On this Throw Back Thursday (#TBT) posting, we travel back nearly six years to our December 2015 “Heart of Germany” Christmas market cruise with Viking from Nuremberg to Frankfurt, Germany. This was our third time with Viking, but it was our first winter-time cruise. Our first two trips had been in the spring, but the lack of crowds and the fun of the Christmas markets turned us into complete converts to winter river cruising.
The village of Wertheim was an early morning stop of our last day of cruising along the Main River after visiting Rothenburg and Wurzburg the day before, on our way to our final stop in Frankfurt. As often happens in the wintertime in Germany, there was fog that day that grew thicker when we eventually climbed up to the castle heights above the village.
Our walking tour of the village started with a quick peek at the Pointed Tower, an 800 year-old structure with a decided Tower of Pisa-like lean caused by frequent flooding due to its location at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers.
We then visited the village’s charming medieval market square that was filled with Christmas market booths:
We visited on a Sunday morning, so midway through our walk the church bells did their best to drown out the voice of our tour guides. Fortunately, we could still hear her clearly through our audiovox devices.
As in some of the other German cities that we visited on this trip, there were prominent reminders of Germany’s painful past, including memorials on the former homes of Jews who were murdered as part of the Holocaust as well as the humble “stumbling stone” memorials:
At the same time, it was extremely heartening to see the sign on this Christmas market booth that provided a welcoming message to the families that were fleeing Syria in late 2015:
After the guided walking tour broke up, we struck out on our own to climb up to the castle on a hill overlooking the village and the Main River. The fog obscured the view:
Here the fog swirls around the castle walls:
And here’s a time-lapse video of our climbing up to one of the castle high points:
Here’s a view of our longship (Viking Tor) from the castle, along with the dock-side reverse view up to where the picture was taken:
Sailing on to Frankfurt the Main River was placid, with more sights along the shore, including churches, castles, flocks of sheep, and a working ship decorated for the holidays:
We weren’t the only Viking ship on this stretch of the Main. Shadowing the Tor on our way to Frankfurt was another longship:
That night concluded with members of the crew gamely joining together to sing Christmas songs in the lounge:
For other postings about our Heart of Germany cruise, check out our Trip Albums page.