Medieval Germany - Christy
Bacharach Travel Blog› entry 11 of 18 › view all entries
Friday morning (June 19th) we arrived via high speed train in Koblenz, Germany. After checking the train information we would need later for our evening connection to the hotel in Bacharach we put our bags in a locker and caught a small local train to the tiny town of Moselkern. This train was empty except for 10 or so school age kids. It seemed as if these 12 to 15 year olds ride the train into town (Koblenz) for school each day (20 to 40 minutes). The train ride itself was beautiful. We traveled along the Mosel river in a valley of lush green trees.
From Moselkern we headed off on a “1 ½ hour” hike to the 800 year old castle known as Burg Eltz.
As was suggested in our Rick Steve’s Travel Guide for Germany, we left the residential part of town and headed off into the edge of the forest that flowed parallel to a little creek. It was supposed to be a level and easy walk! However, our hike began to go uphill at a rather steep rate. At several points along the way there were hot pink and day-glow green markers pointing in different directions, but no signs to speak of.
Link to "Quiet Hike to Burg Eltz"
Link to Video "Creek Along Path to Burg Eltz"
At the castle we took a guided tour that lasted an hour. The castle itself had 3 families living in it at one time and was divided into three different residences. The homes we went through were built with several levels and had fireplaces in ½ of the rooms (fireplaces in medieval times signified comfort). We visited the armory, (bows, arrows, axes, shields) and a bedroom that housed a small chapel. When the tiny chapel wasn’t in use double doors closed off the chapel so you couldn’t see it and the room became a bedroom. In medieval times it was belived that no one could live above God, so bedrooms were not to be built above chapels.
We returned to Koblenz to retrieve our bags and continued on to the little medieval town of Bacharach. Bacharach has a castle located directly above it and our hotel (Hotel Kranenturm) was situated in one of the defensive walls down close to the river along the railroad tracks. The kids were in a cute little room with twin beds that was situated along the tracks. Ali’s perspective was that the late night trains “shook the whole place.” The room Trent and I had was across the hall and we didn’t hear a thing. J We had a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant and then it was off to bed. It was nice to sleep in a good bed as our beds in Amsterdam and Paris were not spectacular.
Early the next morning loaded with our packs we headed to the river and boarded a ferry (free with our EuroRail train pass) that took us down the river towards Koblenz. Down river along the Rhine means the water flows in a South/North direction (opposite of the Mississippi). Our travels down river took us through the beautiful Loreley valley that was dotted with castles on both sides. During medieval times these castles would collect tolls from ships transporting goods up and down the river. As we toured the river, the ferry provides commentary on the different castles. Burg Katz a beautiful castle located just downstream from Loreley (the Loreley valley is steeped in Japanese folklore) was purchased by an eccentric Japanese investor for $4 million a few years back. His goal was to renovate the hotel and create an erotic wonderland for his wealthy Japanese counterparts. He was denied the right to turn the castle into a brothel by the locals and as a consequence the castle stands abandoned to this day.
Off to Munich, Germany