Lens on Koblenz

This item appears on page 41 of the March 2019 issue.
Lens on Koblenz Essay Winner

Let's get right to it. ITN staff have voted and, on the topic "Lens on Koblenz," the winning essay is that of HERSCHEL V. ANDERSON of Tempe, Arizona. Herschel will receive a 3-year extension to his subscription to ITN (or he can pass his prize along to a friend).

In our ongoing series of essay contests, which is open to subscribers only, the current topic is "I Sigh Over Dubai." If you have been to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, write an essay, in no more than 300 words, that gives us a sense of the place, describing what you found or saw there as well as any encounters or experiences that lifted you or provided insight into the emirate's culture. Email your essay to editor@intltravelnews.com or send it to Essay Contest, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. Include the address at which you receive ITN. The deadline is April 30, 2019. A prize will be given for the winning essay, which will appear in ITN.

Now here is Herschel's essay on Koblenz, Germany.

The Mosel joins the Rhine at Koblenz, making it a perfect place for exploring castles and historic sites along both rivers.

My first visit (January 1957) was during army field maneuvers in the forests south of town. Single-digit temperatures for two weeks made an evening truck ride to a local Kaserne (barracks) very attractive. It was for the almost-desperate purposes of finding warmth and a hot shower. Koblenz had not recovered from World War II destruction, so piles of rubble were everywhere.

My second visit (September 2001) found my Grand Circle Travel riverboat, M/S River Harmony, moored adjacent to the Mosel River promenade. Our walking tour led us through many small squares decorated with personable small sculptures amidst carefully restored ancient buildings.

An organ concert in the Romanesque/Gothic St. Florin's Church surrounded us with music by Bach and Rutter. I walked the Mosel riverfront to its junction with the Rhine. There, the Basilica of St. Castor, begun in 817, provided major artistic treasures. Behind it, the giant Festung Ehrenbreitstein crowned a hill on the other side of the Rhine.

A ferry took me across, and a short walk led me to a primitive Sesselbahn (chairlift) for a scary ride through treetops. Deposited in the center of that fortress, unforgettable views of the Rhine and Koblenz thrilled me. A beer helped introduce me to several friendly local folk, who offered a ride back to the ferry, letting me avoid a scary trip down.

In April 2009, another moorage in the same place with Grand Circle's M/S River Rhapsody allowed for visits up the Rhine to Marksberg Castle and sips of Maximilians Brauwiesen beer in Lahnstein. An evening walk along Rhine and Mosel waterfront esplanades completed my experiences around Koblenz.

Koblenz is a jewel.

Tempe, AZ