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2015 JULY GERMANY - A FEW DAYS IN RUDESHEIM!

Relaxing by the Rhine with cheap beers, hard place to leave.

Monday 6th July 2015 (day sixty-three)

Bacharach to Rudesheim

It rained last night at about midnight. When I heard it I got up out of the tent to rescue my towel, but I needn’t have bothered as it did not rain for very long, nor very hard. The other clothes I left out were dry by the morning anyway.

It was sunny and hot already by the time we got up to have breakfast at 8.30. Took our time packing up and loading the bikes as we are not in any rush anyway. And also we have only a short distance to ride again.

The bike path was smooth and easy and a lot of it shaded, which was good. Think we made our best time ever as we reached the ferry in Bingen 55 minutes after we left the camp ground. So we cycled about 15km in less than an hour, that has to be a record. Lol

I really think the Lemons are enjoying cycling now, not enough that they will ever put bums on bike seats ever again, but enough that the thought of taking the option of the train is not there. This past week we have been able to really take it easy and do short distances and 2 night stopovers.
This was how the whole trip was supposed to be like all along. I hope they will at least have some positive memories of this bike trip, it’s been quite an accomplishment!

Good timing was with us again as we were just in time for the 11am ferry to carry us over the river from Bingen to Rudesheim – our home for the next 2 nights. Ferry cost 3.70 euro one way with bike and travelled diagonally across the river.

The Rhine is quite wide here with a couple of little islands in the water that seem to be a haven for ducks/geese. Rudesheim is also a popular spot for canal boat cruises to stop for a few hours of sightseeing or some even stay here over night. We heard quite a few Aussie voices in town today from visitors off one of the several canal boats moored near our campsite.

So the ferry dropped us off very near to the tourist information where we got a map and were advised where the campground was located. Only a couple of minutes from town, but an expensive one at 6.50 euro per person + 6.50 euro per tent per night. We were shown a spot by the river, behind a fence – no swimming in the river here I’m afraid. Facilities are very clean, so that is nice.

After we set up camp we rode around to local shops, there is a Lidl, Aldi and Rewe less than 5 minutes ride away. And on the way we found a great bottle shop that was selling our beloved Radler for 1.20 euro – heaven. Yes we did stop and have a cold one, drinking it out on the foot path outside the shop. Uncouth? No, backpackers!

On to the shops where the supermarket Rewe was selling meat in a bread roll for 1 & 1.50 (same as Globus in Lahnstein) we were in heaven. Cheap lunch purchased, with a couple more cold beers we headed back to camp to picnic by the banks of the Rhine. Geeze, this is living, what are the poor people doing?

After lunch we rode into town for a nosy around. That’s when we noticed all the Aussie tourists and many other nationalities that come off the boats. They were all identifiable by their name tags pinned to their chest. Guess this is so they can be sent back to the correct boat if they get lost.
As it was still so hot, good excuse to have an ice cream, like I need an excuse.

More walking around revealed this is a town is set up to receive the tourists off the boats, full of shops that may appeal to the fly by tourist. And strangely enough, quite a number of shops selling leather, which just seemed like an odd location for them.

We headed back to camp, via the bottle shop for some more beer. Seems we are drinking a lot of beer these days?

Too lazy or hot to cook so we again went for the meat in a roll dinner. I bought a tub of potato salad to have with mine and a cool beer = total of less than 3 euro it was a bargain.

Tomorrow we will do the touristy thing.

Thinking of you today, Miss Pisa, hope your ankle is healing well.

Tuesday 7th July 2015 (day sixty-four)

Rudesheim to Assmanshausen to Rudesheim

Quite a productive day today. We woke to brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky again.  After a camp breakfast, consisting of the usual coffee/tea, bread roll with usually soft smelly cheese for me and jam or vegemite for the Lemons, we rode into town and locked up our bikes down by the ferry terminals.

Walking the short distance through the tourist streets we came to the ticket office for the cable cars. We had decided yesterday we would go the whole hog and buy a ticket for the Romantik Tour for 16 euros.

The brochure reads:
Live to see & enjoy the Rhine romantic of the UNESCO world heritage of the Middle-Rhine Valley.
Funicular trip from Rudesheim to the Neiderwald monument, with fantastic panorama
Walking tour to several viewpoints
Chairlift to Assmannshausen, better known as the red wine village
Boat trip from Assmannshausen to the castle Rheinstein
Sightseeing of castle Rheinstein – a significant cultural monument of the Rhine romantic, enjoy the impressive view 50 m above he Rhine
Boat trip to Rudesheim, passing famous vineyards, the Mouseturm, Ehrenfels castle

The funicular / cable car was fun. Only a small cabin, really only big enough for 2 adults (plus 2 kids they say) floats over the top of a magnificent sloping hillside of vineyards. Rows and rows as far as the eye can see. It was a beautiful sight and also climbing higher gave a brilliant view of the river from up above.

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A short walk took us to the Neiderwald monument, which is just a war monument, but impressive by its size. The statue of ‘Germania’ was built in the years from 1877 to 1883. The 38m high monument commemorates the Franco-German war of 1870-1871 and the reestablishment of the German Empire. Also great views of the river and vineyards below.

