Emerald Star Cruise Photos
Day 6: Moselle & Bernkastel (3)
After the wine-tasting, we had about two hours of free time before the evening's disembarkation briefing. We decided on a walk to the ruins of Burg Landshut, the castle overlooking Bernkastel and the Moselle.
On the way up through the vineyards, we saw a sign that pointed back toward the Old Town, so we figured that--with luck--we wouldn't get lost the way we did in Miltenberg.
As we climbed higher, we caught glimpses of Bernkastel's roofs and river vessels (including Emerald Star, on the far side of the Moselle) from the path.
The walk was easy, with broad cobblestoned steps in the lower reaches and a paved road in the final stretch. (Later, we saw a man ascending the road in a motorcycle-style electric wheelchair with his wife providing extra horsepower from behind.)
At the top of the road, a stroller was parked next to a bench. From here on, visitors had to climb metal steps to a walkway surrounding the ruined castle, which was undergoing renovation. (The castle was built in 1277 but was destroyed by a fire in 1692.)
A Coke machine was placed strategically along the walkway for visitors who might be thirsty after the long hike up to the castle. The price for a soda was reasonable by European standards: €2,--.
Normally, the castle has a restaurant-café in the inner courtyard, but it was closed during our visit (probably because of the construction work).
A window in Burg Landshut's ruined walls offered a view of the Moselle, Kues (on the left), and Bernkastel's Altstadt.
A viewing terrace presented sweeping views of the town and river.
From above, the Bernkastel riverfront was surprisingly ugly, with most of the flat land (other than the Altstadt itself) being devoted to parking lots.
Bernkastel's city fathers might want to consider gussying up the riverfront with flower beds, trees, and a pedestrian promenade to break up the expanse of asphalt.
The Kues riverfront was more attractive, thanks to a waterside park.
Before leaving Burg Landshut, we took this panoramic photo from the viewing terrace. (Click here and maximize your browser window for a larger image.)
We walked downhill by a different route, following a road that passed St-Anna Kapelle (a.k.a. the Chapel of St. Anne), which was built in 1890 to replace a chapel from 1615.
If we'd preferred riding to walking, we could have taken the Burg Landshut Express, a bus on a truck chassis that runs at hourly intervals during the day from April to October. (See the Bernkastel tourist office's Burg Landshut page for current uphill, downhill, and roundtrip fares.)
As we walked down through the steep vineyards, we could see that another ship, Tauck's Inspire, had moored next to Emerald Star.
We arrived back at our ship at 6:00 p.m. about two hours after the end of our Bernkastel walking tour.
The evening's "Farewell Gala Dinner" featured a cruise-ship classic, Baked Alaska.
After dinner, we went for a walk. The Moselle's water was calm, offering clear reflections of Emerald Star and Inspire.
River ships often tie up in pairs when there aren't enough berths for separate moorings. When this happens, passengers on the waterside ship (Inspire, in this case) walk to and from shore through the reception area of the landside vessel.
From the waterside park, we could see reflections of a passing barge and a cruising swan.
On the opposite hillside, the floodlights of Burg Landshut came on as the sun began to set.
The sun set quickly, and more lights were reflected in the river.
After walking through the mostly modern district of Kues, we crossed the bridge to Bernkastel's Altstadt, where the traffic light on the waterfront had already been turned off for the night.
The Markt was deserted. Even the tourists were tucked up in their hotels before 11 p.m.
As we aproached a floodlight fountain in the Old Town, a nearby church bell rang 11 times. While the bell was ringing, a timer shut off the floodlights and the water in the fountain.
We crossed the bridge and went back to Emerald Star, which would spend the night in Bernkastel-Kues before sailing for Trier the next morning.
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