Because Sheila wants to tell you „Warum ist es am Rhein so schön“ (why it is so beautiful at the Rhine River she decided I should write another big blog.
Deutschland Koblenz Ehrenbreitenstein
As Sheila likes to travel on paddle wheel boats and knows strange, strange stories about them she went with another pearl of those ships and went on tour on the Goethe, a ship of the fleet of KD „Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Reheinschiffahrt“ (KD).
KD 2016 was one of the longest continuously listed stock companies world wide and celebrated it’s 190 years anniversery. It was delisted 2017 due to the change of owners. Their famous historic more than 100 year old side-paddle steamer (biggest of it’s kind world wide) is no real steam boat any more as the old steam engine was exchanged into a modern engine but it still uses the side paddles. The old engine is in a museum in Cologne.
To enjoy tax advantages former german „Goethe“ now is a subject of Malta. The ship was set of the German criminal movy comedy „Pizza Colonia“ while being beached by the dreaded german TÜV (technical surveillance authority) , with actors Mario Ardorf and Willy Millowitsch. Mario Ardof played the reataurant owner, he did again in another iconic movy „Rossini – oder die mörderische Frage wer mit wem schlief“.–> Rossini
Sheila went on the nostalgic route through the UNESCO world cultural heritage area „Mittelrheintal“ from Koblenz to Bingen.
Sheila just recently learned that she was not the first Duck to roam the Rhine River. 2012 Duck „Nadia“ went all the way from the spring to the mouth of the Rhine river at the North Sea accompanied by the DLRG (German Live Saving association) for the TV show „Kopfball“.
She insisted that the trip had to be documented as profoundly and cheesyly as possible. We started in Koblenz in front of the impressive fort Ehrenbreitstein.
I had to get us a map in the harbour in Koblenz before we started and Sheila helped to start the engine
The beautiful Goethe paddle-wheel ship in front of Ehrenbreitenstein on the other shore and Kurfürstliches Schloss Koblenz
before and short after the start
After the start we made ourselves familiar with the safety equipment on the boat and passed Castle Lahneck at Lahnstein at the inlet of the Lahn River.
Schloss Stolzenfels, headquarter of the management of the castles at the Mittelrhein, a nice place to work at.
The Martinsburg was one of the Castles where the electors and their entourage were put up during the elections and negotiations for the election of the german kings at the Königstuhl in Rhense. Those events where accompanied by big festivals for the commons.
Deutschland Königstuhl von Rhens
Of course Sheila on the way had to be spoiled with nice food and drinks, which also look good on pictures. So to start with I got her a Aperol Spritz at Rhens where the Königstuhl is situated (don’t mix up with Königstuhl Heidelberg or Odenwald or Rügen). It was here were the second Wittelsbacher German King „Ruprecht von der Pfalz“ was nominated german king as only german king with also his own vote on the „Königstuhl von Rhens“ the original building for incoronation however is not preserved, what you get to see is a newer copy from 1842.
As you can see while we were there, there was a significant high water situation after a lot of rain in early summer and the powerful Goethe paddle wheeler had to work hard but did so with outstanding perfomace. During that time there were several wrecks on the river which was partly blocked but not where we were. We had no Problem to catch up or pass even the fastest boats although we had to stopp in many harbours. Berthing was a challange many times but the crew was excellent.
The Marksburg at the City of Braubach, one of the iconic Castles at the Rhein appeared on a stamp 1977 (60 Pfennig).
The Kurfürstliches Schloss Boppard was built by Richard Von Cornwall (earl of Cornwall) born 1209 in Winchester, † in Berkhamsted 1272 , a nephew of Richard Lionhart and richest land owner in England. He became disputed german king 1257 in the confusing time of the Interregnum but never made it to Rom to be crowned emperor though starting his trip to Rom several times.
