Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Germany Trip Report, part III.

Last summer Robert, Dots and I visited a former classmates of Dots's, Hanna, and her family in Germany.  

Tuesday, 31 July, 2007

This morning Rosie drove us to the river, and Dorothy, Hanna, Robert and I boarded a boat for a scenic trip up the Rhine.  

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We passed many castles, beginning with the Ehrenfels Castle directly opposite Bingen

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 and the cute little Mauseturm (“Mouse Tower”) on a tiny island just offshore,

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 as well as charming, picturesque villages.  

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After about an hour we came to the famous Lorelei bend where a beautiful siren legendarily lured sailors into the rocks to their deaths.  

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Just past the Lorelei we disembarked in St. Goar and were met by Rosie and Vicki.  

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We meandered through the little streets of St. Goar up to the Rheinfels Castle above the town.

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Burg Rheinfels was once the biggest castle on the Rhine (built in 1245).  After many wars and much pillaging for building materials, it is now only a fraction of its former size, but I found wandering its ruins to be quite fascinating.  

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There is a series of old mine tunnels that Robert, Hanna, Vicki and I ventured into.  The tunnels are unlit (we had brought flashlights), the way out is not marked, the paths are steep, narrow and muddy and never higher than a deep crouch,  and there are many opportunities for wrong turns and dead ends, but we had a wonderful time wandering around down there trying to find our way out.  It was very comical when we met up with another party coming the opposite way (reminded me of The Poseidon Adventure) and had to back into a side tunnel to let them pass.  

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Caves under Burg Rheinfels

After we finally returned to the light of day, we met Dorothy and Rosie in the castle’s museum where there is a very cool model of the original building.



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Leaving St. Goar we drove along the river back toward Bingen, stopping in the lovely town of Bacharach.  

I thought Bacharach was the most charming of all the little Rhine villages we saw.  A nice park fronts the river, and flowers abound throughout the town.  Bacharach’s half-timbered buildings are well maintained, its cobbled streets quaint and welcoming without being overly touristy. 

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We wandered around for a while, taking a break in the courtyard of the old Posthof (postal station – dating from 1724) for drinks and a bite to eat.

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I liked this billy goat grazing on the roof in the courtyard!

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Jogi has a high school friend in Bacharach who teaches wine-making at a local university and has his own boutique winery.  We met Jogi at Weingut Dr. Randolf Kauer's for another tasting session. 

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The ‘professor,’ as Jogi calls him, lives with his family on the upper story of a century-old house built into a slate bluff in Bacharach. 

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The ground floor serves as his winery with a large cellar below.  We sat on his back patio enjoying several varieties of his wines while being educated about the ins and outs of German wine-making and then took a tour of his winery.

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We left Randolf’s and returned to Bingen, stopping at a favorite local restaurant of Jogi and Rosie’s.  Called the Sonne, it is somewhat of a mix between a pub and a bistro.  Jogi ordered a sampling of dishes, all of which I thought were delicious.  

Quite possibly I had enjoyed too much wine at this point to remember to take any pictures;however I did abscond with a business card.


Once again it was almost midnight when we arrived back at their house after another full, delightful day of eating, drinking and sightseeing.


Erin said...

Oh my goodness, I just LOVED Germany when I was there. And I was only 13 at the time! I guess I need to go back.

These pictures are so wonderful. Thank you for putting them on your blog!


Liz Harrell said...

These are really the most incredible pictures. Please, take me with you. :)

Whitney said...

Wow. I absolutely love your pictures. What a fantastical trip! You are blessed, most definitely! Keep us updated and thanks for stopping by my site! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment! What an amazing trip and incredible pictures. I would love to get to Germany sometime!

Amy said...

Wow! Germany looks as green as Italy!
Beautiful pictures!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.
I hope to be posting more about my Mediterranean trip next week.
I am starting to feel better; I am definitely ready for life to get back to normal.
Thanks for your kind words.
God Bless,

melissa ellen parker said...

I love all your pics! Looks like quite a fun and beautiful time.

I just read your profile and we have 3 of the same favorite books -

To Kill a Mockingbird, The Good Earth, and Pride & Prejudice.

I'll def. be stopping by for more looks. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love making new friends!