11 June 2006

Act I, Scene VIII

OK, those last couple of posts were a misplaced intermission. Now I must get back on track with the final part of the first half of our most recent vacation.

The adventure for the last day that dad & steply ugmother were in Germany was a boat cruise on the Rhein river from Bacharach to St. Goar. There we explored the crumbling ruins of Burg Rheinfels, and evenually cruised back to Bacharach, where we had a wine tasting at the Bed & Breakfast (the best way to describe it in English), Zur Fledermaus.

The sign for Zur Fledermaus. Recommended! (Especially for fans of die Toten Hosen)

Along the stretch of the Rhein between Mainz and Koblenz is an amazing concentration of castles, most of which were originally medieval toll booths. My favorite has always been Pfalzgrafenstein - built right in the middle of the river. Behind, on the hill (a more proper place for a castle, I would think), is Burg Gutenfels.

Burg Schönberg - now a Youth Hostel!.

Burg Rheinfels was orginally built in 1245 and was, like so many of the Rhein castles, a very large toll booth. In 1794, French troops demolished the castle.

More of the ruins of Burg Rheinfels. There are lots of twisty & dark passages to get lost in.

Jeannette and the Rheinfels ruins.

Both of us & the Rheinfels ruins.

One of the many ferries across the Rhein, along with Burg Katz in the background.

I was quite surprised to see the brand-spankin' new barge "Stadt Heilbronn" (The City of Heilbronn) whizz by (as fast as barges whizz, that is) since I just read an article in our local paper about it a few days before our vacation. It is only slightly smaller than the size of the locks along the Neckar river, so it uses fancy-pants electronic gizmos to guide it through the cramped locks.

One last shot of St.Goarshausen & Burg Katz, as seen from the back of the boat.

Well, that's it for Act I: Germany. Stay tuned for Act II: Southern France.



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