A day and night in Koblenz.
Saturday May 2nd.
We had breakfast early and decided to drive to Koblenz from Hannover, on the Rhine River it took about four hours on the freeway and we arrived around 2.30pm. We booked into the Hotel Haus Morjan which is situated overlooking the Rhine. Our room 307 is on the third floor and has a cute balcony with stunning views of the river and the hills. It is a three star hotel offering exceptional value, friendly staff and comfortable rooms.
After having coffee we headed off to explore the town of Koblenz, firstly we started our exploration by taking a ferry ride up the Rhine River and absorbing the beautiful scenery passing the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress which lies on top of the steep cliffs opposite “Deutsches Eck” the first fortress which was built in 1100, later it served as a residence for the archbishops of Trier. After the destruction of the French in 1801 the Prussians made it one of the strongest fortresses in the world. Today it is used to house the State Museum.
The tour took about one hour and then we proceeded to walk through the streets taking in the sights of this very old and picturesque town. Situated in the charming landscape of the Rhine and Moselle rivers and surrounded by four low mountain ranges, the town has an abundance of cultural monuments and historic buildings, its cosy lanes and narrow alleyways, the relaxed and happy atmosphere of its squares and river promenades makes Koblenz a friendly town.
Koblenz's history goes back over 2,000 years. This heritage is particularly visible in the beautiful Old Town with its romantic little squares, winding streets, noble mansions, medieval burgher houses and beautiful old churches. The Kurfürstliches Schloss, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Schloss Stolzenfels and the Deutsches Eck ("German Corner") with the impressive Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial are all an absolute must for every visitor. Many interesting museums document the great traditions of the past. Boredom is impossible as this delightful town offers the visitor an abundance of activities and sightseeing.
Hubby was getting tired so we decided to walk back to our room for a rest before going to dinner. Our Hotel restaurant was closed so we had dinner in the restaurant next door. The food was high-quality, I had chicken schnitzel with salad and hubby had a very large mixed grill with chips. Feeling full we went for a walk along the promenade before returning to our hotel, only to find that the VW passat boot would not shut so Peter had wait for hours before the VW specialist could fix it and by this time I had fallen into a deep sleep.
"Driving from Koblenz to Frankfurt Airport."
Sunday 3rd May
The sun was teeming into our bedroom which was fabulous except I could imagine it being extremely hot in the summer without any air conditioning. We had breakfast and paid our bill and by 10.00 we were driving along river road towards Frankfurt. The road winds itself around the River Rhine through quaint villages, fairy-tale century old castles and beautiful vineyards.
The castle Burg Lahneck is very impressive. It is situated where the River Lahn joins the Rhine and was the northernmost fortress of the Mainz Electorate, built in 1240. Although it had fallen into complete ruin by 1688, it was restored in the original style in 1860. The castle Braubach is also staggering, towering on a high crag above Braubach, is the only fully preserved mediaeval fortress on the Rhine. It was owned successively by the Eppsteins, the Counts of Katzenelnbogen, and, from 1479, the Landgraves of Hesse, until it fell to the Prussians in 1866, along with Braubach. In 1899 Kaiser Wilhelm II presented the castle to the "Association for the Preservation of German Castles".
The road is magnificent probably one of the most scenic in the world and it’s a delightful experience just being here to explore this region, there must be at least twenty castles scattered throughout the landscape and it is marvellous that they are all historically preserved and in such good condition.
We arrived in the village of Bingen a modern town at the junction of the rivers Rhine and Nahe.Its history can be traced back to the Romans. It has always been a centre of the wine trade; stopping at the restaurant Glaushaus on Binger Somergarten, situated on the waterfront overlooking steep vineyards and distant castles was truly magical.
We were also entertained by a live band singing numerous English songs. I had a great lunch potato fritter with salmon and salad whilst hubby had pork medallions with mushrooms and cheese; which he managed to spill all over his trousers.
From Bingen we took the road to Mainz which weaved its way through some more stunning scenery. We decided not to enter the city of Mainz but head back to the Autobahn to Frankfurt as it was getting late and we needed to find a suitable hotel close to the airport.
The Sheraton was so expensive about 500AUD so we booked into the Steignberger Hotel which was just minutes away and so much cheaper. Our room 414 was large, modern and extremely comfortable.
We relaxed in our hotel and sorted out our laundry as now we have absolutely no clean undies or nickers. Hubby did his e-mails with intense frustration as since leaving Australia he has been unable to receive them and I managed to read a few pages of the book before heading to the Hotel restaurant which was situated in an outdoor setting.
I had this terrible asparagus and strawberry salad followed by a lovely vegetarian dish with ricotta and pasta. Hubby had lobster soup and a hearty steak with chips and salad. We retired early to bed as we were exhausted from all the sightseeing we had done for the day.