We have had a really shivery few days, just lately. Temperatures dropped to a frigid 11 degrees today and what added to the discomfort was the rain. It’s rained solidly today and so we have used the day to move further north and to do some more hunting for small bits and pieces for the vans. Driving in the rain is never much fun, and today was no exception. However we finished the day with a brilliant beef curry and rice, which warmed up everyone’s cockles.
But in spite of the recent cool temperatures, we have enjoyed exploring some magical spots along the way. We are still hugging the Rheine – a brilliant road follows its course very closely and the last couple of days have been exceptional. Around every bend in the road the eye is greeted with another castle, either perched on a hill, or some remains looming against the road itself.
We passed through many picturesque small townships, and across the river on the other side we saw neat and tidy ‘story-book’ villages nestled on the banks.
Countless vineyards cascaded down the steep slopes of the hills behind the villages – making the scenery almost impossibly beautiful.
As good fortune would have it, we came across a big parking area on the river side, just opposite an interesting-looking town.
We stopped, intending to stretch the legs before moving on, but as it turned out, we stopped and stayed for the night. This gave us the chance to have a really leisurely walk around the town – Bacharach by name. It took us completely by surprise, as if you suddenly strolled onto an historic film set. But there was nothing artificial about this 5-600 years old town and it was buzzing with ordinary life. (we even bought a couple of cheap camp chairs there)
We parked overnight on the banks of the Rheine and got away in the morning to continue our feast of historic buildings.
We finally came across an interesting castle set high on a hill,
and managed to find a spot to park the two vans. (always a bit of a limiting factor when wanting to stop somewhere)
We walked up the steep path and came upon the notice “closed for renovations until 2011.” (believe me at least half of Germany is being renovated. Heaps of the castles and stately homes are being renovated and countless 100’s of kilometers of autobahn and highway are being ripped up and re-made. Not to mention the bridges that have been closed or partially closed. We know – we have experienced most of it!)) Well we only had an hour or two so could not wait for the Grand re-Opening. Nevertheless the notice advised that you could still get up to the castle terrace – it was the interior that was totally closed. So on we went. What a fascinating place!
I must apologise if you are getting sick of castles and ancient towns. I thought I would, myself, but surprisingly I continue to be amazed at the creativity of MAN. We may know more today, but we are certainly no smarter than our ancestors!Tags: Observations, Travel, Weather, Tag Index