I’m usually not a fan of graffiti – I think it looks bad and makes a city appear that its people don’t really care. But while I was in Mainz, I came across this unique section of the Theodor Heuss Bridge – on the Mainz-Kastel side – that was covered in some really high quality graffiti by some gifted artists.
Just on the other side of the bridge and pretty much under the roundabout, there is a parking area. The columns on the parking area and the walls, as well as the tunnel leading to the Rhein area covered in artwork – I don’t think there is an empty space!
Several months after taking these photos while I was out on the Three Bridges Walk, we were walking to Mainz (we like to park in Mainz-Kastel and walk over the river to the city when possible), there was a street parking going on – food, music, and LOTS of artists redoing the walls and tunnel. So the area has a new look. Some of the old works are there, but many have been painted over with some equally nice works of modern art.
Click HERE for a Googlemap that will show you approximately where the graffiti is. From this location you will proceed under the bridge. Once you are on the other side, turn right and you will see the tunnel that has the artistic displays.
As you walk around the city of Mainz keep your eyes open for statues – they seem to be everywhere. Of course, there are the main statues such as the Gutenberg statue and the carnival statues in Schillerplatz (along with Herr Schiller as well); but there are lots of funny little statues that seem to be random around the town. Many are within the city center or along the Rhein River.
I’ve found a large cat, a chubby man with his beer, two guys doing acrobatics, and a very modern looking statue of a man that looks more machine than human.
So just look around – you never know what you are going to find!
Looking upstream (south), this is the Rhine coming down from Lake Constance (Bodensee) by way of Schaffhausen, Basel, Freiburg, Strasbourg and Mannheim.
Second photo: Here again is the city of Mainz as seen from Mainspitze, on the other side of the Rhine River.
The Willigisplatz neighborhood, in the shadow of St. Stephen's church and just beyond Weisslilien gasse, is a pleasant place to stroll for a little while. Maybe on a nice day, bring a lunch here. It's quiet and traditional and unhurried.
The next stop after Mainz on the Regional Express trains is Ingelheim am Main, which calls itself "The Red Wine City".
It is a pleasant little city with a population of 200,000. In Germany it is best known as the headquarters of a large pharmaceutical company called Boehringer Ingelheim.
The white train in the photo is an InterCity (not InterCityExpress, just InterCity) called IC 2026, on its way from Passau to Hamburg-Altona by a rather circuitous route. This train doesn't stop in Ingelheim, just barrels on through. It has just come from Mainz, and will soon go through the really scenic parts of the Rhine Valley before stopping in Koblenz and Bonn.
Second photo: The Ingelheim station building has been painted red and looks rather nice, but it doesn't seem to have much of a function any more (it was locked when I was there) since the ticket machines and schedules are all out on the platforms. Of course there are no human beings on hand to sell tickets or give information -- this is Germany, after all, and their policy is to automate everything so they can moan about the high unemployment rate.
Third photo: The Fridtjof Nansen House is the adult education center of Ingelheim. I was there recently to do a presentation and workshop for the English teachers, and was highly impressed with the large, newly modernized classrooms.
That little point of land with the blue sign on it is where the Main River (pronounced more or less like the English word mine, have I mentioned that before?) empties into the Rhine.
I took this photo from the railroad bridge that crosses the Rhine from Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Pfalz, over into Hessen.
There is a very narrow walkway along the edge of the bridge, with a sign asking cyclists to dismount if they encounter other users.
On a nice day you definitely will encounter other users. Some people seem to jog back and forth several times a day because the view and the fresh air are so great up there.
The path is fenced in, so you can't really fall off, but it is still quite high up and not the place for someone with illyngophobic tendencies.
The Mainspitze itself can only be reached on foot or by bicycle. There's a parking lot a few hundred meters away, but you'll have to hoof it from there.
Mainz is a great base for exploring the entire Rhineland-Palatinate and Hessen regions. Within a short train ride from the city are Wiesbaden (10 mins), Oppenheim (15 mins), Worms (30 mins), Darmstadt (30 mins), Frankfurt (40 mins), and an entire string of Rhein Gorge villages, like Bacharach and Oberwesel. Further afield you can reach Koblenz, Speyer, Mannheim, Limburg an der Lahn in only an hour or so using the very efficient local train transport.
Plenty of boats depart from Mainz all through the spring and summer, heading up the Rhein towards Cologne. Although the stretch between Mainz and Bingen isn't as fantastic as the subsequent Rhein Gorge, it is still a great experience and you can pick up a boat here instead of getting a train to some ugly tourist hole like Bingen. A trip up the Rhein is something everyone should do in their lifetimes, but try and get yourself a nice sunny day, preferably in the summer when the valleys are all resplendent and green. The costs aren't too high, and K-D Linie will give free trips to those who can prove it is their birthday. Some of the other less well known companies give cheaper tickets, but the K-D boats are the queens of the line.
Here we are looking north, that is downstream, from the walkway up on the railroad bridge.
The city of Mainz is spread out along the left bank of the river, and off in the distance on the right bank if you squint you might just be able to make out the city of Wiesbaden, or at least the beginning of it.
The hills in the background are the beginnings of the Taunus, behind Wiesbaden.
From here the Rhine flows in a generally northwesterly direction through Germany and the Netherlands for a distance of 535 ½ kilometers (that's the figure given in my cycling guidebook) before reaching Rotterdam and the North Sea.
I saw that entrance and wanted to know what is hidden behind. It looked from outside like a church. I made a short look inside - It is a pub. My friend told me that it was a hospital in the 19th century, also a little church. Unfortunately we didn't have the time to go inside, next time perhaps!
This house was built in the end of the 12th century. It is just to find in the old part of the town. There are some flats, where people are still living. I was surprosed, because the windows are so small.
Along the Adenauer Ufer.
The banks of the Rhine are a good place to contemplate the important of rivers in civilization. Oh and it's just nice to watch the world float by.