The Loreley, Koblenz
I think you must read in advance to appreciate this place: Lorelei is a common high mount in Rhine's banks, that doesn't mean much to those who didn't know the stories and the legends that it suggested.
It's a funny thing when travelling, to be in a place that we had in mind from several readings, and that, suddenly becomes real, in its simplicity.
Going south on the majestic Rhein Valley, also called the Castle Route, at one point you will encounter the place where the Rhein downstream was squeezed into its narrowest and deepest point. Even in the 19th century, reefs and rapids made it extremely dangerous for ships and rafts to pass this point, so a tree bells warning told the crew it was time to pray. The legend says that here, on the top of the Loreley rock a blonde siren - Loreley lures sailors to their doom with her singing and enigmatic beauty. The legend continues when a son of a Count was sunk here, and his father sent troups to kill to witch on the peak. Then Loreley calls her father, the mighty Rhein river, and the waves went up, get her downstream and she was never seen since.
There is a footpath up to the top of the rock from the car park at the foot of the Loreley. A magnificent view is promised from up the peak.
I dunno what I had in mind when I thought of The Loreley - something quite romantic and probably involving a statue or monument of some kind. I didn't realise it's just a bit of hillside.
And this used to lead sailors to their doom? Were they drunk or what???
I guess I should confine it to "tourist trap" - certainly if I'd come here just for this I'd be going home a disappointed man. But as a part of a journey down the Rhine, it was... well, quite nice.
We left Boppard without getting lost and headed on down the Rhine towards the Loreley. The route down the Rhine is littered with pretty villages with castles perched above them. This is a random example from somewhere between Boppard and Loreley.
Take a boat from one of the viallges and make a short trip to the Lorelei! There is one statue of the Lorelei in the Rhine on that peninsula, you can make a walk there.
More about the Lorelei in the travelogue