We took the shorter walk through the forest as by now it was pretty hot and we wanted to stay in the shade and not get too strenuous.

The chairlift down through the forest and over steep vineyards delivered us into the little village of Assmannshausen. Not much was happening here and there was very little to see except for the pricey menus and drinks lists of the cafes and restaurants, which were the only buildings showing any form of life. I guess they expect most people to use this time to stop for lunch, as the next leg of our tour by boat was not due to leave for about 2 hours.

We had purchased our lunch at the supermarket earlier on the way into Rudesheim so we picked a shady spot near the fountain and ate our lunch, then killed time by playing eye spy. Yes Shawn you were the ultimate winner! Champion eye spy player. After traveling 6 weeks with just women, we finally let him win at something. Lol.

Our boat was moored early so we went and sat on it for a change of scenery from the fountain. It was hot so we kept in the shade and rejected an overpriced (probably luke warm) beer from the boat bar.

Soon it was time to make the 3 minute trip to the other side of the river and we were dropped at the base of the cliff where Castle Rheinstein towered. We have seen many castles, along this leg of the Rhine, in various forms of existance. Some lived in, some turned into museums and some very little more than just rubble, but we have actually visited none close up, so this was an ideal opportunity for us. And this castle did not disappoint. It is family owned and they have restored most of it and had a go at furnishing it as it would have been. Quite impressive, great to see inside a real castle. You could actually stay in a room here too, but at 175 euro it was a bit out of our budget.

Just after 4pm we were back on the boat and were being pleasantly cooled off by a very light shower, but the sky did not look so nice and it was threatening more than just this light sprinkling. The boat was now heading back to Rudesheim, just a short 30 minute journey. The river was quite busy with cruise liners and freighters all pushing for their space in line, struggling against the current to get up river.

Last attraction was the Mausetrum (Mouse Tower), not sure why it’s call this, but the tower was completely under scaffolds so not much to look at.
Arriving back in Rudesheim we collected out bikes from their parking position where we left them this morning and headed straight to our beer shop for a coldie. And again we were in Radler heaven as we relaxed with a beer back at camp. 10 minutes later I did the second run and they disappeared down our throats just as quickly as the first.

It was around this time that we decided we would spend another night here in Rudesheim. We have a day to spare and we know where to get food and beer here so why move on just yet?

Just before 7pm we had to head back to the Rewe supermarket as this morning Toni had placed an order for 3 pork knuckles to be collected at 7pm. Dinner!! Unfortunately, while we were in said supermarket the heavens opened up and we were a little stuck for somewhere to eat the pork. McDonalds was down the street so we rocked up there and bought drinks so it would not be so obviously us sitting there eating a non McD product, but realizing we had no utensils it was decided we would head back to camp as the rain seemed to have eased again.
So we then had a lovely dinner riverside, much to the amusement of passers-by who saw us sitting on the grass chopping on a pork knuckle. I love Germany – cheap beer and pork knuckle – this country as got it all.

Wednesday 8th July 2015 (day sixty-five)

Rudesheim to Bingen, return

It got a little chilly last night, as I am back inside the sleep sock and sleeping bag was on most of the night. Brrrr, it was quite windy also. I thought it had rained during the night but no-one else could confirm this.

We have decided to spend another night here, still time on our side, then move on to near Mainz for the last 2 nights before the Lemons head off to their Moto GP race and then home.

We had a little sleep in, getting up at about 9 and all our surrounding bike campers had already well and truly gone. Not a problem, most of the bikers we have met are just biking and nothing else. Most of them are not stopping to drink the local beer or wine or to chew on a knuckle of pork. Their holiday, their choice. We are currently doing it super slow and relaxed but that’s the holiday we want to experience.

Weather did not look very promising for today, but at least it did not rain. Although I did wear my spray jacket most of the day, being it’s the only long sleeve item of clothing I have besides by thick jacket.

We rode to the end of town to get the car ferry across from Rudesheim to Bingen, 4.50 euro return for a 7 minute trip. Bingen did not really have much to offer, but it was a chance of scenery for us. We had of course stopped by the supermarket on the way out this morning, and we sat by the Rhine having lunch looking across the river towards the town we had just spent 2 days & nights at. The sun and clouds and wind took turns in dominating the weather today, felt like a day out in Melbourne. A look up at the castle on the hill, a visit to one of the oldest stone bridges in Germany and the sights of Bingen were done.

Ferry back and a leisurely beer back at camp before I went and spent 2 hours back in Mc Donald’s stealing their internet. I had a few things I needed to book and catch up on and spoilt myself with a non-instant coffee.
7.30 pm and my allotted 2 hours of internet were exhausted so I packed up and went home, via the supermarket where I picked up a slab of meat in a bread roll to have with my instant noodles. Wow the meals have gone down since yesterday’s feasting, lol, no problem, easy camp meal tonight.

9pm now and the rain has started to spit, I’m off for a shower, still light for at least another hour even with the crap weather.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 12:10 Archived in Germany

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