Friday, 6 July 2007

Luxembourg and the Romantic Rhine

This post covers our foray into Luxembourg and our journey up (or down?) the Romantic Rhine.

Our relaxing stay in Saarburg ended with a shameful, though accidental, incident. Not content with exposing my undergarments to the whole campsite, we also succeeded in p*ssing off the campsite owner. At this campsite, electricity was on a meter and you were given an allowance of 4 kilowatts a day. We asked several times about this just to clarify the situation as we'd been caught out with extra charges in Copenhagen. We went to checkout and the owner asked for a green card. What green card I said? I had genuinely never seen, or thought I'd seen, one of these green cards before. Honestly! The owner was not very happy but I thought they'd forgotten to give me one of these cards, which record the meter reading. In the end we paid €14 a night with no extra electricity charges.
Above and 3 photos below: Lahnstein

Several kilometres after leaving Saarburg, Sarah was cleaning up papers on the dashboard and came across, you guessed it, the green card. How shameful! I really thought she hadn't given me one of these cards! We felt shamed on our drive to Luxembourg, especially since we had asked so many times about the electricity (due to using the laptop!) they must have thought we "lost" it on purpose!

We drove into Luxembourg City, then proceeded to drive around Luxembourg City for quite some time looking for a spot for Ace. Eventually we found somewhere right near one of the bridges that span the vast green valley right near the city centre. We stopped for a quick spot of lunch, filled up with cheap diesel (94.4 cents a litre!) then headed up a motorway, or should I say autobahn, near Moselle River. As we can testify from several Porsches and Audis whizzing past us, there really is no speed limit on many parts of German autobahns. The best thing about them is that they are free and there are many parking spots along the way. We pulled in at one of these parking spots when torrential rain started.

We eventually go to Koblenz, at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. We headed 10km south to the town of Lahnstein where we stayed at a nice campsite on a hill overlooking the town with fantastic views. Two older ladies were running the show. One was as sweet as pie, the other one was a bit of a sauerkraut! I asked in my best German "Sprechen-sie Englisch oder Franzozisch?" never wanting to launch straight into English. The terse reply came, "Ich spreche Deutsch!" She then proceeded to speak English to the next 2 English couples who waltzed in the office! I have a way of winning friends and influencing people...

From our pitch we had a wonderful view of the town, a castle on the other bank of the Rhine, and the castle adjacent to the campsite. We finally had some sunshine so we sat out for an hour enjoying this rare experience while sipping our Kronenbergs! We headed to the campsite restaurant for dinner as it was quite a long walk into town. We hadn't had a meal out since Paris so we needed a treat! As Sarah's sisters have pointed out, we are starting to become alcos, drinking almost every day! Although in our defence, they are rather modest portions! Electricity was on a meter here too and we used 3 kilowatts which made us feel a bit better that we hadn't ripped off the campsite in Saarburg.

The next day it was raining as usual, we headed down the Rhine, or is that up the Rhine? Anyway, we took a car ferry over the river to the town of Boppard (there are no bridges spanning the Rhine between Koblenz and Mainz) and then parked up to visit the town and our favourite German supermarket, Penny Markt. Despite the fact Ace was about 750 metres away, we bought loads of stuff! We had arms as long as a chimpanzee by the time we got back!

Left: Bacharach

After lunch we headed for St Goar. Walking round the town we spied the Captain Cook Restaurant with a mannequin version of the great man outside on the street. Captain Cook is one of the most important historical figures in Australian history and one of the greatest explorers of all time. Until now I had absolutely no idea he wore a pirates hat, eye patch and had not only a hook for an arm, but a wooden leg.

Left: View from Burg Rheinfels

We headed up a 17% gradient hill, much to Sarah's reluctance may I add as she was worried about Ace, to explore the medieval castle of Burg Rheinfels. After this we headed to the town of Bacharach where I had stayed some 11 years earlier. The youth hostel here is in a beautiful old castle, Burg Stahleck. We found a stellplatze, a German aire de service, where we parked Ace right on the banks of the Rhine for the princely sum of €6.

Above and below left: Wine carousel

That rainy night we walked through the cobbled streets of Bacharach to a pub which offered a 15 wine tasting session, Weinkarussel, for €13.50. Sarah discovered that she prefers dry wines or mild sweet wines after this drinking session. I discovered that when drinking with Sarah I should always find a quiet spot away from other patrons! After being spoilt lately with French wines, I found some of these offerings tasted like vinegar...

Left: Bacharach

1 comment:

Ema-mai (lil sis) said...

I love you!! You are so stunning! miss you xxx