AmaStella in Ludwigshafen, Germany and Rudesheim
This morning we arrived in Ludwigshafen and we decided to join the bus and walking tour called the Heidelberg Excursion. After about a 40 min drive we arrived in Heidelberg and this historical Castle. This is the oldest university in Germany, founded in 1386!
Heidelberg is on the river Neckar with a population of approximately 160,000 with roughly a quarter of the population comprised of students.
The castle ruins are a landmark of Heidelberg and are one of the most important Renaissance-style structures to be found anywhere north of the Alps. As you enter the grounds you can see that parts of the castle have been rebuilt over the centuries.
Heidelberg University consists of 12 faculties and offers degree programs in some 100 disciplines. As the oldest University in Germany it is the 4th university established in the Holy Roman Empire. As of 2017 there have been 33 Nobel Prize winners who have been affiliated with the university. That’s a pretty amazing achievement!
The grounds are absolutely stunning… AND it is also home to the largest wine keg in the world! You can actually climb on top of the keg where there is a viewing platform. We were told it was designed this way but after a short time the structure of the keg couldn’t keep up and it was drained soon after being built. What a waste!
After the tour of the castle we made our way down into town for some free time and shopping. The sun was coming out and it was getting warmer by the hour! When we returned back to the ship we were treated to a traditional German lunch and by 1:45pm we had to all be on board because we had another stop and excursion today – Rudesheim.
Sailing up along this portion of the Rhine is so interesting – there are small towns, villages, ruins and many castles (and there is more to come we are told!)
We were still sailing when we had our dinner in the main restaurant with the sun slowly setting behind us. Shortly after dinner we were docked and we were able to leave the ship and begin our second excursion to taste the famous Rudesheimer Coffee! You had the option of taking the Choo-Choo train into town or walking for about 10 min to get to the restaurant.
Rudesheim is a German wine making town along the Rhine Gorge – it is one of Germany’s biggest tourist attractions. It gained popularity when ships had to stop to unload their cargo and repair their ships as they continued on along the Rhine. This created considerable industry and trade and the population naturally evolved from there.
Rudesheimer Coffee was soon served and it was delicious! So how is it made?? “Asbach” brandy is first poured into a special mug, set on fire, doused with coffee and then topped by shipped cream and chocolate flakes. Just don’t count the calories!
After this delicious dessert we were ready for bed so we walked through the village in the lovely warm spring air – excited for our excursions tomorrow and seeing the beautiful Rhine Gorge!