With the fall colors out in full force, we decided to take advantage of a beautiful day and go on a Rhine River cruise. We packed up the car and drove to Bingen, just west of Frankfurt, Germany. It’s about a 90-minute drive. We arrived at KD Lines ticket booth at 9am, and the first boat left at 9:30. Good timing! We chose to ride as far as St. Goar, which was just under 2 hours downstream. Along the way, we passed about a dozen old castles in various conditions from “ruins” to renovated hotels. It was very foggy for the first hour, but then it cleared up. At St. Goar, we disembarked for an hour and a half to look through the quaint little village and to eat lunch. We had a beautiful afternoon for the ride back to Bingen, where we arrived just after 3pm. A perfect day!
The Rhine is Europe’s most important inland waterway, stretching 1320 kilometers (about 820 miles) from the Swiss Alps to the Netherlands, where it empties into the North Sea. It has been a major trade route for the past 2000 years, and today is used heavily by barges. It has been the border between opposing civilizations since the time of Julius Caesar.
The boat we rode on was the “Berlin”, one of several in the KD Line.
The first part of the trip was pretty foggy, but you
could still see the vineyards on the hillsides.
This miniature castle is actually an early “toll-booth”.
Bacharac. This city is over 1000 years old, protected by a fortification with 16 watchtowers. There is a wine-growing school here.
I thought it would be either grape-growing or wine-making, but wine-growing?
High on the hill overlooking town is the fortress “Stahleck”, destroyed by the French in 1689. It has been renovated into a youth hostel.
Just past Bacharach, on the other side of the river, are some of the many hillside
vineyards that line the banks of the Rhine River.
A close-up view of the vineyards. Different sections have different grapes.
There were workers picking grapes along the hillside.
A magnificent church (and smaller chapel on the hillside behind it) at Kaub.
Across the river from Kaub is Oberwesel. Beautiful church and castle.
The church at Oberwesel (see previous picture).
It looks quite large from the side, but is pretty narrow as you pass by.
Loreley. These cliffs are overflowing with legends.
The most popular is the one about the maiden who sat at the top of the rocks and sang, luring river boatmen to their deaths in the turbulent water at the foot of the rocks.
It is also said to be the hiding place of Nibelung’s gold in Wagner’s opera, Das Rheingold.
We arrived at St. Goar (our turnaround spot) in time for lunch.
The city was founded in 570 AD.
The walking section of St. Goar. We ate lunch at the Italian restaurant on the left.
St Goar. “How much is that doggy in the window?”
Ruine Ehrenfels, another old castle on our return trip.
OK, I’ve seen enough castles for one day!
Rhine River cruise!