Go out of Bonn for a while and visit the Drachenfels at Konigswinter. The Drachenfels is a landmark of the Siebenbirge (seven hills) - it is 321 metres high. A trip to the top with the cog railway is worthwhile and then you can walk down - about 2 kilometres. The views from the top are lovely.
The cog railway to the top of the Drachenfels started service in the summer of 1883.
You can park (free of charge) at the base station on the Drachenfelsstrasse.
This is a festival of beer. There are many throughout the summer, mostly in Northern Germany I think, see website for more details on this years events. Anyway, what happens? Lots of brewers from mostly nearby have a stall selling their beers along with food stalls and live music...superb! The biggest problem is choosing which beer to try, I don't think I could manage one of each...willing to give it a go though!
Formerly a palace for the Electors of Cologne since the 13th century, the very outstretched buildings of the former castle in their cheerful yellow colour now house the Rheinisch Friedrich-Wilhelm University since 1818. It is all a distinct landmark with the towers seen here and there throughout the city. The Hofgarten outside is a lovely spot for students to rest and there is a huge playground for children there too. The buildings as they look today are from 1697 and onwards and renovated after both ordinary fires and wartime bombing.
Welcome to the former Capital city Bonn
"Gateway to the wine treasures of the Ahr Valley"
The answer to the question posted by Rhineroll on the meeting page was "Do you like romantic river valleys, shrouded in mist, teeming with colours of the autumn? Do you prefer dry fruity wine to a sweet one?" was a resounding yes - Of course on the wine front I like most wines except very sweet so I ticked all the boxes and booked a flight. Word spread rather quickly and Acirfa (Donna) & Barkerclive (Clive) decided to join me as part of the England clan.
We arrived in Bonn and caught the bus into the city, all excited about our wine exploration of the Ahr valley much to the dissaproval of the little old lady sitting opposite Clive (the youth of today!)
VT'er Dewisri (Basti) was kind enough to meet us at the bus stop and walk us to our hotel. We unfortunately felt we needed to make a quick exit out of reception as I was starting to feel nauseous from the smell of a resident's cigar smoke. I must say that there seemed no clear cut rules regarding smoking and it made me feel that South Africa & England are making far better headway - thats my anti-smoking grumble!!
"Friday night Dinner"
Win met up with us at the hotel and we went for a pre-dinner stroll past the Rheinische Friederich-Wilhelm University and along the banks of the Rhine. Dinner was at Rietbrocks, a charming wine house, and the staff were very attentive - Oh and we were fairly loud. Win ordered the three different types of Rieslings including "Robert Weil" the wine our English Queen drinks.
With all our various nationalities there were chants of Prost, Gesondheid, Bottoms Up, Cheers. According to Mickybleck (Daniella) its essential you look at the person directly in the eyes when you chink glasses & drink - good fortune indeed shall be yours.
After dinner we headed to a local pub and some of the troops were a little worse for wear. Friday night our posse was made up of Rhineroll (Win), Acirfa (Donna), Barkerclive (Clive), Dewisri (Basti) & her sister Sarah, Mickybleck (Daniella), Reza and his cousin (whom he tricked into coming).
"Before and after the wineroll"
On saturday morning the English clan were up earlyish ready for a brisk walk before meeting the others. Donna took a shine to the horse we had spotted last night & plenty of photo opportunities at Beethoven's statue (Bonn incedently is his birth place 1770).
We met up at the train station with Sabsi (Sabine), Seppoman (Thomas), Horscheck (Holger), Yumyum (Sonja), Tinytuck (Stef), Sjalen (Charlotta), Kitkan (Keith) and who can forget our super trooper Alice. As our train chugged into the station it was with great delight that we all piled in ready for our adventure in the Ahr Valley. (please visit to find out more)
I think we were all rather worn out after the excellent full day Win organised that dinner was a rather quieter affair. The clocks go back so effectively it meant an extra hour sleep but some of us got no sleep (effects of the alcohol perhaps??)
As we had a tight schedule on sunday we decided to skip brunch and head accross the river for a photo shoot. Sadly when you wait for a barge it never comes turn your back and they all come at once - this is a valuable lesson for the photographer :-)
Anyway best leave the Bonn page for now so I can concentrate on the fun and games we had in the Ahr valley.
The Wonderful Rhine City
"A Trip to the Bundestag"
During my stay in Germany more than fifteen years ago as an interpreter I was lucky enough to have a day's tour of Bonn, the former capital of Germany.
We had a tour of the Bundestag (the German Parliament) and had a stroll downtown.
The city produces a good impression, especially the Rhine with its seagulls, fresh air and parks.
Here's a short video of Deutsche Welle about this nice city.