Batten Family


 

Sights Along the Main River

At the city of Mainz, our cruise ship moves to the Main River. Mainz was founded as a military post by the Romans to command the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire in the late 1st century BC. Later it was a politically improtant seat of the Prince-elector of Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire. In the 12th century Mainz was - together with Speyer and Worms - the center of a flourishing Jewish Community. Mainz most famous son is Johannes Gutenberg (1398 - 1468), the inventor of mechanical movable type printing - which started the "Printing Revolution" and is widely regarded as the most improtant event of the modern period. The Gutenberg Museum tour was facinating with a working show of how the press worked with a guide actually working the press to publish a newsheet with help from the visitors. Some original copies of early Bibles printed on the Gutenberg press was included in the tour. The tour of the city included a large open city market. A very nice city to visit in more detail!

A wonderful glassblowing demonstration on board by Hans Ittig. His family history reaches back to 1841 when the glass company was founded by Karl Ittig the first. After the second World War, the family quickly realized that it was not worth continuing work under the communist govenment in East Germany. Therefore they went on a stunning escape over the border from East to West Germany. They settled in Wertheim in 1958 and belonged to the official founders of the Weertheim scientific glass industry. In tradition of their art Karl II and Hans, his son, brought glassblowing even further. They both had international exhibitions as well as teaching opportunities around the world.

After the on board demonstration we walked the town of Miltenberg. Before some river improvements, the town was subject to some major floods. See the high river flood marks on buildings in the town. We then sailed to Freudenberg where we boarded buses to tour Wertheim. We make sure to visit the glass-art in Ittig's shop bon-apart located on the market square. We bought outstanding glass art similar to what we had seen in Venice but at a more attractive price.

At Wurzburg on Monday September 10, we went to a German doctor for Imogene's cold and cough. Jean had been sick since Paris but kept thinking she was getting better. With some help from AmaLegro staff we convince Jean to finally see a doctor. The cruise director arranged for us to visit a doctor in Wurzburg. We took a taxi to the office in the main part of town. The nurse/receptionist spoke excellent english and took us in to see the doctor within 5 minutes. The doctor also spoke excellent english. After examining Jean, he wrote 4 prescriptions which we then walked down the stairs and around the corner to the Pharmacy. The Pharmacy filled the prescriptions and then called us a taxi to take us back to the ship. The doctor charged us 40 euro about $50 US and the prescriptions cost 38 euro or $45. Without insurance and knowing they only took cash, I had taken all my cash - euro and $. We were surprised how inexpensive it was for us. A potential bad experience turned to a pleasant moment.

Bamberg, located at the entrance to the "Main-Danube Canal" has such an abundance of historical buildings that it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Through the center of town runs the Regnitz River, separating the "old town" from the "new town".

Nuremburg was the last port on the river cruise. The skyline of this walled city is dominated by the Kaiserberg Castle. At the time of the Holy Roman Empire, the castle was occasionally home to each of the emperors, and in the Middle Ages, it was one of the most important royal palaces. A grim reminder of the past was the visit to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in the south of the city. The gigantic ruins represent the Nazi regime's deluded notion of grandeur. The documentation center complex was where the Nazi party orchestrated its propaganda campaign. The Kongresshalle was designed to hold 50,000 people and the viewing grounds could hold more than 150,000 soldiers and people.

After the city was virtually razed to the ground in World War II, the decision was made to rebuild the historical Old Town to reflect its original glory. Old Town was very picturesque and quaint. Click here to see photos of Main River sights.

After the tour of Nuremburg we were then transported by bus to Prague, Chech Republic. Click here to see a summary of Prague and the photos we took.


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