After spending an interesting morning sailing along the beautiful Middle Rhine River, we reached our next stop, the city of Rüdesheim am Rhein, at noon. We docked near a small park and walked around the area until a private street train, or as Jeannette called it, a “choo-choo train,” came to pick us up and take us up the hill through the town and to Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett (Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum). (As I had mentioned in another post, we were on a special music-themed cruise with Avalon Waterways, so this excursion fit in well with our interest in music.)
This museum houses various sorts of mechanical instruments, many somewhat like huge music boxes. There are some player piano-type instruments, a street organ, other unique instruments that had self-playing strings, such as the Hupfeld Phonoloszt Violina or the Hupfeld Violina Orchestra, which is the only known original in the world, according to Wikipedia. We all followed the guide throughout the museum and took lots of photos of both the instruments and the gorgeous interior of the building. Toward the end of the tour, the guide asked Ross, who was standing near the street organ, to be the organ grinder for the day. He plopped a hat on his head and asked him to start turning the crank. Ross did a great job, but the finishing touch would have been a monkey to sit on his shoulder!
We exited the Museum through the gift shop (of course), and they had the most exquisite music boxes and other items you could purchase. I really wanted one of the beautiful caged bird music boxes, which sounded just like real birds singing, so I could play it for my kitties. But alas! They were too expensive (even for kitties). The next three images are photos of postcards I bought in the gift shop.
Enjoy my photos I took of the Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum!
For those of you who are interested in seeing and hearing how some of these instruments play, here is a link to a You Tube video posted by David Tagg in 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crg4jfXaASA
After leaving the tour guide at the Museum, we all headed down the hill to the Schloss Rüdesheimer for a treat of special Rüdesheimer Kaffee (coffee). This coffee was similar to Irish Coffee, except for a few differences, such as brandy as an ingredient rather than Irish Whiskey. We were entertained by some musicians while we watched the coffee being made and then, of course, while we were drinking the delicious result.
From my Across Europe with Avalon Guide Book, here is the recipe for this tasty treat:
After we drank our coffee, we all wandered off to see the rest of Rüdesheim, shop for souvenirs, or as Bill G. and Lois and Fox did, take the chair-lift up the hill to see the Niederwald Monument. This is a “figure of Germania, whose 32 tons of bronze were cast in 1883 to celebrate German Unification 12 years before,” according to our ship newsletter.
After walking around the town and doing a bit of souvenir shopping, Bill and I strolled over to the market square area in the center of town and ordered some fabulous wine and sausages and sat outdoors to eat. We had a lovely time in Rüdesheim.
Later, after we boarded the ship and walked down to the first deck for dinner, we celebrated Ann’s birthday! October 18, 2014 was a wonderful day for all of us!