"Rhudesheim is the most picturesque town.
"It's in the Rhine Gorge in a World Heritage-listed area, famous for its white wines.
"We arrived in the afternoon and were met by a mini-train which transported us to the centre of town for a guided tour of Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum.
"The museum is housed in a 16th-century mansion, which is filled with self-playing musical instruments, similar to those seen in fairgrounds of years gone by.
"There were several rooms filled with a variety of instruments, including pianolas, musical clocks, self-playing violins and other instruments all playing delightful carnival-type music. I loved it; I thought the museum was a must-see.
"After the museum we had time to explore and a fellow passenger and I took a chairlift ride over the vineyards up behind the town.
"We had the most magnificent views of the town, the Rhine River and the spectacular vineyards and autumn trees in all shades of greens, oranges and reds.
"We then wandered through the town and its most famous street, the Drosselgasse.
"It's now the centre for live music and has many cafes and taverns with courtyards filled with flowers and ivy.
"I've seen photos of it in summer when it's overtaken by huge crowds, so I was glad to be visiting in October when there were fewer tourists.
"Halloween was being celebrated, with many shops displaying decorated pumpkins, and children were wandering through the town in Halloween outfits, which was fun to see. The town has one of Germany's famous Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shops in the main street and we also browsed through many gift shops.
"Rudesheim has a specialty coffee, made with Asbach brandy, which is served in cafes and taverns around town. The coffee is made at your table, by pouring brandy into the hot coffee then igniting it before adding a generous amount of cream. We had ours with apple strudel, which made it even better!"
Value for money
Most excursions are included in the fare on Uniworld Cruises, which Barbara felt added to what was already excellent value for the cruise. "I don't know how they do it for the money you pay," she says.
"There's virtually nothing you need to pay for on board, apart from after-dinner drinks. Everywhere we stopped we were met by a local tour guide for an included orientation walk through the town.
"As a bonus, Uniworld offers a single supplement waiver, which is a huge incentive for those who don't want to share a cabin."
WHO Barbara Hosford of Penshurst, Sydney, on her second European river cruise.
WHAT Visiting the World Heritage-listed winemaking town of Rudesheim am Rhein in Germany.
WHERE Rudesheim is on the Rhine River in the Hesse region of central Germany.
THE SHIP Barbara cruised on a 13-day Legendary Rhine & Moselle itinerary from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Basel in Switzerland, on Uniworld Cruises' River Queen (uniworldcruises.com.au).
As told to Jane E. Fraser
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