Sunday, April 8, 2012

Arrival in Germany, train to Rhine Valley, St. Goar

 On Easter Sunday Michael and I took the train to Frankfurt, and met my mom and mormor at the airport. Everything went smoothly, everything was on time.  From there we all got on a train together to the quaint little town of St. Goar on the Rhine River. Unfortunately we spent most of the sunny day traveling, but as soon as we arrived we put our luggage at the hotel and spent the rest of the daylight hours walking around. They were excited to see the tulips and daffodils, some blooming and budding trees. In another week or so the trees will probably have leaves, but some of them are already quite green. The valley is starting to be very vibrant and you can see blooming bushes and trees, amid the vineyards and rock outcroppings.  We walked through the little town, stopped at a Bäckerei and had some tea and cake. They had a really good rhubarb cake, and since it's vacation, we said ja gerne to the offer of whipped cream on top. :) The bakery had cute Easter displays, and lots of Germans were stopping in to have an afternoon treat, or a break from their hiking.
the view of the other side of the river, St. Goarshausen

 Across the river from St. Goar is another little town called St. Goarshausen. There is a ferry that runs back and forth between the two towns. The next bridge is about 50 km each way (actually I guess it's a controversy right now whether they should build a bridge or a tunnel because there is about 100km without a bridge!). After we walked through St. Goar (which doesn't take too long!) we took the ferry over and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine on the other bank of the river. We walked, stopped and had a glass of Riesling sitting outside in the sun (although it was quite cool!). On that side of the river is also a castle called Burg Katz. It's nice because from our hotel you can see it, so it's a great view.  There is lots of boat traffic on the river, lots to look at.

For dinner we ate at the little Hotel Restaurant Am Markt where we stayed. We had very German dishes: mom had Jägerschnitzel (pork steak with mushroom sauce, Bratkartoffeln on the side), Michael had venison goulasch served with a dark sauce, Preiselbeeren (like lingonberries) and potatoes on Spaetzle, mormor and I had Kartoffelklöse filled with meat, with a bacon onion sauce and salad on the side. And of course German wine from the region! Mmmm! You gotta live it up...while you're here, right?

Burg Katz in the background
saying painted on the hotel: "I have seen centuries, and with God's grace I will keep standing here"
Burg Katz
Easter treat at Cafe - Rhubarb cake and tea
all of the Easter specialties at the Bakery

from the opposite side of the river, looking over to the Burg Rheinfels

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