who, among other accomplishment wrote Grooks.  Though that Piet Hein was Danish, not Dutch though I’m not absolutely sure where this ship is from.

Piet Hein (16 December 1905 – 17 April 1996) was a Danish scientist, mathematician, inventor, designer, author, and poet, often writing under the Old Norse pseudonym "Kumbel" meaning "tombstone". His short poems, known as gruks or grooks (Danish: gruk), first started to appear in the daily newspaper "Politiken" shortly after the Nazi occupation in April 1940 under the pseudonym "Kumbel Kumbell".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Hein_(scientist)

GROOK ON LONG-WINDED AUTHORS    

Long-winded writers I abhor,

    and glib, prolific chatters;

give me the ones who tear and gnaw

    their hair and pens to tatters:

who find their writing such a chore

    they only write what matters.

WHAT PEOPLE MAY THINK

Some people cower

and wince and shrink,

owing to fear of

what people may think.

There is one answer

to worries like these:

people may think

what the devil they please.

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Another interesting name; Sailing Home.  Sometimes these monsters come quite close though their captains seem to be not the least bit worried about us.

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Our very own flag display.. laundry on the bow.

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The Netherlands says windmills and bicycles to me, but we certainly saw lots of horses.  Herds of horses, cattle and sheep were all grazing along the river at various places.

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Climbing aboard

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After the customs officials in France, I’ve gotten used to officials in rubber dinghies pulling up to DoraMac and climbing aboard.  This helpful fellow wanted to mark our charts to make sure we followed the channel correctly because there’s so much shipping that everyone has to be exactly where they should be.

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Lots of cycling paths and ferries to transport riders across the river.  The 870 is the kilometer marker just like the mile markers on our highway maps so you know where you are on the charts.

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The 8.1 is kilometers per hour so we’re going pretty slowly because of the river current against us. Usually we’re not even going this fast, more like 6 kilometers or less.

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Signing in with the harbor master in Emmerich, Germany.

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We just used the docks for tying up, but these water fowl used them as a place to build their nests under.

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We left Emmerich as early as possible because we had a long way to go and were moving very slowly.

Rick pointed this out as a NATO Cold War boat ramp in case they had to move troops quickly across the river if the Russians invaded.  There was a ramp on the opposite bank.

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Coal Barges

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Nuclear Power plants were along the river. 

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Lots of industrial scenery replace the lovely horses, sheep and cows of the Netherlands.

Visit to the Great Church

I’m not so much a fan of stained glass windows, but I loved the ones illustrating the Guilds of Dordrecht.  And I’m also developing a fondness for the women who volunteer at the churches who are so interested in visitors to their church and so willing to share their knowledge.  I met several in England and now one in Dordrecht.  She had the most amazing twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes.

Ru

Dordrecht Great Church

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These tourists were seeing Dordrecht by open boat along the waterways through the city.

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The Grote Kerk  “Great Church” (visible at the end of the road) has a climbable “leaning” tower, so who could resist.  See the clock’s face on the tower?  That’s where we climbed, all 72 meters; 2,376 ft.   I loved the stained glass windows in the church; one set told Dordrecht history, but the other three; my absolute favorites, told the stories of the city Guilds with a few hidden surprises.

“Dordrecht is the oldest city of Holland, as the western part of the Netherlands is called.  The city owes its prosperity to its location in the Rhine and Meuse delta and to the staple right, an old form of levying.  For centuries the tower has been under construction.  Nowadays such a long building period is inconceivable, but 600 years ago it was common practice due to limited resources and techniques.

Construction began in the early 14th century.  Some hundred years later, around 1450, work had proceded as high as the gallery, but then fate struck.  Both church and tower were seriously damaged during an enourmous fire that raged through half the city – a phenomenon that wan not unusual either in those days- in 1457.  Having to rebuild the tower, however, offered an opportunity to change the design.  The tower was to get an octangular stone crowning and to attain a height of no less than 108 meters.  (3.3 times 108 = 3,564 ft.)  But as the tower started to subside, the idea was dropped.  The free standing entrance (locked when we got there) is a reminder of the 16th century plan to tear down the tower in order to enlarge the church building.  But this part of the plan was abandoned as well.  Finally, in 1626 construction came to an end with the installation of four colossal clockfaces that still outline the silhouette of “the Dordtse dom, the city’s cathedral.” 

At present the tower is 2.25 meters (7.4.5 ft) off plumb and braces itself with a twelve million kilo weight against the northwest, symbolizing the city’s relationship with wind and water..

Grote Kerk Tower brochure

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Stained Glass story of Dordrecht history….

