"Blue Sky" lll
Trip Start May 25, 2013
31Trip End Jun 23, 2013
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The message has got through that yesterday's six hour round trip was too much for everyone, so today is a gentle 45 minutes to Eltz Castle in the Mosel valley. The skies are again blue and the forecast is for a balmy 23°C.
Eltz Castle is your typical fairytale castle and was first established nearly 1000 years ago by the Eltz family. It has remained with them entirely since - 33 generations - and has been expanded to three 'houses' within the complex.
We tour the Rübenach House, an eight storey turreted residence completed in 1472
Supplies for the ship arrive today... an entire truckload of perishables, non-perishables and domestic supplies. ALL HANDS ON DECK! Everyone from the captain down to the cleaning staff as well as the pianist and tour leaders form a human chain to shift large amounts of goods up the gang planks and through the dining room to the kitchen in the bow of the boat. One passenger is disgusted that this is going on during the day, but the mood amongst the staff is jovial and Walter and Gisela join the fun!
This afternoon, three of us set off to investigate the Koblez Mosel 'fish pass'.
Many species of fish migrate up and down the Mosel. To enable them to migrate up the Mosel despite man-made barriers such as dams, modern fish passes are built – not only here but in other EU rivers as well
It sits off to one side of the river, away from the turbulent overflow. Fish are channeled in to a long concrete-walled maze the breaks the flow into the pass sufficiently for fish to swim safely through.
The 'Mosellum' also contains static displays relating to aquatic and shore life and shipping in the river. The highlight is spotting a small school of metallic blue Ukelei fish through the underwater observation windows as they swim upstream.
Michael, the Hotel Manager, does not look happy as we return to the boat. He hasn't had an all clear from further upstream. There are now fourteen ships berthed in triples along the promenade, plus two barges.
Luckily, we can forget those worries temporarily... tonight is Pirate Night.
The dining room is decked out in pirate flags and paraphenalia. The staff are in striped t-shirts and bandanas. The tables are a jumble of cutlery, scrunched napkins and screwed up menus. The food is conventional and delicious but the service is 'atrocious'! Christian dangles a rat over unsuspecting ladies' plates and taunts the older ones with his swashbuckling moves
Only the two tables of Aussies respond to the theme. Our Perth neighbours have arrived in the cabins' life vests and wrap their napkins around their heads for bandanas. We have an assortment of scarves around our hips. Gisela sports her nautically themed PJ 'pantaloons' and I tuck my black pants into my boots. Walter adapts his plane eye mask into a single eye patch but the Hawaiian shirt is unconvincing!!!
To complete the celebrations, Michael announces that we will sail tomorrow morning. It may be raining in Mainz and berths are uncertain both there and in Wertheim, but we will go!
"Blue Sky" by The Allman Brothers