Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 59, Germany

We have crossed over into Germany where my dear friend Mel was waiting for us......

so now we are cruising down the River Rhine....and this is absolutely amazing...there are at least 5 castles along the river en route to St.Goar from romantic.......
Oh what is that rock Mel???

Its the Loreley, found on the eastern bank of the Rhine near St. Goarshausen...
It soars some 120 metres above the water line.
A very strong current and rocks below the waterline have caused many boat accidents there.
One of the legends is that Lorelei, a beautiful young maiden, committed suicide because of an unfaithful lover. She jumped from the steep rock into the Rhine River, thus killing herself. She then became a siren, luring shipmen to their fates with her hypnotizing voice. The echoing heard today is said to be Lorelei but we didnt hear anything.....
Only a few hundred metres downstream opposite the Loreley Rock and dominated by the monumental outlines of the fortress of Rheinfels, lies this jewel of a town, St Goar, embedded in an incomparably beautiful and romantic niche of trees and water.
We disembarked and went to see the biggest beer stein in the world at Montags

before walking up to the Fortress of Rheinfels for our torchlit tour of the castle.

The fortress of Rheinfels was once the most formidable castle along the Rhine. Its foundations were laid in 1245 by Graf Dieter von Katzenelnbogen. This outstanding example of early medieval fortress architecture laid down standards at the time for all building operations within the German empire.

Wow, even today, its immense dimensions, its varied form and the differing constellation of its towers, its ramparts and bastions as well as the winding and twisting nature of its extensive underground mine galleries and casements truly impressed us......
It is the largest castle overlooking the Rhine, and historically covered five times its current area........awesome!

Oh, btw guys, my very sweet, dear friend Guido, from Dortmund, has invited us to visit the Ruhr area as it was selected as European Capital of Culture for 2010 by the Council of the European Union.
We will most certainly do that when we tour the whole Germany.
Thanks Guido, that sounds like a great invitation.

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