Robin's Adventures

River Cruise: Rhine and Moselle Rivers
Adventures with Medieval Castles and Charming Old Towns

Inside Notre Dame Cathedral

The high vaulted ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows draw your attention as soon as you enter the Strasbourg Cathedral. The rose window, which is nearly 50 feet in diameter, is unique in that it has ears of wheat instead of the more traditional pictures of saints. The organ, which is just over 65 feet tall, dates back to 1489.

One very popular attraction inside the church is 59 foot tall astronomical clock that was first built in 1352. The current mechanism was built in 1842 and when the clock strikes the hour miniature statues begin to move and a rooster crows and flaps its wings. The clock was unfortunately being refurbished during our visit so there was scaffolding all around it.


Riquewihr is a charming 16th century French town surrounded by lush vineyards. The colorful half timbered houses line meandering cobblestone streets and we felt like we were walking into a fairy tale during our visit to Riquewihr.

More Riquewihr

At one end of town was the Old Town Hall, or Hotel de Ville. As we wandered the streets we found an old sundial on the front of a building and corn cobs hanging over a ladder, perhaps as a birdfeeder? Everywhere we looked there was a definite charm to this old village.

Historical Riquewihr

Riquewihr is surrounded by ruins of old defensive walls. At one end of town is the 82 foot tall Dolder, or watch tower which was built in 1291. The caretaker and his family lived inside the tower and closed the gate to the village each night.

Above the entry arch on the watchtower is a very tall but narrow window that was used to pour hot oil on the enemy as they tried to enter the city. The guide humorously pointed out that this created the region's first French fries.


White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) are commonly seen throughout the Alsace region of France. Although they winter more than 9,000 miles away in Africa, they return to the same nest year after year each spring.

People in Alsace think it is good luck to have a stork nest on their rooftop and many people have metal structures on their roof to help the storks build a nest. The huge nests are made of large sticks and can weigh up to 1,100 pounds. The stork usually lays four eggs which will hatch about 33 days later.

Winging Our Way Home

We had a wonderful adventure and now the time had come to make our way home. The long travel day began with a one hour bus ride to the airport in Basel, Switzerland where we waited 3 hours to board a flight to Frankfurt. After a 45 minute flight to Frankfort we had a two hour layover until our 11 hour flight to San Francisco.

Our takeoff in Frankfurt was delayed almost an hour so we got to San Francisco with just 27 minutes to catch our connecting flight to Los Angeles. It was tight, but we managed to go through passport control, pick up our luggage and go through customs, recheck our luggage, go through TSA, and board our one hour 45 minute flight home.

Total flight time: 12 1/2 hours. Total Travel time including layovers: 19 hours. There's no place like home!