Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sightseeing along the Rhein River

Koblenz celebrated 2,000 years of history in 1992. 
An interesting description of 2,000 years packed
into a fountain
We left Heidelberg after a good breakfast at Restaurant Merlin just a block from our hotel. Uli and Thomas had suggested heading north up to the Rhein and then slowly driving down along it towards Frankfurt. We were staying that night in a B&B right near the airport, the Villa Orchard ( Our first stop was Koblenz on the junction of the River Moselle and the Rhein.
This pretty city was one of the military posts established by Drusus I. This Roman politician and military commander was well connected to Roman Emperors! He was stepson to Augustus, brother to Tiberius, father to Claudius, grandfather to Caligula and great grandfather to Nero. As early as 1,000 BC fortifications were built on the hill opposite the town where the Fortress Ehrenbreitstein now stands. Remains of a Roman bridge are still visable. It has at various times been part of France, occupied by France and the home of many French emigres. During WW II it was heavily bombed and rebuilt afterwards. We enjoyed walking through the town and along the river. In the main square we had a nice lunch and a great pastry for dessert at Cafe Adaccio sitting outside in the sun.
We sat outside to have our lunch.
From Koblenz we followed Route 9 along the south bank of the Rhein. It was mostly a local road and often ran right along the river with the EuroVelo 15, a long distance bicycle path that goes from the source of the Rhein to the North Sea - 1230 km in length. We often saw bicyclists with packs strapped on. We passed through Bacharach and I thought of the famous Boston photographer. Castles on both sides of the river caught our attention but it was already late in the afternoon and we didn't see any immediate signs for access. Many must be current residences.
We did see a sign for a vineyard and took a quick right up the hill. The Restaurant Winzerschente Phillips-Muhle was a great stop. Generations of this family have owned this vineyard as we saw in an illustrated family history on the wall. We sat outside surrounded by the vineyards and drank their excellent white wine. Nice!
Thank goodness for both our Navigation systems - it took both of them to find our B&B in Kriftel. Once there though it was very comfortable and after a short interesting walk into the small town, we had a nice dinner at Zum Hirsch Restaurant. Breakfast at the B&B was good too but the big surprise was our flight home. We were upgraded to Business Class (first class for us - can't imagine what more you could get) after some miserable mistakes on Lufthanza's side while waiting for our flight (at the wrong gate). The very comfortable roomy seats, food and service was amazing. What a difference. The rich do live differently. It was a wonderfully surprising end to a great trip!

Boats on the Moselle in Koblenz

Gourmet Schnitzel - who knew!

Broad walkways border both rivers with a huge park at the

Across the way was the Fortress

We loved this musician playing traditional (it sounded to us)
French music we could have heard in Paris.

This cable car connects downtown Koblenz with the Fortress

The dedicated bicycle path along the river. You can go any where
in Germany by bicycle safely! See the castles on the hills.

Another castle further down the river.

The sign welcoming us to Philipps-Muhle

The outside cafe

The family history
Enjoying the local wine!
This lovely church or castle was on it's own tiny island.
Another one was up the hill in the vineyards.

Cold duck breast appetizer on Lufthanza
flying back to Boston in STYLE

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