Evening sets on the Rhein
But man cannot live on flatbread pizza and only one type of Rheinland wine. So we pulled back, leaving our luggage and a comet trail of energies -- fused to the air as are all of the movements of the young -- in Bacharach. We'd spend the next day soaked in the northern part of the region and finish the rest of this fine evening in the South.
The trains understood our ambitions, which, we are told by Lonely Planet, are shared by droves of tourists in the summertime. But winter, when the river runs brown and the mountains run brown and the sun barely shows, winter sees very little of the type of frenzied pursuit of everything that we brought to the scene.
That being said, we jumped the next train (they ran on the hour) south to Bingen, just 10 km south of Bacharach. But across the river sat Rudesheim, the wine capital of the region. Its hills, coated with vineyards that not only oversee the town, but sprout its life, its virility (and its money). Signs on the different hills mark the different types of grapes, from the reds to the whites, and a stationary chairlift hibernated until the colors of the valley come back in late spring.
We had to go, and thus, we did.
During the summertime, ferries run constantly from Bingen (the western shore) to Rudesheim, on the East. Today, unfortunately, only the car shuttle operated. So we jumped on the car shuttle.
Assmanhausen. The literal translation is something like place-for-men-to-eat (I think), but c'mon. Assman. Hausen. Kramer jokes were made.Rudesheim, with its endless circling of cobblestone streets, sat almost entirely inoperative. The wine shops (Weingut...which means 'wine good') still featured ads in the windows, but featured doors locked to the world.
Of course, some places were still open, so we could take some shelter from air that had suddenly turned to a cold pool. It was heavier than the food we ate.Thanks to Carl Ehrhard for bailing us out. The Riesling, as expected, did not disappoint.
Nor did the Franzozischzwiebelsuppe! (French onion soup, made with chicken broth and delicious cheese)
Thanks to the rain, though, for providing us the ability to create some photographic impressionism.
...and to the cold for making this church, destroyed by the French, even more eery. From this point on the way to the castle, there was no light except that reflected by the moon.
But we made it up there, and slept immediately. In the morning, we could have chosen any of these myriad snacks or even a game of ping-pong (slot 13), but we opted for the continental Fruhstuck (breakfast), a tour of German grains.
The rain had stopped and some Spanish tourists had too, long enough to take this.
And we depart the castle, leaving the protection-against-the-French duties to the Australian check-in woman.