From my journal…
We are in Bacharach on the Rhein. The drive up the river was so pretty. We have checked into our little B&B here – run by Irmgard Orth – and it is simple, clean & fresh. It turns out that Frau Orth is a believer! She can’t speak much English, but Matt did a great job communicating with her in German. She was so happy to know we are believers, too. She said she could see it written all over us – the way we smiled and were happy. That’s a blessing for us to know! Frau Orth makes the best breakfast: fresh bread with her home-made honey and preserves, soft boiled eggs, meat & cheese and coffee or tea.
Our first evening we strolled through the village and ate at the Alt Haus. We practically had the place to ourselves and it was so quaint and charming.
The next morning the sun was shining so we decided to walk the old walls and up to the castle after breakfast. We were meandering through the park along the river around noon time and noticed a boat tour up to St. Goar. On a whim we bought tickets. The Rhein is beautiful – deep, wide and very fast moving. We stood on the back deck all the way to St. Goar and it was the best view.
Once we landed, after a somewhat strenuous hike up the hill to the base of the Rheinfeld’s castle, we ate lunch at the castle restaurant on the terrace overlooking the Rhein and it was delicious. Afterwards we toured the castle ruins (best preserved in all Germany) and caught the last boat back to Bacharach. Even with a nap, that night I was exhausted when my head hit the pillow!
The next day we took Leon (our rental car) north along the Rhein. We stopped in Koblenz to do our laundry, pick up some groceries and get some cash out then continued on to Koln. Our main objective in Koln was to see the Dom. Which was good because that city was packed out. SO many people…and most of them seemed crowded around and inside the Dom. I have never seen so many people in a church when there wasn’t any service or event going on.
The Dom was beautiful – huge and in the shape of a cross with beautiful stain glass windows. They had some parts covered with scaffolding inside and out…which we have found to be true on a lot of the churches we’ve seen. A little disappointing. So many of these towns and structures were almost completely destroyed during WWII. We knew it was a lot…but it’s different when you see it with your own eyes. Some of the cathedrals survived in tact. A lot of times the town’s people took the stained glass windows out and hid them to save them from being destroyed. But some of these churches were just left an empty shell after the war and needed to be rebuilt almost completely.
After we saw the Dom and walked around for just a bit, we were ready to head back to the quiet, peaceful slower-paced atmosphere of Bacharach. We drove back through the rain; the town was sleepy and cozy when we returned. We found a table that evening at a pub that was a mix of modern and old-fashioned. They had good food, good music and even better service.
And that was the end of our stay on the Rhein and our first travel blitz. I’ll be writing about the next week we spent house sitting in Stuttgart and then our short trip to Rothenburg. Next week we start our second travel blitz with a trip up to Berlin.