From the Mosel Valley we drove to Koblenz then on down the Rhine Valley to Sankt Goar (Go-our). The Rhine River flows 760 miles from Switzerland to the North Sea in the Netherlands, and is Europe’s second longest river. But we enjoyed what is considered the most scenic and romantic Rhine stretch with countless castles (built 11th thru 13th centuries), tales of kings and of battles won and lost. The river itself is a water highway of freight barges as it is still the most cost effective way to ship, and there’s also plenty of ferry and cruise boat tour traffic.
We stayed at an Airbnb with knockout views of the Rhine, and we could see two castles. Trains run on both sides of the river, and fortunately for us the tracks were behind us on our side of the river with sounds somewhat buffered by other buildings. Plus, we understand the train company has now paid for the installation of triple-paned windows in the towns up and down the Rhine. On my last visit to the Rhine 13 years ago in Bacharach, it was miserable with trains passing through what seemed like every 10 minutes, and no triple-paned windows blocking the sound.
The next morning, we walked through town, into the woods, and hiked up to Burg Rheinfels in St. Goar. This castled ruled the Rhine for 500 years with levy tolls but has been in ruins since the mid-1700s. We took a self-guided tour of the ruins and it was fascinating. The views, spectacular. Before we left we stopped by the toilets. D came out and announced, “Pooped in a castle, check!” Who knew that was on D’s list?
The following day we took a 1-hour boat cruise to Bacharach. It was a cooler day but no rain to dampen it. We enjoyed the cruise and as we passed the Loreley they played the Song of the Loreley – just beautiful. The Loreley is a massive rock 433 ft. high on a tight bend in the Rhine. There are all sorts of legends from dwarves to lovely maidens, and murmuring sounds surrounding the Loreley. In Bacharach we took a self-guided walk on the riverfront, through town to view the higgledy-piggledy buildings, up into a medieval tower in the vineyards, and hiked further up the vineyards to enjoy the views high above the valley.
Staying in St. Goar was perfect for our time on the Rhine. We left there Oct. 21 heading for Bamberg, Germany. We understand in November there are no businesses open here in St. Goar, and that you could walk down the main street naked and nobody would see you. Timing is everything.
Thank you for joining us on our journey.