On the Rhine, day 3.

Monday was spent on a cruise up the Rhine river past Mainz to St Goarshausen-Loreley.  Despite our best efforts to wake up extra early – I was in the shower before 7am – we had to run through the Romer to catch our boat.  We grabbed coffee and breakfast at the hotel, thinking we were on track until Staci looked at her watch and noticed we had less than 15 minutes to make it.  So there we were, like a couple of tourists jogging past the old districtäs houses and churches while the locals were making their way to work.

The ticket seller properly scolded us for getting their just in time for launch, and the cruise itself was a pretty good deal.  Only 35 euros each, and that included the train ticket for our return.  Our US Soccer caps gave us away to some of the other Americans on board, their was a couple from San Antonio, and later another guy wearing the same cap.  The beginning of the trip was slow without much to see.  Gray rain clouds threatened to dampen the day as we made our way past loading docks, electric plants, and small fishing towns on our way out to Mainz and the Rhine.

Past Mainz, the scenery turned more picturesque and almost every ten or so minutes there was a German castle on one bank or the other.  By now, the skis had cleared and the sun came out strong.  Enough that Staci now has a verz distinct watch tan and I a farmer’s tan.  By 1:15, the boat dropped us off in Rudesheim am Rhine for transfer to another boat to continue.  Rudesheim was a quaint town famous for its surrounding vineyards and wine.  We found a restaurant to have a glass of Riesling and Bratwurst for lunch, and there were many tourist shops along its narrow streets.  We’re thinking of going back there on Friday to explore it further.

We had to run again to catch the boat, somehow we’re not keeping track of time well when there isn’t a soccer match to see.  Our last passage brought us up to Lorelei, famous for its murmuring rock and some German song played on the boat as we approached the town.  At this point, we knew we were near our final destination to catch the train back.  We grabbed our bags and belongings and headed to the front of the boat to disembark at St. Goars, which we thought was the same as St Goarshuassen listed in our itinerary.  We stepped off the boat oblivious to the fact that no one else from Frankfurt was getting off and me saying something to the effect of "We know what we’re doing," when Staci brought up the matter. As we walked along the river looking for the train station, we had seen trains running on either side of the river, Staci looked back to see our boat docking on the other side of the river next to a huge sign reading "St. Goarshaussen."  Oops, we’d gotten off on the wrong bank.  Quickly, we deciphered that Fahre was German for "ferry" no doubt aided by the ferry boat loaded with cars and passengers crossing the river at this point.  We missed the 4:30 train out of Loreley and found ourselves with two hours to spend in what we found was a town without anything to spend that much time on.  We sat by the river watching the boats pass by and then headed up to the train station to get out of town.

The train ride back to Frankfurt was uenventful only because we had a hard time staying awake the whole time after a long day in the sun.  Our walk back to the hotel was threatened by storm clouds but the rain held off until we got back to our room.  We concluded the night with a long, relaxing dinner to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary.