After discovering that Germany was much cooler than I anticipated, we spent our next day cruising along the Rhine from the comfort of our heated ship. It was cozy inside the main room as the passengers gathered around windows, cameras and iPads at the ready, to snap photos of the gorgeous winter landscape that felt like the inside of a snow globe. Around every bend in the river, there were vineyards, churches, and castles. Yes, castles.
Though not exactly like the palaces of kings and queens that little girls dream of being swept away to, the castles were amazing. Clearly strategically built structures, they were scattered along the banks and positioned up on the hills, the high ground a clear advantage for seeing an enemy approaching. Now, I know there are castles out there that more closely resemble the ones in those princess stories I loved, but I really enjoyed seeing these militaristic fortresses and hearing the history behind them.