Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rhine River Cruise!

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To celebrate the end of summer, J and I went on a river boat cruise up and down a romantic section of the Rhine River. The Rhine runs from Switzerland to Holland, but the most scenic part is between Wiesbaden and Koblenz. Due to funds and time we took it from Wiesbaden to St. Goar. If you are going to do the cruise, buy the day pass online at www.k-d.com and save a bunch off the ticket price.

Also plan on taking the train home because going upstream, as we learned, takes FOREVER!

We got on the boat around 10am, and it was bright and sunny, but the day was only going to get up to about 70 degrees. It has been fairly hot here, so I'm glad I looked up the weather for Saturday in advance and knew it would be cool! When the wind kicked in we were quite cold sitting on the roof of the ship, but that's where the best view is.

This stretch of river has 9 riverside towns, 12 castles, 2 monuments, and innumerable vineyards climbing the steep slopes of the river. Apparently, the slate of the mountain sides holds in the heat after the sun goes down, making the grapes that grow on them sweeter than those grown on the flat fields above the river, making for better wine.

We reached At. Goar around 1pm, and hat lunch at the Hotel Markt, recommended by Rick Steves in his Germany 2009 guide. The Rick Steves guide so far has been pretty good in terms of detailed and interesting information and recommendations on attractions and food, however the city we are living in he suggests you "Too big and too famous, Don't waste your time on it". HA!

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I had Saurbrauten, which I didn't know was a specialty of this area, with a glass of local Spatenbruger white wine. It was delicious! I keep attempting to like potato dumplings and failing though :(

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We did not have time to visit the castle, but it's supposed to be one of the more interesting ones to go in. The castle directly across the river looks like it has been renovated, and the guidebook said that a rich Japanese guy bought it in the 90's, intending to make it a Japanese destination resort, but his proposed plans and additions to the property were turned down by the German government, and he simply abandoned the idea! I think it's empty now, which is a shame because it would make a great hotel.
"Japanese" Castel
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Here's my other favorite shots from the trip! All there was to do on the boat was eat, drink, and take pictures, as I FORGOT MY KNITTING!

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Go HERE to see the rest of the set!

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