If you ever need to feel like a Princess again (yes, I’m talking to you Bill), the Rhein Valley in Germany is just where you should head! After spending the night in Rothenburg, we took the Romantic Road – which incidentally, is really not that romantic at all, especially with all the construction. We bailed out early, near Wurzburg and Maylene got to have fun with the autobahn — just where the heck is Ausfahrt anyway?!
We arrived at Burg Liebenstein at around 3 pm and were upgraded to a suite due to scheduling issues and had two amazing views – one of the Rhine river and the castle surroundings and the other of the castle next door – Burg Sterrenburg.
Our room was at the top of the main house up a curling, crooked staircase barely big enough for our luggage – and trust me, we travel light at 30 lbs each with two backpacks and a small bag between us.
Before leaving, the owner showed me the fire escape and joked that this was the staircase that the ghosts used to access the bedroom while we slept. Hahahaha… very funny. Of course I was a bit paranoid about that but shouldn’t have been – we slept peacefully after the obnoxious Americans in the patio finally were told to go to their rooms by the owners.
We had dinner on the outdoor patio area and watched the sun set over the Rhein Valley and Sterrenburg castle.
Absolutely beautiful and a delicious meal that we both enjoyed. We felt like royalty as one of two tables on the patio and could easily roll back time 500 years to imagine how the previous inhabitants would have passed the beautiful, late summer evening. Magic!
We woke and enjoyed breakfast overlooking the Rhein Valley in a room decorated with plate metal armour and double-wielding swords and felt like we had the total castle experience.
In the evening we watched a Rick Steve’s video on the valley and learned that a nearby castle, Burg Eltz, was his favorite in Europe and decided to go check it out. I navigated and Maylene drove and we checked out a whole bunch of castles along the river while I read from the guidebook. These castles sprang up every few miles along the river so the Robber Barons could establish a fiefdom and use their control over the river to levy fees on the river merchants – reinforced with the very large chains they strung across the banks – good times!
Anywho – somehow, after a few wrong turns we finally found the road to Burg Eltz and followed it until termination at a point where it said the castle itself was 40 minutes away by hiking trail. At this point, we had already come so far and had finally found the place, so we went for it – the hike through a part of the Black Forest was a pretty good one — not too strenuous but definitely an up and down and over the river kind of walk. We finally arrived at the castle after 30 minutes
and found it to be under repair and coincidentally, charging twice what we had expected – oh yeah – and you can only go in by guided tour every 30 minutes. That’ll be 25 minutes to the next English tour. Okay – well, let’s make the best of it — having a quick snack before the tour began. The tour itself was not exactly — errmmm… – well executed, let’s say. Anyway – after it was over, I could not convince Maylene to go to the included treasury — she just wanted to get the heck out of there (and let me just admit that it was a rather feeble attempt). So – we sped down the mountain and 30 minutes later hit the road again and saw a sign just down the road for the Burg Eltz P&R — 10 minutes away from the castle — arrggghhh! That’s okay though – as it was – the best part of visiting this castle was the hike to it!
With map in hand and Maylene at the helm, we headed out of the Mosel Valley via a side street directly to St. Goar so that we could try to catch the ruinous Rheinfels castle before closing.
We made it with plenty of time to spare and loved the late afternoon walk through this amazingly enormous castle. It reminded us of the Colosseum in Rome – on that scale, also used for a quarry, and just as run down.
We spent the night at Rudesheim am Rhein in this super-cheesy duck motif hotel – yes, duck was on the menu btw – “ente”, we learned a new word that day boys and girls. It was in a great location though and we walked throughout the tiny town in the evening, sampling wine from a local vineyard — the Riesling is the local winner and was delicious! That’s been a really cool aspect of the trip – sampling the local wines and beers that are so regionally distinct. Yummm!!
The pics might look better in the album below – I had some trouble inserting some of them. Update: in true SNL “Your Company’s Computer Guy” fashion, Maylene said, “MOOOOVE” and fixed these pics. Good times.