Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Mosel & Rhine Vacation: Bacharach

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
After a nice and hearty German lunch we got back in the car and drove up the Rhine. We passed about half a dozen castles along the way. We couldn't get the camera out fast enough to capture them all. It's truly a unique place. You just can't experience moments like this in North America.
Gutenfels castle
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!
After searching the town for some dinner, we decided to stop here. Mostly because nothing else was open, but it was a good choice. A quaint little hotel with a restaurant and cozy atmosphere. Het was gezellig! I had to pinch myself because I was expecting Hansel & Gretel to walk out from around the bar. The place was so cute, I felt like we in a fairy tale.
Our little Mosel & Rhine vacation has to be one of the most relaxing and refreshing vacations I have ever had. I'm glad we decided to stay along the Mosel river because it was so quiet, less traveled, and serene. I felt rejuvenated and relaxed before our trip home. Til next time Germany. Auf wiedersehen!
A brief hike in the fog through Ernst
Lunch in Cochem, i.e. a Berliner, apfel struedel & heiße Schokolade

1 comment:

  1. What a fun trip, looks like you guys really lucked out with the weather too :)