Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Water and Wine: A weekend on the Rhine

This is going to sound crazy, but Fionn and I are running out of places to visit. After being here for 2 years, all the stuff within driving distance has been done to death, and after almost 5 years in Europe we're a little tired of the whole cathedral, castle, medieval town center, repeat deal.

I know, I know, you don't want to hear it! Ok, so maybe Europe has made us a little jaded, but at least it inspires us to get creative, right?

This past weekend we decided to use Fionn's 4 day weekend to roadtrip up to the Wiesbaden area and have a relaxing, romantic weekend on the Rhine river. We spent the first day in Wiesbaden, exploring the old city center and grabbing some dinner...



The next day we took the 30 minute drive to Rudesheim am Rhine, a picturesque little town on the Rhine surrounded by vineyards. I visited in the off season during my German study abroad days, so I was a little surprised to see how popular it was with tourists during the summer (particularly older tourists). Despite the slightly kitschy, Disneyland feel it has in a few parts (and the way overpriced tourist schnitzel restaurants on every corner), we enjoyed ourselves. If you get there early in the day you can beat the tour bus crowds and enjoy the town.







Rudesheim is famous for the Niederwalddenkmal, a giant monument to German unity and the end of the Franco Prussian War. You can walk to it or take the cable car-we opted for the cable car!






After a short ride, we were at the top with the Niederwalddenkmal!



Lieb Vaterlandmagst ruhig sein,: lieb Vaterlandmagst ruhig sein,: Fest steht und treu die Wacht, die Wacht am Rhein!

Dear Fatherland, no fear be thine, Firm and true stands the Watch, the Watch at the Rhine!

This comes from a patriotic German anthem that was popular during the Franco-Prussian war, encouraging Germans to defend their land from enemies across the Rhine (i.e. France)









After walking around and enjoying the views, we took the cable car back down to Rudesheim to do some more exploring before our boat tour.






Finally, it was time for our Rhine river cruise! We got a great seat (though a little windy!) on the top deck and got great views of the passing towns, castles, and ruins. Very romantic :)










After a few hours on the water, we stopped for one last wine tasting at a wine stall set up in Rudesheim's marktplatz...


Tasty local sekt


Not as good as the first Riesling we had, but still tasty!




And with that, our first day in the Rhine came to a close.

Stay tuned for Eltville!

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