On the way from Lucerne to Heidelberg, we stopped for lunch in the Black Forest at a cuckoo clock store and factory. It turns out they get about 15 feet of snow in the winter, so they spend a lot of that winter carving cuckoo clock parts. In the spring they assemble them and fill the stores. They had a large selection and they ship them home for a reasonable fee.

I don't have much to say about Heidelberg - we were there long enough to see the castle and wander around the shopping district for less than an hour.

My son has studied fencing, and he'd love to get a Heidelberg fencing scar. And who knows, he might actually do a year of college there, so it might happen.


The castle was interesting...most of it was a ruin, but the wine cellar was intact. It contained the largest wine cask in the world, even though it never was filled with wine. There was a much smaller cask, that actually did hold wine, and it was pretty large.


The guides told us stories about how the keeper of the cask, a heavy wine drinker, once drank a glass of water by mistake and immediately keeled over dead.


We had about an hour to wander around, and like Salzburg, there was not enough time.


The Rhine River cruise took us about 40 miles down the river, past the most heavily-castled section. At the end, we visited the Marksburg castle, one of the best preserved castles in Germany because it was never attacked. The photos of the Rhine castles taken from the boat were fairly good (much better than my pictures from the bus).


This one, named Rheinstein Castle, sitting on a pinacle of rock, was my favorite.


This one is called Sooneck Castle.


Stahleck Castle is a youth hostel.


Gutenfels Castle is now a hotel.


Rheinfels Castle is huge and includes ruins.


Schonburg Castle is quite large and overlooks a riverside town with a beautiful church.


Furstenburg Castle is nothing but ruins now, perched on the edge of the grape fields.


I was unable to find any castles on the Internet that matched this one, so if you know its name, please email me.


The well-preserved Marksburg Castle is our final tour stop. This castle had a large collection of personal armor stretching back to the Romans and Hoplites. The kitchen included an icebox, fed by ice cut from the river in winter and stored in sawdust in the wine cellar. The kitchen also included a walk-in fireplace.

Copyright © 2009 by Dana Cline
Last Updated  Monday, April 06, 2009
Website hosted by 1and1