November 11, 2019
We sailed through the last 2 of the 66 locks today and will leave the Main River and spend the rest of our cruise on the Rhine River. The part we will be on until we reach Cologne does not have any locks. It is pretty chilly and the leaves are still nicely colored but we are watching the world pass by from inside. First of all for a lot of the trip on the canal, the bridges are too low for anyone to be on the sun deck, and also it is too cold. We did use the hot tub before the deck was closed off.
Today Gabor gave the talk on Mainz and Jessie did a talk on European Architecture through the ages which was just fascinating. We have seen so many of the buildings that she referenced in her slides. She also gave a handout that covers most of the styles with examples.
We arrived in Mainz after lunch. In the morning on the ship they did the traditional Fruhshoppen which is sausage and beer In the morning. Lots of people went to that but we chose not to!!
Mainz is a bigger town than the last few (220,000 people) and it took a bit of walking to get to the main area. Lots to see, though. There happened to be a carnival festival in town and there was a bandstand with music and young people in all sorts of costumes on the streets and near the concert stage.
We visited the Mainz Cathedral which is built of sandstone and has 6 towers. The first stone was laid in 975 and it was consecrated in 1009!
Fooling around at the statues!
Mainz is known for being the birthplace and lifelong home of Gutenberg, the celebrated inventor and father of modern printing. We could see inside some of the museum but because it was Monday, it was closed. Two of his original 1452 bibles are on display in the museum, will have to see those next time!
The St. Stephen’s Church has beautiful stained glass windows designed by Chagall, the only church in Germany that has them.
There are two interesting towers that remain here and we saw both the wood tower and the iron tower.
We also had tried a delicious sugared pastry that was shaped like a pretzel. The bakeries here are hard to pass by. The wine is excellent too, and this area is the center of the wine industry.
I have to say the beautiful towns here sort of seem like a fantasy world, each one is more charming than the last. We only have 2 more days to go and it will be hard to leave, but it has been wonderful. We would highly recommend Riviera.