After an epic journey lasting 32 hours we arrived at Frankfurt airport. Bleary eyed and disheveled a crazy minibus driver collected us and immediately we feared our trip would end within moments of arriving. He was the worst driver honking and abusing everyone in his way. Miraculously we didn’t crash and he literally pushed us out at our destination where we collected our hire car. Then the real adventure began.
For Australians who drive on the left hand side of the road we found driving on the right side hair-raising. I kept having visions of head on crashes and was a nervous passenger with white clenched knuckles. Some of the streets in the towns are so narrow they barely fit one car yet they are two-way. This will take some getting used to. We drove alongside the Rhine River and saw the distinctive German housing lining the banks, reminding us of doll houses. It was both surreal and spectacular.
As we stepped out of the car at our destination Sankt Goar, a medieval style city on the Rhine, the church bells were ringing. It was a beautiful sound and I felt a wave of emotion. It is not only the sights but the arousal of all the senses that enrich my travel memories.
The sun was shining and we enjoyed our first dining experience of local cuisine on a verandah overlooking the Rhine and the town square. What a perfect start to our holiday.
Our apartment for the first five days is ideal with everything we need. It is in the loft of a house in a typical residential street in Biebernshein, on top of the Rhine Valley. The houses are beautifully kept with lovely gardens and the area is quiet and peaceful, exactly what I like.
The following day was overcast when we took a Rhine River cruise to Rudesheim and enjoyed the scenery of the quaint German villages along the river banks. There are hundreds of acres of vineyards growing on the sides of the valley walls and we can’t imagine how they pick the grapes on such a steep incline.
The number of boats that use the Rhine carrying passengers, cargo and river barges is extensive. They constantly move up and down the river taking something to somewhere. Along the banks there are several caravan parks where people sit on deck chairs watching the boat traffic on the Rhine.
We took a cable car in Rudesheim to the top of the ridge line and walked for an hour through the forest breathing in the fresh damp smell of leaves and later rode the chair lift down to Assmannshausen.
The sun shone on the third day for our scenic drive to Treis-Karden and Alken where we soaked in the atmosphere of the quaint country towns.
So far everything has gone well. We are still in the initial euphoria of travel where everything is new and incredible.
Something personal observations to date
- Beautiful displays of colourful flowers adorn most window sills and town centres making them bright and welcoming
- The price of eating and drinking in café’s is cheaper here than in Australia
- German people seem quite stern and don’t smile easily. This is not a judgment just an observation.
- Travelling opens your eyes to the best and worst of the human race.
Next stop is Lavaux in Switzerland.
Some photos from our time in Sankt Goar.