We had beautiful weather again today, with lots of sunshine and perfect temperatures. October is usually chilly in Germany and last week, we did have cold, rainy weather. But this long Columbus Day weekend has been splendid so far, making me sad that we didn’t take a trip somewhere. Instead of going to a new place, we decided to visit a couple of the holiday spots that are near us. Yesterday, it was Worms. Today, we went to St. Goar, which is a darling little town right on the Rhein River. It’s famous for being the site of Loreley, which is a legendary steep, slate rock on the right bank of the river that lured many a sailor to his death.
I first visited Saint Goar in 1997, when I finished my Peace Corps assignment and flew from Yerevan, Armenia to Frankfurt, Germany, and took a month long train trip on a Eurailpass. My first stop on that trip was to Bacharach, which is a 650 year old cute little town on the Rhein that was recommended by travel guru Rick Steves. Steves mentioned St. Goar, and since it was pretty close to Bacharach, I took a short train ride there and wandered around a bit.
In 2014, Bill and I took a farewell to the Army trip to Germany and France. Our last stop, before we went to Ramstein Air Force Base and flew back to Texas, was in Bacharach. I had told him about the town so many times during the early years of our marriage, so we finally went there so he could see it for himself. I remember that visit turned out to be special for a couple of reasons. First of all, we ran into some Germans who were celebrating Father’s Day with their sons. They were mostly drunk, but very convivial, and one of them told Bill about how the U.S. Army helped his family escape East Germany before it became an Eastern Bloc state. And secondly, I remember telling Bill as I sipped a one liter krug of housemade beer, that I felt sure that we would be moving back to Germany. Sure enough, weeks after we returned to the States, Bill had a job offer in Stuttgart and we were on our way back to Deutschland, where we’ve been ever since.
And then, a few months ago, we went back to Bacharach. I’d been wanting to visit again for awhile, especially since we now live within an hour’s drive from it. Because of the dogs, we never end up spending enough time when we take these little trips. Now that we just have Arran, it’s a little bit easier. Hell, we should probably just take him with us. I had originally given some thought to going to Heidelberg, but the weather was so perfect and, because it’s a Sunday, going to Heidelberg where one can do some shopping, would be kind of a waste. Maybe we’ll go there tomorrow.
Since we’ve been to Bacharach a couple of times, we went to St. Goar. It took a bit longer to get there today because of road work on the Autobahn that held us up. Then, once we got on the two lane road that runs alongside the river, we were behind a BMW convertible out for a Sunday drive. I couldn’t blame the Beamer’s driver, though. We were in my Mini with the top down, soaking up what may be the last rays before perma-gloom sets in for the winter.
Naturally, St. Goar was packed with people. Parking was scarce, so Bill ended up driving up the side of the mountain that flanks the Rhein on the left bank. We pulled into the Rheinfels Romantic Hotel, which doubles as a cheesy tourist trap. We had to, really, because Bill had to pee like a racehorse. It was also getting late in the afternoon and we needed lunch. You can stay at the hotel, tour the castle, and eat lunch on a terrace that overlooks the river. They have a bistro there that doesn’t shut down, but serves very simple food, drinks, and desserts.
I would have liked to have checked out the castle, but we were a bit pressed for time. So here are some photos from our trip today…
As I mentioned in the photos, the people who were at the table next to us left an empty beer glass. There was a sudden, swift gust of wind, and the glass was blown off the table. It landed near my feet and shattered into many pieces. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the awning at our previous house, which was also blown over by a sudden gust of wind. In both incidences, the wind struck too suddenly for anyone to react and prevent breakage. No one was upset about the broken beer glass, but our ex landlady immediately called me “negligent” when her old awning broke due to a sudden wind. That just goes to show that wind is a capricious thing. Too bad I never learned to predict or control the wind.
Lunch was about 38 euros. To be honest, I wasn’t all that happy with the pasta. It was okay, but I can think of other things I’d rather eat. There wasn’t a lot of sauce on it, and what was on it wasn’t all that satisfying. But it kept me from getting hangry, and it was very nice to hang out on the terrace for awhile. St. Goar is a nice little town, and I like being able to visit the Rhein Gorge so easily. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation.
We decided to head back to Wiesbaden after we ate, since we knew Arran was wanting his dinner. The drive back was a bit more pleasant, although we hit another bottleneck in the area where the Autobahn is being repaired. I swear, there’s always a road project going on somewhere near where you live… but the good thing is that the roads are in very good shape here. I’m just happy we had a chance to visit– taking advantage of the marvelous temperatures and beautiful views. Germany is a very lovely place to live and we feel fortunate that we have the ability to visit so many interesting and pretty locations so close to where we live. And this area is different than Stuttgart is, which makes me feel even more fortunate… not everyone gets an opportunity to experience living in other countries, especially in two different parts of a foreign country. Living abroad seems to be my destiny.