Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007 - GERMANY - Trains from Luxembourg down Mosel River to Koblenz, Germany; up Rhine River to Rüdesheim, Germany

We would leave the the fascinating city and country of Luxembourg via an early train. We would soon be heading northeast through the morning mist and mountains into Germany.  As the lighting and fog conditions improved for some halfway decent photography from the train window, we would be traveling along the beautiful Mosel River.  The German city of Koblenz, where the Mosel meets the Rhine, would just be a short stop to change trains. We would take an older local train southeast along the east bank of the Rhine to the popular tourist town of Rüdesheim am Rhein. This second train, because of track location, lighting and window condition, would not be conducive to picture taking. However such was not the case with picturesque Rüdesheim. Also, in a couple of days, we would see this stretch of the Rhine going the other direction from a river boat. 


Just as day breaks, we leave the Hotel Nobilis - yes, located right next to McDonalds! No, we did not have breakfast there. The Hotel furnished a quite adequate & tasty complimentary continental meal.

Shots from a moving train with often a misty window is not usually the best way to get good pictures, but we were quite happy with how this & the next 5 shots taken along the Mosel turned out.

All of these Mosel River photos were taken northeast of the town of Wittlich, or about the 2nd half of this trip. While pictured here are 2 freight barges, we did see several tour boats.

We were very much impressed with the serenity of this lovely river. We decided that given another chance, we would sure love to come back here for a cruise on the Mosel.

Being on an express train without a good map or GPS, we were never sure of the names of the towns & villages we passed through. The letters on the hillside between town & castle here spell, "Alkener Burgberg."

Another peaceful scene, this one without a castle.  The mirrored reflection of the town buildings contribute to its attractiveness. 

Moving away from the Mosel River, we see another castle. Yes, we are definitely in castle country as we now near Koblenz.

Even as we stop in Koblenz to change trains, we look up & see a nearby citadel and castle!

We walk from the train station across town along the waterfront to the Rüdesheim information office. Friendly folks there furnished a town map, helpful info & made a hotel reservation for us. How nice! We then walk the few blocks to our new accommodations. 

Reaching the central upper (away from the noisier waterfront & train tracks) part of town we arrive & check in to the very pleasant Hotel und Winhaus Felsenkeller.

Having been on trains for several hours, we realize that we are both hungry & thirsty. Time for our 1st authentic German beer (Andechs Dunkelbier) while we wait for our meal (thirsty Keith had the .5 liter size). 

Among a multitude of inviting restaurants, we chose "Ratsstube"& rather blindly ordered spanferkelbrraten. Delicious, filling - we would not be hungry again for a while! German portions are huge!

It was then time to start exploring this bustling tourist town. We start down this narrow street, Keith being attracted to the sound of lively German music coming from an outside beer garden.

Yup! This is a tourist destination.  We wonder where all these folks stay -- while hotels are plentiful,  there are not that many hotels.  We decide they are from tour busses traveling through or perhaps large tour boats.  

We stroll about & follow the beaten path to the popular spots.  This one had some great bells which chimed the time. It was harvest time in the local vineyards & "new wine" was available.  We decided old wine is better.

We find a little more breathing space on the edge of town with the railroad & boat docks along the riverside. This seemed practically always bustling with tourists.

Walking west toward the train station, we get this view of the edge of town with the private Oberburg-Boosen Castle & ancient tower (ca. 9th C.) on the Carl Jung Winery grounds in foreground; behind are the vine covered hills & aerial cable car line (terminus next to our hotel).  

Peg pauses to watch the boat traffic along the Rhine.  This paddle steamer  Goethe is part of the popular KD (Köln-Düsseldorfer) fleet.  

From this vantage point on the Rhine, we get a good view of the landmark Adler Tower. Also called the "Eagle Tower" or Adlerturm, it was built in the 1400's.

After a huge tour group got their photos & passed into the museum, patient Keith finally got this shot of the Broemserhof. Built in 1542, it is now a mechanical music museum.

Keith tries the local specialty -- a dessert coffee-icecream-liqueur  concoction aptly called Rüdesheimer Kaffee. With options of hot & flaming or cold, Keith chose the latter. It was quite nice!  

Enjoying the colorful Graf von Rüdesheim Café, Peg opted for the standard cappuccino. She has noticed nearly every region we've been to has had a slightly different concept of this coffee drink.  

At the end of a long afternoon of walking, we are following the map to a "park." It's uphill, but we'll be able to rest when we get there.  However, it was "park" as in "parking"  There were lots of tour busses.  We laughed instead.

An inviting trail leading west from the less than photogenic parking lot, brings us up in the the vineyards above town with this view down on the village & one of its churches. Such a pleasant little road invites us to walk further. We soon realize that we are just above our hotel room.

We try a zoom photo of the distant abbey which later research informed us was the Benedictine Abbey of St. Hildegard.  Peg begins to wonder if that is Hildegard von Bingen of medieval music fame.

Keith especially liked this view up through the rows of grape vines towards the Schloss Johannisberg castle. While Peg wanted to visit the Abbey (photo 25), Keith had hoped to visit the Johannisberg village. We had time for neither.

This vineyard-lined lane is very near a walk called Brahmsweg or Brahms' Trail.  It turns out he lived in Rudesheim when he was composing his 3rd symphony. Classical music loving Keith was happy to learn of this bit of music history trivia!

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