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notamermaid

The river Main infos and river cruising experiences

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Don't forget that the Thames is a tidal river, so the rubbish returns twice a day.

 

Try Kronberg in the hills above Frankfurt.

 

Frankfurt / Höchst is not just the industrial pharmaceuticals industrial sites, but has many sights to see:

 

Frankfurt / Höchst Old Town

Höchst Castle

Bolongaro Palace

 

Ah, I've spent many a happy evening enjoying Ebbelwoi in Höchst Castle, only tastes after the third glass.

 

If you have time try the Ebbelwoi Express in Frankfurt (like a HoHo Bus but as tram):

 

https://www.ebbelwei-express.de/en/

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Yes, right, the tide. Probably not in the basin I photographed but they do have a problem with the rubbish coming back...haha. The Thames and the London air are both much cleaner now, thankfully. But they still have a rubbish tip problem, saw a TV programme the other week.

 

I must say, I was impressed with the photos I saw of Höchst. We always bypass it on the way to the southern edges of Frankfurt. A lovely oldtown and sadly overshadowed in most people's minds by conjured-up images of vast factory complexes. Must use that other motorway exist next time I take the autobahn.

 

Thanks for the tip of the Ebbelwoi-Express.

 

notamermaid

 

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5 hours ago, G.M.T. said:

Ah, I've spent many a happy evening enjoying Ebbelwoi in Höchst Castle, only tastes after the third glass.

 

Our favorite glass(es) were enjoyed at the park on the outskirts of town, Lohrberg. Lovely setting with outdoor tables and a view! And even better, we figured out how to take a bus there, so it was easy to get there and the fare was included with our city card. 

 

20180527_155216.thumb.jpg.57b6537e4f87fbe817deada2578ca156.jpg

 

We enjoyed the taste as much as the setting. And I really like the traditional glasses, with the diamond pattern. We found some similar glasses back home (at Ikea) and now we use them for seltzer or iced tea.

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In about 3 weeks, we leave for the Viking Cities of Light cruise tour.  The cruise portion extends from Bamberg to Trier, and really looking forward to experiencing the Main and Moselle rivers.  I'm following this thread for ideas along the Main and what to expect.  However, I'm confused about water levels on the Main.  For some time now - even earlier this year when water levels were close to flooding on parts of the Danube and Rhine, the BfG site showed levels below 100 cm at several stations along the Main, for example Wertheim, Faulbach and Obernau.  Yet, I have heard no reports of ship swaps or bus deviations along this stretch.  Is this because of all the locks in this region?  Thanks!

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The Main is a federal waterway of high importance for commercial shipping. The level is indeed controlled with the help of the locks, the authorities try to ensure a depth of the navigation channel. I am not familiar with details but overall official information gives between 2.50m and 2.90m. This means it is in many parts as deep or even deeper than the Rhine for example. For river cruise ships there is no single kilometre on the Main that is free-flowing. You could in drought encounter problems theoretically but it is the authorities' duty and endeavour that the navigation stays at the said level which is very favourable for the draft of river cruise ships.

 

The figures you read are the gauges and do not indicate the depth of the river. The fact that they are classified as low comes from them being put in context of statistics, i.e. how they compare to the mean over a certain amount of years.

 

notamermaid

 

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Today, after dwelling a bit on the biggest town on the river, let us move on to a small place, my promised hidden gem. We cannot fully leave Frankfurt yet, as to get to this little place we need to figure out on the map where we are. From Frankfurt we take a trip out into the Southern area by crossing the river by car which is only 23km, so we are still in the plains of the Rhine and Main rivers. By train it is only 24 minutes from Frankfurt main station to: Dreieichenhain.

 

Dreieichenhain (in English "three oaks grove")  is no unknown to regional travellers as it has got a lovely old town with half-timbered houses and a castle ruin. It is also renowned for its theatre festival in Summer. The town has no English website: https://www.dreieichenhain.de/

For some photos click on "Stadt-Impressionen". It still has its medieval town wall as well.

Dreieichenhain is lovely for a nice stroll with quick lunch and then back to the river and your cruise ship, such an outing is very doable in a morning if you would like to be back in Frankfurt for lunch.

 

I have not been for some years but if the town is still as pleasant as I remember it you will possibly almost be alone with the locals (unless it is the festival season) and can be sure to get some good "old Germany" photos without having to lift your camera over the heads of a tour group...

 

And if you just cannot get enough of half-timbered houses, explore more of them along the route that Dreieichenhain is also part of: https://www.deutsche-fachwerkstrasse.de/en/Homepage.html

 

notamermaid

 

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Let us move to Miltenberg, one of many delightfully old places along the river and a popular stop on river cruises. I have never been there so cannot say what it is like. Here is the website: https://www.miltenberg.info/en/sights/view-of-our-towns/miltenberg/

 

Looking at the photos I can certainly understand its appeal. If you have been to Miltenberg, please tell us about your experience.

 

notamermaid

 

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We just returned from Central European Experience with Avalon, which goes along the Main and Mossell.  It is my 4th river cruise, and the scenery was probably the prettiest in Europe.  Another poster was correct that the bridges are low, and most of the time the sky deck was closed.

