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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CASTLES ON THE RHINE

Castles on the Rhine River


The train service in Germany is excellent and because Patrick has a disability card, he can take along a passenger with him free, so all my train and bus rides around the countryside here has been free thanks to my generous host.  On Monday we took the train to the town of Koblenz where the conflagration of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers meet at a place called the "German Corner".  This is marked by a huge statue of Kaiser William on his horse.  We climbed up to the top of the winding steps to get a good viewpoint and took lots of photos.  (Photos will be posted when I return home.)

Where the Rhine and the Mosel Rivers converge

It was a gorgeous trip along the Rhine to Koblenz, the second largest city in Rhineland-Palatinate,  and I noticed the excellent cycling paths all along from Mainz, mainly flat areas that are prefect for biking. There were also lots of walkers and joggers on the paved pathways along the river.  We passed through a lot of lovely little towns along the way.  And after looking around Koblenz and had a nice traditional lunch at an Italian restaurant called "Amalfi". This made up for the schnitzels I couldn't eat the night before due to my stomach upset.  I had "Kleines Putensteakmedalions" Tession in Aprikosen Rahmsauce with Krokettes und Kleiner salat. (9.90 euro) which was chicken done in apricot sauce. Very delicious!


Later we decided to take a boat trip along the Rhine to spot the castles.  We had earlier intended to visit the largest castle, Marksburg, but were unable to make a proper connection as it was Monday.  So we settled on the boat trip which was an excellent decision.  The day was sunny and warm and the scenery along the Rhine is spectacular with the vineyards and orchards terraced on the mountainsides along the river and the many quaint villages along the way.  We spotted several of the castles, but most spectacular being Marksburg.  It is the largest medieval castle in Germany and was never damaged or destroyed. It's located over the village of Brauback.  We got a good view of it from the boat and I took a lot of photos.  It's a real 'fairy-tale' kind of castle in white stone, and it popular in tourist photos.

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