August 7, 1986; I remember it like yesterday.  Thirty years ago, Bruce took me on our first date.  We dined in Del Mar, California, at Bella Via and listened to the Bruce Cameron Jazz Ensemble.  It was a perfect night.

Three years later, we bought a house (coincidentally!) down the street from Bruce and Betty Cameron, and we married three years after that.

It has been a wonderful thirty years!

What better way to celebrate our thirty years together than cruising the romantic Rhine River through the Middle Rhine Valley?  Rolling hills of lush wine vineyards, fairy-tale castles, quaint towns—there isn’t anybody else in the world I would have rather shared it with than my amazing husband and best friend, Bruce.

After departing Rudesheim, we spent our afternoon on deck enjoying the beautiful scenery along the Rhine Gorge on our way to Cologne.  Castles dating back to the year 1000 amazed us, and the twists and turns of the Rhine delighted us.  It was a day to remember…


Ehrenfels Castle (now in ruins) dates back to 1208.


Mauserturm, 14th Century





Reichenstein Castle was first built in 1100 and rebuilt in 1900.


Sooneck Castle dates back to the late 1200’s.


Furstenberg Castle (now in ruins) was built in 1219.



Stahleck Castle was originally built in 1135!




This was one of my favorites!  Pfalzgrafenstein Castle sits on the tiny island of Pfalz, and its sole purpose back in the day (early 1300’s!) was to generate revenue from boats traveling along the river.  Notice the castle in the background:  Gutenfels Castle.


Another view of Gutenfels Castle



A closer look at Gutenfels Castle



Shonburg Castle, located above the town of Oberwesel (known as the “City of Towers”), is a bit of a mix of architectural styles.  Originally built in 1149, the castle was destroyed in 1689.  Since 1885, it has been built bit by bit into its current condition.  The newer section houses a famous hotel.


Oberwesel, the “City of Towers” has 16 towers!



Katz Castle is located above the town of St. Goarshausen.  It was first built in 1371; however, it was bombarded by Napolean in 1806.  it was rebuilt in the late 1800’s and is now privately owned and not open for visitors.


Started in 1245 (and expanded several times since), Rheinfels Castle is the largest castle on the Rhine.  At one time, the castle covered five times its current area; however, most of it now is a ruin.  The other part includes a luxury hotel, wellness center, and restaurant.


Maus (meaning “mouse”) Castle is located above the village of Wellmich and dates back to 1356.



Vineyards blanket the landscape along the Rhine.


Marksburg has the distinction of never having been destroyed.  Built in 1117, this castle was used for protection rather than as a residence for royal families.  Located above the town of Braubach, it is one of the principal sites for the UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge.


Located in Oberlahnstein, Martinsubrg Castle was built in the late 1300’s.


Schloss Stolzenfels (Stolzenfels Castle), located in Koblenz, is a former medieval fortress castle.  It was a ruined 13th-century castle gifted to Frederick William in 1823, and he had it rebuilt as a 19th-century palace in Gothic Revival style.  Today, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley.


Lahneck Castle, built in 1226,  is a medieval fortress located in the city of Lahnstein, south of Koblenz.  The 13th-century castle stands above the confluence of the Lahn River with the Rhine, opposite Stolzenfels castle.



The Koblenz Cable Car crosses the Rhine where it meets the Mosel River.


We completed our cruising journey for the day in Cologne where our ship tied up for the night and following day.  Check back for my next post on Cologne!



This post is for my U.S. Masters Swimming friends…

While cruising the Rhine on the river boat, my current home away from home, I didn’t want to miss out on the scenery by working out in the gym.  So, I killed two birds with one stone by “swimming” the Rhine while up on the top deck.  I, of course, can’t swim the Rhine; the current runs too fast and the water is too cold.  Besides, we’re cruising…


Walk laps around the deck for 15 minutes, followed by my favorite Swimmer Magazine shoulder stabilization and dynamic stretching exercises.  Finish by setting up my circuit training; attach my stretch cords to the railing on deck.

Main Set:

Walk 2 laps; fast pace, about 5mph speed.

Stop and “swim” a 50yd freestyle, 50yd fly and 50yd breaststroke on stretch cords; count strokes to match a typical swimming 50.

Walk 2 laps fast, stopping on the second lap to grab my Hammer Nutrition water bottle (from Summer Nationals) for sips of water while I walk.

Stop and drop for 10 military pushups

Walk 2 laps fast, stopping along the way to grab my camera and snap a shot of the castle.

Stop and “swim” (same as above)

Walk 2 laps fast

Stop and drop for 50 stomach crunches

Walk 2 laps fast

Rinse.  Repeat.

Continue routine for desired time period; one hour for me, so I wouldn’t miss my favorite breakfast from the buffet:  Muesli with tiny flat squares for bittersweet chocolate, topped with fresh fruit and yogurt. 0

This was my favorite dryland travel workout yet.  How about you?  What was your favorite dryland workout, when swimming was not an option?