-The Hoekse en Kabeljauwse twisten window illustrates the struggle for power between two groups of noblemen and towns in the 14th and 15th centuries

-The Great Flood of 1421 called the St Elizabeth Flood

-Great Fire of 1457 that destroyed large parts of the town of Dordrecht and the church

The Dordrecht Guild Windows installed in 2007

Througout the church the many chapels were owned by different Guilds illustrated with images meaningful to that specific Guild.  The images in these  windows, installed in 2007,  include the tools or products of all of the Guilds. 

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The artist who created the windows  Teun Hocks

http://beautifuldecay.com/2012/03/13/teun-hocks/  tells about this fascinating artist.

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These wonderful windows represent the guilds

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The men who paid for the windows.

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These church visitors were lit by the sun.  The lovely church “guide” was lit from within!  She explained all about the Guild windows to us which was a good thing as the church brochures I bought had no information at all other than when they were installed.  It was Ms. N van Bezooijen who pointed out the window’s artist and the image of the men who had paid for the window.  And the oval shapes with the three triangle cut-out parts that are cookies.

While I was chatting away with Ms van Bezooijen, Mary was sussing out the tower climb.  Turns out that the tower closed at 4:15 and it was then 4 pm.  So it was a race to the top up the 275 steps.  

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Tiny people must have built this tower!

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Ta da!  We made it with time to spare!

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We left our brochure jammed in the stairwell door just to make sure we could get off the balcony and back into the stairwell neither one of us having a phone.  And doors don’t seem to work exactly as Mary and I expect, so just to be on the safe side….  But when we were just about ready to head back down two other people came onto the balcony so we figured we really weren’t so late after all.

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You can see the columns of the Town Hall and beyond that the tower of the Almshouses.  What got me was that we were looking across at the rooster weathervane which meant we were up high.

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We were also just about face to face with the clock.  Inside you walked past the clock workings.

     “At the level of the tower’s gallery is the clock that was made in 1624 by Jan Janszoon who lived in Dordrecht.  The clock has two striking mechanisms and a spring mechanism that Simon Douw converted in 1663 – shortly after Christiaan Huygens invented the pendulum clock- equipped with a 6.25 meters long pendulum.  The clock functioned well into the 1930s.  During the restoration works of 1966 it was restored to its natural state, that is to say with a foliot instead of a pendulum.  At the same time big hands were added to the four clockfaces with their  4.25 meters in diameter ring of Roman numerals.  Until then the clocks only had minute hands, indicating only the hour.  At present it is one of the few remaining clocks in the Netherlands that still operates on a foliot.  The {3} weights that keep the spring mechanism going, and those that make the clock strike every half and full hour weigh 160, 220, and 300 kilos respectively.  (1 kilo = 2.2 pounds)  They are suspended from ropes and are wound up electronically.” Grote Tower brochure

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The Tower Hall is where you begin and end your climb.   The actual tower stairwell is circular, stone, narrow, and dark.  I came out fairly dizzy! 

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It did finally occur to us we needed to check the ferry schedule back to Papendrecht as they only run every 50 minutes or so.  So then it was a race to the ferry, but we made it with a minute or two to spare.

The bridge across would have been a very long hike so the ferry really was our only option.  And as we were leaving early the following morning we still needed a trip to the grocery store.  Some nights we stop in yacht clubs with full services and shops nearby.  Other nights we just have to tie up where we can find a space so need to be prepared for at least 2 or three days of meals on the boat.

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Papendrecht Yacht Club.  Power, water, wifi, a nearby shopping area, ATM and probably most important, a really really helpful harbor master and friendly boaters to lend an extension cord for our power cable.  We now have one of our own but didn’t when we first arrived.  We can last a night without power and could run our generator to recharge batteries if we have to, but it’s nice to just plug in.  You pay for it but that’s just fine.

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Apartments surrounded the

Dordrecht part 2

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Center City: Once again Mary is figuring out where we are and where we need to go.

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Flood of 1953  Then and now…..

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“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree” “When you start on your journey to Ithaca then pray that the road is long….  A poem for every occasion!

Once the convent’s garden, now a playground.  Mary got bombed with a flying stick that got away from a small boy who just picked it up and walked away without a backward glance.

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Restaurant Traiteur Zest on the small busy Nieuwstraat.