The ports are all beautiful, and on this itinerary you even get to see the castles on the Rhine.

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

Let us move to Miltenberg, one of many delightfully old places along the river and a popular stop on river cruises. I have never been there so cannot say what it is like. Here is the website: https://www.miltenberg.info/en/sights/view-of-our-towns/miltenberg/

 

Looking at the photos I can certainly understand its appeal. If you have been to Miltenberg, please tell us about your experience.

 

 

Miltenberg was one of my favorite ports on the Main.  While many of the other towns have old building that have been rebuilt, in Miltenberg, they had no bombing and the buildings from the 1400-1600s are real.  It is a delightful town rich in history.  On Avalon, it was the "Main Village" day.  The hotel is the oldest in Germany.

1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

 

 

IMG_2871.jpg

IMG_2885.jpg

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7 hours ago, HoneyJan said:

Any updates on the Main? My Christmas market cruise is less than a month away!

What updates are you looking for?

 

Christmas in Germany is still on schedule, so are the Christmas Markets.🍻

 

The Main levels are tightly controlled by locks, with hardly any low levels as suffered by the Rhine and Danube. It's looking very good.

 

Have a great cruise.

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12 hours ago, HoneyJan said:

Any updates on the Main? My Christmas market cruise is less than a month away!

G.M.T. has already explained the general situation on the Main river but if you would like to read more may I refer you to my post #30?

 

Nevertheless I have checked the gauges along the Main to see if flooding could happen. None of the stations indicate a risk of flooding in the near future and the weather is favourable for this to stay that way.

 

Which company and route are you on? I know the Main, but for itineraries longer than five days you are most likely to incorporate another river or at least the Canal.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 11/11/2019 at 4:25 PM, HoneyJan said:

Taking Uniworld, starting in Frankfurt and ending in Nuremberg.

I like this itinerary. Frankfurt Christmas market is really good and I like the fact that they offer an excursion to Wiesbaden, a town hardly on anybody's radar, apart from Avalon making a stop there on the Active Discovery itinerary. Actually, they stop at the Rhine district of Wiesbaden called Biebrich which has a lovely palace. Wiesbaden itself is a spa town neither on the Rhine nor Main but on the Salzbach. This is Frankfurt Christmas market: https://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en/Apple-Wine-meets-Riesling/Christmas-Market

If you like marzipan try the Bethmännchen.

 

If you want to see the Van Gogh exhibition you might need to plan ahead, I have heard it is proving very popular.

 

The Uniworld itinerary ends in Nuremberg, on the Main Danube Canal of course. To be a bit more precise the Canal runs through the outer town district and uses the riverbed and water of the Regnitz, the river Pegnitz runs through Nuremberg town centre and is not navigable for river cruise ships there.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

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Travelling upstream on the Main, river cruise ships eventually reach Bischberg, a small town just before Bamberg. This is where your journey on the Main ends and the river diverts to the left fork. The right fork is the entrance to the Main Danube Canal. The Canal is an amazing feat of engineering and deserves looking at in more detail. For that, I link you the wikivoyage page with an interactive map: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Main-Danube_Canal

 

While the river is not navigable beyond the fork near Bamberg, it has much appeal that could be tapped into by river cruise companies. Yet, the alluring - deservedly so - Bamberg is the main attraction for companies and their passengers. What lies beyond along the Upper Main we will have a look soon.

 

notamermaid

 

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Ever been to Ochsenfurt in Germany? Neither have I but there is a tiny chance if you are reading this that a few of you have been to the town on a river cruise along the Main river. Most likely you took hardly any notice of the place and were taken by bus to another town. This is the observation the town tourist people have made. An interview from June 2019 that I have only now stumbled upon, this page is in German but as translation programs do a satisfactory job these days here it is: https://www.mainpost.de/regional/wuerzburg/Kreuzfahrten-Schiffstouristen-kommen-auch-nach-Ochsenfurt;art779,10250924

The locals want to work on increasing the number of tourists actually exploring the town itself and as you can tell the town is still in its early stages of profiting from and marketing itself to river cruise passengers.

 

So what is there to see in this place whose name translates as "Oxford"? Let us have a look at the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochsenfurt

Okaayyy, that needs expanding!

Another try, this looks more promising: https://www.visitochsenfurt.de/en/historic-center/

Now that looks pleasant.

 

notamermaid

 

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I promised to have a look at what lies beyond the fork of the river beyond Bischberg. On the Upper Main are several interesting historic towns. One of them is Coburg. As the name suggests it has a castle, to no surprise, with supposedly 25,000 "littering" the countryside in Germany. Grin.

 

Here it is, Coburg fortress: https://m.dw.com/en/coburg-fortress-the-crown-of-franconia/av-44440959 

 

notamermaid

 

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We have done the Frankfurt to Nuremberg on Viking during the Christmas Market season.  That really is a wonderful cruise and a great time to visit those cites.  Having lived in Frankfurt many many years ago other than the Christmas market its too big a city to really see from a river cruise in a single day.  Germans are now in the minority it has become a true world class city.   We are going back this December for the Nuremberg to Budapest Christmas market sailing.

