Let’s see, where were we? Oh, yeah, Germany!

Saturday (October 25) we took a 9-hour train ride from St. Johann in Austria, through Salzburg, Munich, and up the Rhein to finally end up in the small town of Boppard.  We stayed at a small, family-owned hotel/B&B, in a compact room with a great view of the river:

Our hotel, Baudobriga, taken from the ship on the Rhein

On Sunday morning we boarded the K-D (Koln-Dusseldorf) Line ship “Asbach” right in front of our hotel:

The K-D ship “Asbach” taken from our hotel room
The bathroom on the ship, with portholes so you can see out while you wash your hands

We cruised up-river (against the current) for about four hours, passing barges, other cruises, villages, vineyards, and so many castles that we stopped taking pictures after about 20 of them!

Two castle on the Rhein — one on an island in the river, the other on top of the hill in the background
Another castle, up on the hill overlooking a town
Yet another castle on the Rhein
Dave taking a picture of another castle. We took a lot of pictures!
An RV park in the shadow of castles
I think we’re getting better at selfies!
Town, church, vineyards — see them all from the Rhein

On a whim, we got off the ship in a small town called Assmannshausen, because the announcer on the boat said something about a chair lift, and we thought it sounded fun.  We strolled through town and found the base of the lift, paid our Euros, and rode to the top.  The morning mist and clouds had burned off, and it was now a sunny afternoon.

It’s pronounced “Ahhs-mahns-housen” (or something like that) not ass-man-housen, in case you were wondering
Looking down on the Rhein from the chair lift
Yes, we’re really getting better at the selfie’s — taken from a swaying chair lift!
A tiny cabin from the chair lift. See the gnome on the porch?
A castle viewed from the chair lift
Cute little cafe in Assmannshausen

After the lift and lunch we re-boarded the Asbach, on its way back, cruising down-river this time.  The sun was going down, the wind picked up, and we rode on the upper deck (outdoors) for as long as we could, then moved down to the inside, middle deck.

The views from the ship were even good from inside

Monday we changed transportation modes, and used our German rail passes for the train (the rail pass covered the KD ship line yesterday, too).  We rode to a little town called Moselkern, on the Moselle River (which flows into the Rhein).  We were going to walk to the castle there, but I’ll be honest here – we saw how far and high it was, and bagged it.  We did walk around the town a little:

I loved this old rock wall with ledges decorated with mis-matched pitchers and teapots, filled with cut flowers!
Close-up of some of the pitchers with flowers

We got on the train going back the other direction, and got off at another small town (do you get the idea that pretty much ALL the towns are small?) called Braubach, which had a more-accessible castle, Marksburg.  It looked like a long ways up, though, from the town:

Marksburg Castle, looking up from the village of Braubach. It looked like a long way up!

We found our way through the town and up the trail, reaching the castle after about 30 minutes.  The only way to get inside the castle was on a guided tour, but we had just missed the 1:00 tour in English, and the next was at 4:00, so we went on a tour in German.  We were the only non-German-speakers, but they gave us a book in English so we could follow along.  Not exactly ideal, and I’m sure we missed things because sometimes the whole group would laugh and we didn’t see anything funny printed in the book, but oh well!

A castle kitchen
Passage-way and door inside Marksburg Castle
Looking down on the Rhein from a window in Marksburg Castle

The walk back down from the castle to town was much faster and easier!  We had worked up an appetite, so we found somewhere for a late lunch, then took the train back to Boppard.

Tuesday we left Boppard and journeyed by train to Amsterdam.  I’ll just say that we loved the two days in Germany and our time on the Rhein.  But Tuesday was filled with travel hassles and problems, from getting kicked off a train by a rude, stubborn inspector who did not know how our German Rail Passes worked (I was vilified by an agent at the train station in the town we landed in, who said we should have been allowed to ride), to taking a 40+ Euro taxi ride to the wrong hotel.

We are almost at the end of our month-long trip, and it’s taking a toll on us.  We’re tired of hearing train and bus announcements that we can’t understand, and other little things about being here are wearing on us.  I’ll do another post on Amsterdam (we just finished our first day here) but we are realizing we liked the small towns much better than the big cities, so it’s not our favorite place.  More later, when I have more energy to write about Amsterdam.

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