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Steph’s Travel Diary

Friday, 25 Apr 2008

Location: Bachrach, Germany

MapAfter singing the praises of the German rail system, we encountered a few delays on our trip from Neuss to Bacharach. The train was about 15 minutes late leaving Neuss, which meant we unfortunately missed our connection at Dusseldorf. But that wasn´t a huge issue as we just waited an hour to get the next train to Koblenz and as it worked out the train from Koblenz to Bacharach was so late, we ended up getting the train we originally planned to, so it all worked out in the end!

Bacharach is a small town in the Rhine Valley, right on the edge of the Rhine River. I think the area is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. There are heaps of tiny towns with half timbered buildings hundreds and hundreds of years old, sitting right on the edge of the Rhine with incredibly steep hillsides on either side, covered with vineyards. The hills are so steep and the vineyards go from the bottom all the way up to the top - I wouldn´t want to have the job of picking the grapes!

There were hardly any tourists in Bacharach at all. In fact it felt at times that we were the only people there, which was great. Walking up the hill beind the town we visited the Wernerkapelle, which is the ruins of a beautiful red sandstone chapel and at the very top (after a steep climb - just think how fit we´re getting with all this climbing!) Burg Stahleck, a restored castle which is now a youth hostel. We had a drink in the courtyard of the hostel, looking out over the Rhine and valley below.

We then set out for a walk along the old castle walls, however we got a little lost and a farmer who was digging in a field nearby asked if he could help us. We explained where we wanted to go and he picked up his spade and said he would take us there himself. He said he used to grow wine but now keeps goats - he must be doing ok because he had a very nice looking house looking out on the Rhine! We weren´t so keen on a career farming goats but maybe wine growing would suit us - espeically in a beautiful place like Bacharach! I think the farmer´s friendliness just added to our impression of Bacharach as one of the loveliest little towns!

The Rhine Valley is known for its wines so we went to a local Weinstube for dinner - which is a place that serves wine and smaller meals. I think "small" is relative though as the meals we got were probably still bigger than what we would normally have for dinner! We chose a place in Bacharach recommended in our guidebook. We got talking to a German couple next to us and apparently it was a good choice because they had been coming there for 17 years.