Paul & Steph's Odyssey travel blog


Rhine River

St. Goar

Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar

Wine bar in Bacharach - back right

Days 1-2, Bacharach (Rhine Valley):

The Rhine Valley is an area in central Germany containing a stretch of the Rhine River dotted with medieval towns and castles. Wealthy rulers in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries built castles on the banks of the Rhine River in order to charge tolls from passing ships. Apparently, these guys would build a tower across the river from their castle and then pull up chains between the castle and tower in order to stop (and charge) any ship that tried to cruise by "their property." Besides old castles, the Rhine Valley is also famous for its wine (mostly Rieslings). Our home base for exploring the area was the small town of Bacharach. Bacharach has about a thousand people and is one of the more popular wine producers in the valley. In addition to exploring Bacharach, which took a total of about thirty minutes, we took a ferry ride along the river to explore the region. The ferry ride was pretty entertaining, with small towns and old castles all along the banks of the Rhine. After a forty five minute ride on the ferry, we jumped off to explore the town of St. Goar and its main attraction - the Rheinfels Castle. The Rheinfels Castle was once upon a time the biggest castle on the Rhine River. However, the vast majority of the castle was destroyed in the late 18th century by Napoleon's army. What survives today is only a small portion of the old castle; even so, it is still an impressive structure. When we weren't scooting down the Rhine or exploring old castles, we were at Weingutzum Gruner Baum, a really cool wine bar in Bacharach, trying out some of the local Rieslings.

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