Monday, October 22, 2007

Montag (along the Rhine)...

We awoke to blue skies and trees in brilliant yellow and orange. The warm, low sun created deep, long shadows all day, typical of the short autumn days in Northern Europe.

Today was a scenic drive along the Rhine. First stop was for pastries in Bingen at a tiny b├Ąckerei. Keegan had a berliner.

Our first castle of the day: Burg Rheinstein, high above the river. Parts of this magnificently restored castle date back to 900 when it was a customs house for river transport.

We stopped for lunch at the Guesthaus Weisses Ross in the small town of Trechtingshaus. Tried our first schnitzels...tender pork cutlets with wonderful rich flavors. Jeff's schnitzel had ham and cheese. Mine had a creamy mushroom sauce.

Second castle of the day: the expansive ruins of the enormous Burg Rheinfels in St. Goar. The castle was begun 1245 and grew into one of the largest fortifications on the Rhine. Keegan was fascinated by the myriad of dark tunnels, twisting staircases, and level-upon-level of walkways.

Stopped briefly in St. Goar for some local wines...and met super-friendly shopkeeper Stefan, who won us over with free tastings for us and free chocolates in colorful wrappers for Keegan. Bought a couple of bottles of Eiswine...the local specialty..."the queen of German wine"...made from grapes harvested frozen on the vine. We also bought some blackberry- and peach-flavored brandys.

We stopped for a short stroll in tiny Oberwesel, and then dinner in picturesque Bacharach. We ate at Weinhaus Altes Haus (the Old House) built in 1568. Tall Weissbiers, steaming soups, saucy meat dishes, and warm apple strudel stoked our fires for the mid-30s evening temps outdoors.

Keegan and Mia slept on the way home along the Autobahn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This gorgeous sunny day was definitely not a norm. The mostly rainy looking skies is what we mostly see. Glad you got to have at least one gorgeous day!