Castle 1. Fortress Ehrenbreitstein
After a long day of traveling up and down the Rhine, we decided to start in the city of Koblenz for a few hours. Koblenz is a fairly large city with lots to do and see. It is located right where the Rhine and Mosel connect, also known as Deutsches Eck (German Corner). It has spectacular views of the river and Fortress Ehrenbreitstein. Lots of statues to see and large walking area along the river.
We started off the day by just parking the car downtown. There are plenty of parking houses to choose from. The Koblenz cable cable car was top on my list to do in order to see both the city and the fortress. Head towards the Rhine River and walk to where the two rivers meet. There will be a ticket office where you can purchase both your fortress ticket and cable car ticket together as one. Next head to onto the cable car. Enjoy the easy ride to the top of the fortress. We went when it was almost a downpour, so we lugged umbrellas around all day. About half of the fortress is outside half inside. The inside portion is a museum filled with knowlege about the fortress, worth a look around.
We ate lunch at a small little restaruant along the river, Maximilians Altes Kaufhaus. I'm sure there were more to choose from but this was the first one we saw since it was cold and rainy. I had the gulash and it was amazing. After luch, we strolled down to where all the shops were. At least half the day was spent in Koblenz.
Pretty big cable car with lots of room!
On our ride to the top! Just a little rain!
We obviously couldn't see everything in this trip, but we did see a lot. Make sure to make this trip a few days long, you will be glad you did! I also forgot to mention all the vinyards EVERYWHERE!! Try some local wine with your meal. Bring your hiking shoes, lots of hiking up and down from the castles. You can also take the train on both sides of the Rhine River but there will be even extra walking from the stops, but each little town had a stop. I felt better having the car just because everything was very spaced out. I feel like with the train you would need way more time to see everything.
We were finally able to make it to the Rhine River. With its rolling hills covered in vineyards and barges passing through, it was a beautiful scene. We stayed in a nice hotel in the town of Bad Bresig, just north of Koblenz by 20 minutes. It was a beautiful hotel with a great breakfast buffet. The only problem we encountered was that the water was too low. The day cruise ships weren’t stopping at our dock, unless we stood out there and waved them down. (that didn’t seem like something I wanted to do)
We drove there, so it was perfectly fine to not take the boat system. There was also a train that rain right alongside the river. If you wanted to venture to Cologne and Koblenz, we stayed in the perfect location. If you want to only see the castles along the river, I would recommend staying south of Koblenz or even in Koblenz. We made it work though.
Our main objective was to see castles. We were able to make it to six castles all together and more from just driving around. Four the first day and two the second day. The upside to driving was we could park much closer to the castles than if we took the train or boat. If you are with people who do not like to walk up steep grades, a car is the better choice.
We also stopped by the Maria Laach Abbey. It was a beautiful Abbey and is still used today by monks. When we were there, they were begining a ceremony. We got a little nervous because we thought we were locked in for the whole ritual but they just locked one of the entrance doors. Just be aware that they are actually using the Abbey daily and be courteous to their space. There were beautiful gardens, hotel and shops. Park across the street.
We ended the night with dinner by our hotel. There were a long line of amazing restaurants just beside the river. Hotel Ankler was the name of where we ate and we had Jagar snitzel, steak and cordon bleu.
The Travelin' Jones
My journey in life.