Viking Rhine River Cruise: Breisach, Germany

One of the coolest things I quickly discovered about the cruise was how exciting it was to wake up each morning and look out of our window to see where we were docked.  Because we mostly traveled at night, each morning we woke up in a new place.  Sunday's place was a little town called Breisach in Germany.

Each morning I would wake up early, quickly get dressed and grab my camera.  I obviously had perfect timing, because every day I ran into dad in the hall!  We grabbed a cup of coffee and pastry from the ship's coffee station, collected our boarding cards (which told the crew who was on and off the ship at all times, so no one was ever left behind), and set out for an early morning walk.

The first landmark that caught my attention in Breisach was St. Stephen's Cathedral. It's pretty much impossible to miss as it sits high on a hillside, overlooking the river and the town.  (I later noticed that it is a stop on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage - something I only know about because I visited the final destination, St. James Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain when I was studying abroad.)

We wandered through the quiet streets, climbed meandering staircases, and passed a tower-like guard house on our way up to the cathedral.  From there, we had fantastic views over the town, a lot of which has been rebuilt since WW2 (as is true with most of Europe).  Even so, Breisach still has a fairy-tale like feel (fitting, since it is located just outside of the Black Forest, where many of the fairy tales we know originate from).

After a bit of a wander, we headed back to the ship, just in time to run into Bryn and mom who were on their way to the restaurant for breakfast.

At each port there were excursions offered to the guests, typically one included and several additional ones you paid for.  The included excursion while docked in Breisach was a coach tour into the Black Forest.  We opted out of this excursion for a couple of reasons - most of us had been to the Black Forest before, none of us fancied sitting on a tour bus all morning, and Breisach was too pretty to not explore!  So, while the majority of passengers boarded coaches for the morning, mom, dad, Bryn and I headed back into town.

However, instead of turning right to climb back up the the cathedral, this time we continued on to the main square and turned left, towards a viewing spot we had seen earlier that morning.

The tiny road wound around the base of a vineyard-covered hill, and to a skinny gap in the wall with stairs leading up through the grape vines. (Breisach is also well-known for its wines and has Europe's biggest wine cellars according to our Viking Daily!)

At the top of the stairs we found a little dirt road that took us to the viewing point.  The views were worth the short climb up!

Eventually we made our way back into town, and Bryn and I set off for a little more aimless wandering.  

After a walk and picking out our obligatory fridge magnet (we collect them from everywhere we go), we found our way back to the Alruna for lunch before our afternoon excursion.

I really enjoyed Breisach.  I'm so glad it was a stop for our cruise as I think the lovely little town could be easily missed on any other whirlwind tour of Europe.  I definitely recommend it if you ever find yourself in the area!

Check back soon to see where we went on our afternoon excursion!

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