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The very helpful  (and very busy!) waitress explained what exactly was on the Tapas plate for two that Mary and I had ordered.  We had just started to eat when I heard Rick’s voice.  I looked back and there were Randal and Rick walking along Nieuwstraat towards us.  But they were supposed to be in Rotterdam getting our VHF radio reprogramed.  The ICom repair man who’d visited DoraMac in Vlissingen couldn’t repair it but thought the Rotterdam shop could.  Papendrecht was a 50 minute water taxi and then an expensive land taxi to the shop in Rotterdam but certainly muchcloser than Vlissingen had been.  Randal had called and emailed ahead of their visit, but to no avail as when they arrived in person the shop didn’t seem to have the correct computer program to fix the problem.  So they returned to Dordrecht to find a hardware shop but instead found us.  It was perfect timing as we had too much food for the two of us.  Though the guys had eaten they had room for a bit more so the plate was licked clean by the time we had finished.  I actually liked the little sausage things and the and the small pimento like peppers stuffed with cream cheese.  Mary and I liked different bits on the plate so it all worked out especially well and the guys ate anything.

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     “If food be like music, play on.”    Traitor Zest                 “Reflections on a selfie.”

“If music be the food of love, play on.”   Twelfth Night

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Dordrecht Bibliotheek

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A very friendly book shop across the street from the library.  We had a lovely chat with the owner who had only recently become a book shop owner.  Of course most books were in Dutch.  We saw 2 Edward Gorey books, one in Dutch and one a picture book.  The book seller told us his daughter always wanted him to make up stories to go with the pictures.

A day of weddings at the City Hall

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Concentrating very hard to get the flowers just right on the car but then….

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Everyone just went walking down the street.

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“The neoclassical façade that the Stadhuis (city hall) received in the 19th century hided the medieval secret behind this building with its cellars with groined vaults and its roof with the original wooden construction, was built in the 14th century as the Flemish commodity exchange.  It became the home of the city council in 1544.  When you visit (which we didn’t have time to do) explore the hunting room, the 18th century prison in the attic and the wedding room with wall paintings by Reinier Kennedy.”

VVV Tourist Guide 2014

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Then lots of cheering and commotion just before this car drove up with a bride and groom.  I asked a man next to me who it was?  “The man is nobody famous,” was his reply.  So I don’t know.

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This cube was on the side of the City Hall.

  “The monument "You have to tell your children ‘in Dordrecht consists of two parts.  On the facade of the town hall is a stone cube-shaped plaque attached with a text and a Star of David.  In the hall, the town hall is a white pillar.  Opposite the names of the projected 221 Jewish war victims from Dordrecht.

DORDRECHT LOST HER JEWISH COMMUNITY RESULT OF GENOCIDE BY THE NAZIS in 1945. "

http://translate.google.com/

Dordrecht 1

Guten Tag,

    Today we bought an internet dongle that works in Germany and supposedly all of the other countries in Europe.  We’re amassing quite a collection of these dongles that are billed as working anywhere but then don’t or we’re promised that they won’t work anywhere else, which at least is honest.  Though this marina has wifi, my Outlook email service wasn’t compatible with it so that also was extremely discouraging as I’ve a several emails already written ready to be sent.  So here goes.

Ru

Dordrecht, or as the locals say, Dordt

http://www.vvvdordrecht.nl/en/home

Visited May 16th 2014

“Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland and has a rich history and culture.

     The name Dordrecht comes from Thuredriht (ca 1120.) The name seems to mean ‘thoroughfare'; a ship-canal or river through which ships were pulled by rope from one river to another, as here from the Dubbel to the Merwede, or vice versa. Earlier etymologists had assumed that the ‘drecht’ suffix came from Latin ‘trajectum’, a ford, but this was rejected in 1996. The Drecht is now supposed to have been derived from ‘draeg’, which means to pull, tow or drag. Inhabitants of Dordrecht are Dordtenaren (singular: Dordtenaar). Dordrecht is informally called Dordt by its inhabitants. In earlier centuries, Dordrecht was a major trade port, well known to British merchants, and was called Dordt in English.”  Wikipedia

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View of Dordrecht from DoraMac as we passed by on our way to Papendrecht across the river for a spot in the yacht club.  To berth in Dordrecht you had to wait for bridges to open and we weren’t sure there was space enough for us.  Mary and Rick had berthed at the Papendrecht Yacht Club and had great memories of the helpful harbour master there.  We found a spot thanks to that same helpful harbour master and just took the waterferry over to Dordrecht. 

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Groothoofdsport Gate

Dordrecht has haven (harbours) but no canals.  The Voorstraatshaven forms the backbone of the old city.  Graceful bridges connect the Voorstraat and the Wijnstraat, streets that lie on either side of the water.  To effectively hadnle trade, the Nieuwe Haven 1410 and the Wolwevershaven 1609 were created, followed by the Maartensgat and the Kalkhaven.  The unchanged attractive harbour quarters with its warehouses, merchants’ mansions, quays and – now-pleasure boats is found between Grote Kerk and Groothoofd. 

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Sometimes the information maps were helpful and sometimes a little more information was needed.

