We woke up this morning just as our boat was docking in Koblenz, which is situated in the picturesque landscape of the Rhine and Moselle and surrounded by four low mountain ranges and is 2000-years-old .  The town owes its name to the Romans who named the ‘castle’ they constructed here around 9 B.C. “castellum apud confluentes.” This means “castle at the confluence of the rivers”. Visitors on the trail of Koblenz’ past, find themselves caught up in the history of a town which over the centuries was captured by the Franks, chosen as a place of residence by German prince electors, conquered by the French and fortified by the Prussians. A truly European place.

 Fortess walls and towers, castles and palaces, monuments and parks paint a vivid picture of the town’s eventful past. Koblenz was conquered by foreign armies and has received princes, kings, emperors and presidents within its walls. Today visitors from all over the world enjoy discovering the history and rich cultural heritage of this old town.  We met our city tour guide promptly at 9:00 am and she took us around the city for about an hour and a half before we had some free time to stroll through the Christmas Markets and taste their Gruswein while shopping.  We got back to the ship for our departure at noon.  The rest of the afternoon we spent from the boat watching the passing scenery – the romantic part of the Rhine with many castles, most dating back to the 1200’s.  It was a beautifully clear day but unfortunately got dark too early to see all the castles.  But we docked in Rudesheim at 6 pm and went out to the town to visit the Christmas markets at night.  A very busy fun day!