Thursday, September 18, 2008

Europe Friday (12th) and Sat (13th)

OKAY, well we ended up not really having internet the rest of our trip – so we are going to 'back-blog' for a bit...stay tuned.

Well, back to our Friday (12th) travels (remember this may be lengthy because its also our travel journal)...After feeling a little happier about having dry clothes on we continued onto Köln, Germany for a quick stop to look at what is considered, to some, the most amazing Cathedral in Germany. We paid for the English tour of the church, but haven't decided if it was quite worth it. The only cool thing is you get to go into a gated portion of the church that is normally closed to visitors – an alter used for special occasions where relics of the wisemen are kept and where the more important members of the church used to sit. This Cathedral was just amazing, between all the 'chapels' turned burial areas, the unbelievable height, captivating paintings, sculpture and windows – some more than 3x as old as the USA!!! No words can really describe it – but we can tell you that it is worth the stop, even if you just have an hour in your travels to spend admiring it!!

After that – on to Koblenz, one of our stops along the river Rhine. We were pleasantly surprised that our Hotel (Hotel National) was really close to the train station - about a 5 min walk. We were even MORE happy with the fact that we didn't have to maneuver around mold, plugged up sinks or squashed bugs anywhere we went! Nothing fancy – but clean, decent breakfast and pleasant owners....

As you saw in our previous post – our entire room also doubled as a drying rack – Myra was quite sad that some of her 'famous pamphlet' had been destroyed in the hour run through the storm in Bruges – darn souvenirs! After setting in – we wandered down to look at the Rhine and then back to the train station for a real German pretzel appetizers while trying to figure out where to eat. We have to put in a little plug for the place we settled on for anyone heading to Koblenz someday. We ate at Piper's Corner – a Celtic Irish Pub and it was VERY VERY good, of course we had dinner with our beer (or was it the other way around?) For Myra's family – the name of the beer was Franziskaner (for those who don't know her maiden name is Franz).

The next day (Sat) we left our luggage in a locker in Koblenz and took a train to a little town along the Mosel River (Moselkern) with a supposedly 90 minute hike through the woods and up to a fully intact castle, Burg Eltz. It was very interesting and really in the middle of nowhere...The rain was still following us and we were able to do the hike up in 60 min flat. We were lucky and there was enough people for the English tour – yeah! Afterwards, we wanted to be sure to catch the :43 after train leaving, but left the castle with only 58 min to get there. Joe MADE Myra run through the trail (and since she's writing this she'll add that there were cliffs, no railings and a ravine hundreds of feel down) – okay maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration – but we BOTH did try and book it down the trail – we made it back in about 45 min, a little sweaty, but that just secures a seat by ourselves....

Next up, Marksburg Castle – passing through Koblenz we went about 15 min to Baurbach, where Myra's pamplet failed them and didn't have the directions to get there!! After wandering around aimlessly we finally came across the 'train' to take us up the very steep looking road (we heard there was a path but hadn't found it)...Unfortunately, this tour was only in German – we had a lovely sheet to follow along in english. However, the tour got quite boring as the sheet had about two sentences and everywhere we stopped the mean looking tourguide would ramble on for 10 minutes and the 30 German people around us would laugh and nod letting us know we were certainly missing out – or wasting our time. The castle had some different things – the favorite being the toilet that was just a hole that hung over thin air – this was obviously a vulnerable spot in the castle so was locked from inside the castle – yet, I wonder if the King had guards at the bottom to protect his royal behind when nature called? Guess we will never know..

So tricky part – this last little ho-dink train station had NO train schedule – we just hoped that there WAS one sometime going back to Koblenz....after waiting awhile we tried to ask a woman with a Canadian flag on her bag – she was at least able to make us feel good that we would get back. After going BACK to Koblenz, we picked up our luggage (why don't other little train stations have lockers?!) and got BACK on a train to go BACK past Baubach to get to our B&B in St. Goar. After about 15 min walk from the train station we found it at about 8pm!! Yeah – we've finally arrived! We were a little unsure how it would be since it's hard to tell from the internet – but... we HAVE to recommend to ANYONE traveling to the Rhine area – make your homebase in St. Goar and stay at B&B Alexi!! The woman who runs the place is wonderful and speaks great english – the rooms are very modern, clean and bright – ours had a view of the ruins of Burg Rhienfels... The breakfast was great and we were even waited on by her sweet daughter. Again – stay here!!!! :-) to a comfortable bed!


Benny Hu said...

Mam, Europe really looks cool. I hope I can go some time, and I hope your having a great time

Anonymous said...