Here is beautiful Bacharach! A small town surrounded by vineyards, castles, and spectacular views of the Rhine river. Our last day exploring this area of Germany was spent with a day trip down part of the Rhine. Of course, this came under the recommendation of Rick Steves. Thanks Rick! (We're a first name basis now).
Bacharach was about 1.5 hours from where we stayed in Ernst on the Mosel. The drive alone was made it well worth the trip. Below is a picture of some of the stunning views we had traveling through the mountains from the Mosel to the Rhine river.
It was a quiet day of hiking and sightseeing. The city center is a picturesque German town. Very similar to the village of Beilstein, just slightly bigger. Cute little market square (pictured with the Altes Haus below), castle up on a hilltop, and acres of white grape vineyards.
|Altes Haus: Medieval timber-framed house built in 1368|
|This is only a small portion of the all the surrounding rows of grapes|
|Ruins of Werner Chapel: 13th-14th century Gothic church|
The Werner chapel is a famous church in ruin. There's a sad story of a legend that goes with this chapel. I'll spare you the horrific details, but something along the lines of a young boy named Werner being murdered and the town Jews being blamed for it, ending with the Vatican refusing to make the boy a saint. It's a feel good story. Despite the gruesome tale, the ruin itself is an interesting structure.
|Stahleck castle turned into a youth hostel|
|Views at Stahleck|
We took the town walk along the former city wall. The city used to have 16 towers surrounding the wall. We passed a few of the remaining ones along our hike. We were very lucky to have sunny and somewhat warm weather for our hike.
|Checking out the grapes|
|Great views of the ruined chapel|
|Pfalz castle in the middle on the river|
Rheinfels caslte is one of the places Rick Steves recommended. We stopped to use their restroom at the 4 star hotel and then got back in the car. We'll have to save it for another trip!
|That's Katz castle in the middle of that mountain|
We wanted to end our last night of our mini-vacation back in Beilstein. It was the perfect ending to a great trip. We did a short hike up to Beilstein castle (now in ruins) and watched the sun start to set.
And why not do one more wine tasting? Don't worry. We didn't drink all of this, but we tried!
|A brief hike in the fog through Ernst|
|Lunch in Cochem, i.e. a Berliner, apfel struedel & heiße Schokolade|