Last night we were in Bingen with the express purpose of taking a Rhine River cruise up to St Goar/St Goarhause. And that’s just what we did today. Up at 7.30, breakfasted at 8, out the door and to the docks for 8.45. Before the day even started, I figured it might be a good idea to find a hat of some sort – we’ve finally left the rain behind us and have sun, glorious sun. I strolled through the old town looking for a sun hat, but wasn’t able to find anything, so decided I’d just have to tough it out (what a freakin’ mistake – I maybe should have bought the baseball cap with the playboy bunny on it… never mind, I’d rather be burnt).
Anywho, no getting ahead of myself. Our boat left dock at 9.30 and started downriver along the Rhine. We got to see a bunch of castles that, for the most part, had originally been created for tax and customs purposes on the goods that were transported down river. The water is running pretty high in the Rhine right now (probably due to all that rain we experienced last week) and it’s swamped some of the islands in the River and it’s lapping at some walkways at other points. We saw a picture of an island in a guide book that was completely sunk today – all that was showing was a few bushes that appeared to be coming straight out of the water.
On the recommendation for our hotel owner, we got off the boat at Bacharach to walk around (it’s a hop-on/hop-off kind of cruise). Bacharach is a small town that is still very much like old-style Germany: we were able to walk along the old city walls which have been converted into restaurants, apartments and hotels. We stopped for a snack and coffee, climbed up to some ruins right behind the church, and picked up some post cards. Other than that, there’s not much to do in Bacharach, so we headed back to the River to wait for the next boat, which was scheduled to arrive in 45 minutes. The breeze on the Rhine was gorgeous, and with the sun being so lovely, I decided to rid myself of my fair-blond pastiness and rolled up my sleeves and capris and enjoyed the warmth.
Back on the boat, we made good time getting down the St. Goar and, across the river, St. Goarhause. We decided to get off at St. Goarhause since more people were getting off at St. Goar, but we only had an hour for lunch. Dad and I both ordered a salad, but it took almost 30 minutes to get, so between running to-from the docks, waiting and then scarfing down our lunches, we didn’t get to see any of the town.
Coming back upriver took almost 3 hours, compared to less than an hour going down river – the Rhine is moving really fast these days. Rather than stop and get off at Bingen, we went one (very short stop) further upstream to Rudishime, which is a very tourist friendly town. While on the other side of the River, we’d get an excellent view of a monument way up on a hill over the town, but couldn’t make out what it was. I asked the lady who sold us our cruise tickets this morning what it was and she told me it was Germania (think Britannia, but, obviously, German). Because of my thesis, I wanted to see what Germania looks like, so we took a sky-rail up the hill to get a closer look. After enjoying the view of the valley and the giant bronze broad, Dad and I headed back down the hill to Rudishime for dinner.
By this point, my sun burn (picked up on the cruise boat because I wanted to sit on the sun deck for as long as possible) was really burning, but we couldn’t find a pharmacy open where I could get some after-sun. So, we headed back across the river for the hotel, where I am sitting in the dark, bemoaning my fair skin and curing the sun-god for being so tempting. And early bedtime tonight so we can get an early start on the road to Rothenberg tomorrow.