Tuesday, August 18—Miltenberg, Germany (Day 5)

Leaving the Rhine and now on the Main River in the Franconia region of Bavaria in Germany, we sailed through the morning, and the Viking Gefjon tied up in Miltenberg in the early afternoon.  Franconia is a region situated in the northwest of Bavaria known particularly known for its quality white wine; it is the only wine region in the federal state of Bavaria.

Miltenberg is a small, lively, medieval, romantic, and pretty Bavarian city, reflecting architecture prominent in the 16th and 17th centuries.  It was largely untouched in World War II because the Nazis were not allowed in the city.  Seems like the young Nazis had a recruiting meeting in the town square, and a priest slipped into the bell tower locking all the doors behind him, and rang the excruciatingly loud bells while the speeches were being made.  The young Nazis never returned.

Miltenberg is a wine drinking city where the local wine is bottled in containers similar to Mateus bottles.  The rounded and flattened bottle, bocksbeutel, is the typical and well known bottle originally used only for the best Franconian wines. Since 1989 the use of the Bocksbeutel is protected by European Union regulations, but some other regions beside Franconia are also allowed to use this bottle shape.

After the walking tour, we took advantage of our first opportunity of the river trip to explore on our own.While we have made several ocean-going cruises, this is our first river cruise aboard a longboat.  We chose Viking because of unanimous positive comments from friends who have sailed with them, and because their shore excursions are included in the expensive, but complete price.

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