We ate the hotel breakfast & got on the road south along the west bank of the Rhine River by 10am, making good time, then stopped just before St Goar to get out of the car & take photos of Burg Maus, since we had seen a couple castles already & not been able to take photos except out the car window (Schloss Stoltzenfels & Schloss Gedeonseck). We made it to St Goar by 11am, which was plenty of time to see Burg Rheinfels, which was in ruins, but very cool with an English self-guided paper sheet tour & map, including dark passageways underneath! Lots of fun! We finished just in time to drive down to the pier to catch our 12:20pm boat. We cruised from St Goar to Bacharach to see the castles & the famous Loreley rock from the middle of the river, seeing Burg Katz, the Loreley, Schloss Schönberg at Oberwesel, Schloss Gutenfels (now a hotel), the Pfalz in the middle of the river, then we got off the boat for 2 hours in Bacharach, strolling a bit to see the town then stopping to eat at Altes Haus, which was very cute, but very slow service. I had local Bacharach Riesling soup, which was excellent, Andy had an open-faced cheese plate with bread, and we both had the "Hausaperitif" of peach liqueur with local Riesling, which was also tasty. Our light lunch of barely ordering anything took so long we only had 30 minutes left before catching the boat back to St Goar where we left the car, so we strolled around to see the rest of the tiny tourist town of Bacharach, then back onto the boat. Since we had seen castle at Bacharach only from afar, and we wanted to drive the entire castle route down the west bank of the Rhine anyway, we parked at Bacharach to see the castle properly. It's a long walk up to the top of the hill, and the castle is now a youth hostel, so we couldn't go inside, but we did take a timer photo at the very top. :)
Britta & Andy in Bacharach - October 2006
We had at least 4 more castles to see in only 3 hours left of daylight - on your mark, get set, go! We knew they had already closed for entry for the day, but we figured we could at least drive up to see the outsides. We "raced" down the A9 road, thwarted by several one-way roadworks, stopping at Burg Sooneck with the TEAL wooden doors (noted for my own future castle, teal doors look quite good with the stone walls!), Burg Reichenstein that is now a hotel & restaurant, hosting many weddings by their photo montage at the front, Burg Rheinstein which is straight up a cliff, Assmanshausen across the river, then finally Burg Klopp in Bingen, where I was able to take a couple quick photos in the fading light, but we made up for that by having dinner there inside the castle in the posh restaurant! Quite a fitting end to "Schlosstage" I must say! ;)
Britta with the TEAL wooden castle doors at Burg Sooneck! ;)
(full Day 8 photos start at the bottom here)
We took the autobahn route back up to Koblenz from Bingen, which didn't take long at all. We had chatted with a couple from Alabama on our boat ride upriver, and they highly recommended Rüdesheim even though it is a tourist trap, so we've figured a route which will take us through Rüdesheim around lunchtime, with its Riesling wine tasting (yay!), then to Nürnberg to stay the night. Only 2 more days left in Germany, since we fly back from Munich to the UK on Saturday night!
Until next time!
P.S. Andy's guidebook had nothing to say about Hildegard von Bingen (the first woman composer on record) and I looked as we were driving around in Bingen but didn't find anything...but I tried! :)