European Vacation – Day 8 – Shot-ski

 

On Saturday we departed the ms Grace at 9:30 am to visit Rudesheim.  Another group departed at 8:15 am for a bicycle tour on Mainz.  After our tour of the Musik Kabinett with its collection of massive music making machines such as carillons and harmoniums we will have wiener schnitzel (veal) for lunch at the historic Rudesheimer Schloss.   Germany has a wide range of cuisine which includes pork, swine, pig and occasionally veal.

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We will board the ms Inspire in Andernach which is located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers.

All went as planned.  We arrived in Rudesheim and took the German version of the conch train up the hill from the parking lot to the Musik Kabinett.  It has the most amazing collection of data driven (scrolls) music machines I have ever seen.  Most were built in the late 1800’s and were originally designed to be operated by hand by turning a crank handle.

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Priscilla and I ducked out of the Musik Kabinett tour part way through so we could take the gondola to the top of the hill for an amazing view of the vineyards and river valley.  There is a large monument to Kaiser Wilhelm II at the top of the hill.

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Wilhelm II (Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia, reigning from 15 June 1888 until his abdication on 9 November 1918. He was the eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe, most notably, King George V of the United Kingdom and Emperor Nicholas II of Russia.
Wilhelm II
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany - 1902.jpg
Portrait of Wilhelm II in 1902, by T. H. Voigt

Acceding to the throne in 1888, he dismissed the chancellorOtto von Bismarck, in 1890. He also launched Germany on a bellicose “New Course” in foreign affairs that culminated in his support for Austria-Hungary in the crisis of July 1914 that led in a matter of days to the First World War.

Bombastic and impetuous, he sometimes made tactless pronouncements on sensitive topics without consulting his ministers, behavior which culminated in a disastrous Daily Telegraph interview in 1908 that cost him most of his influence.[1] His leading generals, Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, dictated policy during the First World War with little regard for the civilian government. An ineffective war-time leader, he lost the support of the army, abdicated in November 1918, and fled to exile in the Netherlands.

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A view of the valley.

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Lunch at the Rudesheimer Schloss was a treat. It was a traditional German four course meal followed by shot-ski.  Shot-ski is a board with five shot glasses attached and filled with schnapps.  Everyone drinks at the same time.  Priscilla was among the first to volunteer.  This works best if everyone is approximately the same height.

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After lunch we were served Rudesheimer Kaffee which is a flambeed liquor coffee.  They set the liquor on fire and then add the coffee.

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The ompah band played Margaritaville and Waltzing Matilda.

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After lunch we boarded the bus and drove north along the Rhine River for two hours.  There were dozens of old castles along both sides of the river.  We arrived at our originally planned riverboat the ms Inspire at 4:00 pm.  By 4:45 pm we had cast off the dock lines cruising north at 15 mph to Remagen where we will dock for the night and set sail at 5:00 am for Düsseldorf.  All is well.

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