Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 63: Rhine Ferry

Today we made use of the three day pass that we acquired yesterday: we took a ride on the ferry!

We couldn't take the boat from Bacharach, instead we had to drive up to Bingen and take the ferry from there. We walked through sprinklers and along the water's edge until we found the dock. Even standing here, you can see castles and neighboring statues all over the place!

On the Ferry, we got a seat on the upper level in the middle. It was sunny out, and we weren't in the shade, so it was definitely getting hot as time passed by. I would have to get up and stand in the shade sometimes, because my body just couldn't take it! Isn't it weird how you can be surrounded by water, but still be hot and thirsty?

We passed by a whole slew of castles, I can't even remember all their names! So instead, I'll describe it how I remember it. First we passed by Bingen, and then as we floated along the river we were amazed by the steep valleys and hillsides that were literally blanketed with grape vineyards. Most all of the castles were located high up on the apex of the hills, overlooking the river. I'm pretty sure that if you were in some of the castles we saw, you could look out the window and wave at your neighboring castle across the river.

As we were drifting along, we passed by yet another building built by King Ludwig. It was almost right in the middle of the river and it was on a little island... not very accessible, to say the least!

Eventually we began to end the ferry ride, after a few hours, and came to approach the Loreley bend. The Loreley is famous because it is said to be the place where a beautiful maiden sang and lured sailors to their deaths. Very much so like a siren, it seems. So here we were, standing up on the boat to catch a glimpse of the Loreley statue, and we didn't see it! We were like "what?!". Uncle D was dumbfounded, because he knew he has seen it before. Even when we landed on the shore of St. Goar we still couldn't figure it out.

At St. Goar we stopped by a restaurant and had goulash and rice, then raced back to the dock to catch our ferry. I didn't want to be trapped in the sun again, so I hurried up to the top deck and found us a table where we could sit in the shade. On the way back, we ended up spying the Loreley statue at last. Turns out the reason we couldn't see her was because a bush was in the way! Anyone approaching from upstream couldn't see her very well because of the placement of the foliage. However, going back up the river, she was very easy to spot.

Once we got back, we had some fruit and played canasta again.

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