Krull European Vacation!
August 5, 2014
Dan, Kevin, Rodge and I arrived in Frankfurt, Germany at 8 a.m. CEST from Atlanta, Georgia. After a nine-hour flight filled with meals and movies, we were ready to start our European vacation. With our luggage in tow, we walked through the airport toward the train station. With the signs in both German and English, it was easy to find. When we arrived, we validated our Rail Passes, checked the train schedule and then jumped on the 10 a.m. train to Bacharach.
When we planned our trip, we made the decision to travel by train, so before we left the U.S. we purchased German Rail Passes. The pass covered all of our train travel in Germany, train travel to Salzburg, Austria, tickets for a cruise down the Rhine River and a discount on bus fare down Germany’s Romantic Road. The trains had easy to access schedules, were efficient, reliable, clean and a joy to ride.
We arrived in the small town of Bacharach at 11:30 a.m. As we walked along its narrow cobblestone streets, it was hard to believe we were in one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany. The town situated along the banks of the Rhine River greeted us with its towering hillsides lined with vineyards and streets filled with timber-framed houses. We couldn’t wait to explore the charming laid-back town but first we needed to recharge our batteries in Hotel zur Post, our lodging for the next two nights.
After a much-needed rest, we took a walk along Bacharach’s old town wall. The wall, erected to defend the small town was built between 1344 and 1400. It originally had sixteen guard towers and now only nine remained. We climbed a set of steep stairs and a rugged path along the wall remnants until we arrived at the top of a hill. The views of the town and the Rhine River were magnificent.
As we continued to climb higher, we discovered Stahleck Castle.The medieval towering fortress was constructed around 1135 and throughout its history parts of it were destroyed and rebuilt several times. The last major renovation took place during the early 20th century. In 1926, the castle was reopened as a youth hostel and to this day continues to host young travelers and their families passing through Europe.
We walked around the castle and through its central courtyard, taking in the sweeping views of the Rhine Valley. A path outside the castle led us down along lush vineyards full of Riesling grapes and by one of the towns original guard towers. From the northern viewpoint of the city, we could see several other top sights. We ended our day with dinner at the restaurant Altes Haus, located in Bacharach’s oldest building constructed in 1368.