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On 2/3/2020 at 9:52 AM, notamermaid said:

Ever been to Ochsenfurt in Germany? Neither have I but there is a tiny chance if you are reading this that a few of you have been to the town on a river cruise along the Main river. Most likely you took hardly any notice of the place and were taken by bus to another town. This is the observation the town tourist people have made. An interview from June 2019 that I have only now stumbled upon, this page is in German but as translation programs do a satisfactory job these days here it is: https://www.mainpost.de/regional/wuerzburg/Kreuzfahrten-Schiffstouristen-kommen-auch-nach-Ochsenfurt;art779,10250924

The locals want to work on increasing the number of tourists actually exploring the town itself and as you can tell the town is still in its early stages of profiting from and marketing itself to river cruise passengers.

 

So what is there to see in this place whose name translates as "Oxford"? Let us have a look at the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochsenfurt

Okaayyy, that needs expanding!

Another try, this looks more promising: https://www.visitochsenfurt.de/en/historic-center/

Now that looks pleasant.

 

notamermaid

 

The article sounds like, 'If you build it, they will come...won't spend much money though'.  Yes the boats can dock, but then they can catch a bus somewhere else.  Or they do explore your town, and spend little money as everything is provided on the ship.  Tricky decision.

 

Regarding Ochsenfurt, it is a nice town!  We were stationed nearby in the 1980's, and stopped to visit while in Germany back in 2014.  What a change the 30 years had made, the old town had recently been spruced up with pavers and fountains, and was very enjoyable to stroll.  

 

I retire in a few years, and would love to travel along the Main and Rhine, stopping at smaller spots like this.  You'll always find a beer or wine gardens, some local mansion or castle to view, and with local trains not even have to worry about driving.

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39 minutes ago, ural guy said:

I retire in a few years, and would love to travel along the Main and Rhine, stopping at smaller spots like this.  You'll always find a beer or wine gardens, some local mansion or castle to view, and with local trains not even have to worry about driving.

 

That sounds like a lot of fun!

 

And I agree, stopping at the smaller spots off the beaten path can be just as much fun (often, more so) than the major tourist destinations. 

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The Main river flows through the state of Hesse and that state's capital is Wiesbaden. Hesse's territory is also on the river Rhine, that river forms the border between Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate for 107 kilometres of its length. The wider district of Wiesbaden incorporates the confluence of the two rivers, but the city centre is on neither, it is on the small river Salzbach! Now, the Salzbach flows into the river Rhine at Amöneburg which is a village of Mainz in Wiesbaden district. Confused? You are allowed to be. 😄 The three villages are called AKK in short, referring to their first letters and are "dominions" on the right river bank that are administered by Wiesbaden for Mainz on the left bank of the Rhine. An odd construct owed to re-drawings of the map after WWII. Wiesbaden has a river dock on the Rhine as incorporated into the wider district is the attractive villlage of Biebrich with its Baroque palace. Biebrich is a stop for river cruise ships on a few itineraries. See: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2516698-rhine-beyond-the-standard-ports/

 

To Wiesbaden city. It is different in that it is not characterized by medieval buildings, but spa buildings of later centuries and has an affluent air about it. I find it a nice change to half-timbered buildings along the Main and the cosmopolitan Frankfurt and can see it as an additional excursion on a river cruise itinerary. Here is some info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiesbaden

 

notamermaid

 

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Lohr am Main is a small town in Bavaria in what is called the rural district of Main-Spessart in Lower Franconia. It is another one of those towns that are small and delightful for a short trip, but not spectacular. The town appears to have no large landing stage, but a marina and is served by an excursion boat company on one if its routes.

 

What attracted my attention about Lohr a few years ago is an unusual story of "a statue with marketing gone wrong - gone right and turned into a hit". And this is how it went. We need to go back a couple of hundred years to the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. They wrote down the story of Schneewittchen, "Snow White": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White

Now, as they say, there is always some truth in fairy tales and two good claims have been made about who Snow White might have been and what some of the parts of the tale refer to in history. You can read the second one under Inspirations on the wikipedia page, it refers to Lorch am Main. The town was happy to take this up and a few years ago commissioned a sculptor to create a figure of Snow White, he had won first prize in a competition for such a sculpture. This did not meet with approval with everyone as many people found it "too modern". A 17-year-old studying for his Abitur (A-levels) disliked the high emotions in the debate and during an official graffiti campaign for some walls in the town, sprayed a small figure of a Snow White chasing dwarfs as a humorous reaction. It became an instant hit via facebook and soon German media. The "Horrorwittchen" was born. It was printed on mugs, t-shirts and with the help of some locals sent out into the world. Now Lohr is probably as much known for the claim to Snow White as for Horrorwittchen and the unusual sculpture which was erected in 2016.

 

Lohr also has a castle/palace called "Lohrer Schloss" which houses a local museum with the so-called "Schneewittchenspiegel", a mirror given as a gift to the second wife of Philipp Christoph von Erthal, the father of presumed Schneewittchen.

 

This is Lohr am Main: https://www.lohr.de/en/tourism-and-culture/discovering-lohr/sights/our-old-town/

 

notamermaid

 

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