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Boats moored along the Wunhaven waterways  on our way to find the tourist office. DoraMac may have been larger than many of the boat we saw but her colors, green and white seemed to be quite popular in the Netherlands.

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We saw these multicolored sheep but unfortunately not the monument described below.  Wish we had!

     “During Carnaval, Dordrecht is called Ooi- en Ramsgat (Ewe’s and Ram’s hole), and its inhabitants are Schapenkoppen (Sheepheads). This name originates from an old folk story.  Import of meat or cattle was taxed in the 17th century.  To avoid having to pay, two men dressed up a sheep they had bought outside the city walls, attempting to disguise it as a man. The sheep was discovered because it bleated as the three men (two men and one sheep) passed through the city wall gate. There is a special monument of a man and his son trying to hold a sheep disguised as a man between them, that refers to this legend.  The logo of Dordrecht’s professional football club FC Dordrecht includes the head of a ram and its supporters are known to sing Wij zijn de Dordtse schapenkoppen (we are the Dorsts sheep heads) during matches. There is also a cookie called Schapenkop (sheep head) which is a specialty of Dordrecht.” Wikipedia

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Tilted building for raising large items to top floors.   ‘No problem, No problem.”  I was taking a photo when a group on bikes cycled past.  “Sorry Sorry” they said; “No problem,” I said so then they all kept saying ‘No Problem” No Problem.”

This building was the home of the Notary Willem Hendrik van Bilderbeek who funded the Dordrecht Museum.  If he charged what our Ipswich notary charged I can see how he could afford to fund a museum.  Sadly there was a special exhibit at the museum (not something of interest to us) that raised the ticket price from 3 Euro to 14 Euro, about $18 US.  We didn’t have enough time to justify the $18 ticket.  However the entire collection catalogue in English is online with photos of the paintings.  Not the same but it will have to do.

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I really wanted the stuffed elephant shaped pillow of the softest boiled wool  and had we been just starting our boating life rather than thinking of how to get stuff off the boat and back to VA, I might have just splurged on it.  This seemed to be a mulit-national women’s cooperative.  I wish I had the nerve to really interview people.  Not sure why I didn’t except they seemed quite busy and we just sort of invaded their working space. 

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Mary guessed that this was the original Dutch Mint.  Once used as a music school, it’s not studio space for artists until the building owners find more lucrative ways to make money from it we were told by one of the artists just arriving on her bicycle.

“Munt van Hollant : The sandstone gate from 1555 on the Voorstraat gives access to the Muntgebouw [The Mint] where from 1367 up to its closure in 1806 the coins for Holland and Zeeland were minted.  The Holland coat of arms hangs above the entrance of the main building.”  VVV Tourist Guide

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The coat of arms and this nearby wall plaque both make their own statement.

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Not everything is old….

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We stopped for about 11 am for coffee along with lots of other folks.  Women having fun.  Mary and I are going to have to learn to do selfies.

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This bas relief was on the front of a modern building, but there was no signage to explain it. 

Now one of my favorite encounters…… 

I first saw this contraption from the back on our way to the Tourist Office.   It was playing music and everyone now and then the gold drum would  rat ta tat tat.   

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The front looked like a puppet show though they were wood carvings, not puppets.   After leaving the Tourist Office we passed it again so I went closer and looked at the back.  The entire contraption is pulled by a man on a bicycle who travels around the city with this and his tin cup for contributions.  I gave him a Euro when we originally passed by but when I saw what it really was wish I’d given him more. 

I know he pulled it by bicycle because when Mary and I were eating lunch at a lovely café on a small side street, he bicycled past us pulling it along.  Unfortunately my camera was buried in my backpack so I didn’t get any photos of that. 

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Being a retired reference librarian I first thought these were old phone books used to hold up something but then the machine’s owner came and took one of the books and put it into the machine replacing the one already there.  Not old phone books but old player piano music.  Way cool!

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You can see it going in on the left and out on the right moved by the big wheel and cable.   

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Mary sampling some “way too strong” perfume that we both kept smelling for the rest of the day.  I could at least sort of get away from it, but poor Mary couldn’t. 

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Almshouses

Between Bagijnhof and Vriesestraat are the almshouses of the Regenten- of Lenghenhof.  They are built around several central courtyards.  These almshouses, which date from 1755 and were built for poor women, were governed by trustees.  The oldest are on the side of the Baginjhof.  In 1625, Arend Maartenszoon founded the almshouses for poor women that bear his name in the Museumstraat.  Cottages surround a courtyard with ancient (350 years old) trees and a water well and are now occupied by both men and women.”  VVV Tourist Guide 2014

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Courtyard,  water well, and ancient trees

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This man is a new resident and feels as if living here, he is on permanent vacation!

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Looking through the entrance back onto the street.