Wanderlust Journey

Wanderlust Journey

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Romantic Rhine River Cruise (Plus Two Castles!)

August 13th · 5 Comments

Today, we had the plasure of floating down the Romantic Rhine, known as the Der Romantiscer Rhien in German. We spent the night in Bacharach at the Hotel am Markt.

We chose this since the part of the Rhine between Bacharach and Boppard is known for its beauty. The Rhine was the main route for transit of goods between Switzerland and Rotterdamn. In its day (before trains, etc), the Rhine was filled with castles used to tax the river boats traveling along the river.

Castle on the Romantic Rhine

Castle on the Romantic Rhine

Two of the most famous castles along the Rhine are Berg Reinfels in St. Goar and Berg Marksburg castles in Braubach. We were able to fit in both before 5pm; however, it was tight!

We woke up early to catch the first Rhine-river boat at 10:15. We chose the Koln-Dusseldorf boat fleet because I had the chance to take one and enjoyed it before. One benefit of being a student is that I qualify for half-price fares on the river routes. We took the forty minutes journey downstream to St. Goar.

During the trip we used “Rick Steve’s Germany, Switzerland and Austira 2004” guidebook to narrate the interesting points along the river. Although the K-D boat provided a narration in German, my german isn’t very good and ew would have missed most all the good details! At the most interesting points the narration also had a short explanation in English however the guidebook made it a quite enjoyable journey!

Once at St. Goar, we had to drop off our bags before we made the trek up to tour Reinfels Castle. It would’ve been too difficult to lug all of our luggage up to the castle! Fortunately, you can drop off your luggage at the Tourist Information center on main street for free! They are open all day until five or six P.m. and only closed for lunch between 12:30 – 1pm. We left all but out most important things and headed up the mountain towards the castle.

The walk/hike was a quick 20 minute journey up a paved street and sidewalks. Once we arrived at Reinfels Castle it was difficult to determine where we were to enter the castle because all the signs pointed us to the hotel!

We checked our map and realized that the hotel and the castle were right next to each other, so we headed on it. We, once again, used the Rick Steve’s guidebook since it provided us a step by step narration of the castle while we walked around. I really enjoyed the view of the Rhine from the top. The pictures from there were well worth the entrance fee!

View from Berg Reinfels

View from Berg Rheinfels

After we completed our tour we realized that if we hurried we could get our luggage and make the 12:55 K-D boat to our next destination, the Marksburg Castle.

Berg Reinfels

Berg Reinfels

Unfortunately for us, that particular boat didn’t stop at Braubach, the city below Marksburg castle. We would have to get off one step early at Kamp-Bornhauf and take the train to Braubach. It was a bit difficult to purchase the train tickets since we had to have exact change for both of our fares (a recurring theme throughout our trip), so I ran down to a convenience store to get a few coins.

Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle

Once in Braubach, we were able to see the Marksburg Castle! It is as beautiful as rumored. But… it’s also way too far away and too far up the mountain side to hike up there. We found the “train” by making a left out of the train station and walking two blocks that would take us up to the castle for 4.50 euro per person. Definitely worth the money considering the walk that was necessary. We also were able to drop off our bags for free, a huge plus.

Once at the castle we were able to borrow an English translation of the guided tour for a 5 euro deposit. The tour soon began and we used both the borrowed guide book and our own Rick Steves’ guidebook to fill in the story of the castle.

It was an interesting and insightful fifty minute tour. When finished we were tired and decided to head to our next destination. We took the “train” back down to get our bags and walk to the train station. However we just missed our train! The next train was an hour later, so we just settled down and waited for the train.

We’d be spending the night in Zell.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    We did a scenic drive along the Rhine and if we go there again, a boat tour or two would be a great idea. There were so many castles in that area!

  • 2 Jim // Aug 14, 2009 at 3:23 am

    You get to see both sides of the river with a boat tour AND you don’t have to drive. 🙂

  • 3 » To Eurail or not to Eurail… // Mar 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    […] than train trips! Some of the best freebies are the free transport on International Ferries, the scenic river cruises in Germany, and Swiss Lake […]

  • 4 Sue // May 23, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Great info. Is the “train” a taxi. Are they all around the town? Coming on a river cruise and want to save money and do optional tour by ourselves .

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    […] year, while we drank our way along the Rhine in Germany, one of our stops was in the lovely town of Bacharach. While we decided to stay at a […]