Kamp-Bornhofen is another popular tourist village along the Rhine River. On the territoriy of the municipality Loreley are lying the famous Castles „Feindliche Brüder“ (hostile Brothers Castles Sterrenberg and Liebenstein)
Deutschland Feindliche Brüder
There is a famous tale about the argument of the two Hostile Brothers, guess about what, of course a woman. It appeares in Heinrich Heines „Buch der Lieder“. The brothers Heinrich and Konrad grew up in the Castle of Boppard and their father also put up orphan „Hildegard Brömser“ (maybe a remote Family member, maybe to support him in his old days). The father of the two built two castles on the other side of the Rhine for his sons next to each other. Both brothers fell in love with Hildegard. Hildegard married (other sources was engaged with) Konrad, Heinrich the younger brother in lovesickness went on a crusade and prooved to be a hero, Konrad followed on the crusade but only made it to Athens, Greece. –> Greece Heinrich returned first and took care of Hildegard but respected the engagement / marriage of his brother. Finally Konrad returned too but with a beautiful greek women at his side. Heinrich could not bare that Insult and built a wall between the two castles and a duell was arranged. Hildegard prevented it by stepping between the brothers and moving into monastary Marienberg in Boppard. The beautiful greek women was not faithful and left Konrad soon. The Brothers reconsiliated, Konrad died few years later and Heinrich moved into monastary Bornhofen. Heinrich and Hildegard died the same day and it’s said that the death bells of Marienberg and Bornhof rang at the same time.
Heinrich Heine 1797-1856 spread fake news in the „Buch der Lieder“ 1827 in his poem which Robert Schumann turned into a song „Die Feindlichen Brüder„. The brutal duell mentioned in it never took place. Heine had jewish roots and his great work was later derided by the Nazis.
Deutschland Burg Maus
Burg Maus, the smaller castle of the two Castles „Katze“ (Neukatzeneinbogen) and „Maus“ whose construction started 1353 belonged to the archbishops of Trier. It puts up a falconry park. I never mentioned the Sheila is a big Tom and Jerry fan and likes this episode a lot.
Deutschland Burg Rheinfels
Burg Rheinfels built 1245 once was the biggest fortress between Koblenz and Bingen. It was built by Diether V. von Katzeneinbogen in a way that it was invulnerable at that time and Diether unlawfully collected tolls but could not be punished in his save castle. Together with the Castle on the other side of the Rhine, he could chare toll twice, from the boats sailing upstream and downstream. („St. Goar Doppelzoll“ , double toll, a nice place to work at). The ruin was baught 1843 by later prussian emperor Wilhelm I. who prevented further destruction after it was destoyed by frensh troops at the end of the 18’th century. Wilhelm and the prussians liked to spent their holidays in the area and enjoyed the wine.
Deutschland Burg Katz
Burg Katz, the bigger one of the two Castles „Katz“ an „Maus“. Did I mention that Sheila is a big Tom and Jerry fan? She is especiall fond of the episodes with the Little duck, always wih a happy end for the duck.
Deutschland St. Goar
As we were approaching the pinnacle of cheesiness close to St. Goar at the Rhine and next to it on the other side of the Rhine, St. Goarshausen, connected with a ferry boat, I had to get Sheila a typical wine for the area, a Riesling.
The sailors at the Loreley Rock , which is situated on the municipality „Loreley“, always had to beware of the beautiful blond girl sitting on top of the rock combing her hair singing seductively and being pretty. And too of the nice lone blond travelling girl on board which had to take a lot of pictures of the fellow travellers and also had been photographed too with them on board. Listen to this nice iconic german song with the text of Heinrich Heine and also to this extra krauty Version. The tale of the Loreley might refere to the antique tale of the Seirenes of the greek Odyssee who lived on island at Sicilia, Italy.
The Rhine river here is narrow and the current strong, a dangerous place.
And here is another story of a maybe dangerous Unlucky Duck.
On top of the Rhine valley next the the Loreley is a open air concert area where another romantic music performance took place 2016 the time we were there. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Guests appeared here in the Monsters of Rock Festival 2016. Keep rainbows in mind, it’s a small world.
Deutschland Oberwesel Schönburg
Still deeply moved by the romantic passage of the Loreley Rock Sheila passed the castle Schönburg at Oberwesel and had a cake and a nice cup of coffee on board.
Deutschland Burg Gutenfels
Sheila in front of Castle Gutenfels and one of the ferries crossing the Rhine river.
Deutschland Burg Pfalzgrafenstein
Famous iconic Castle Pfalzgrafenstein at Kaub 1326-27 was built by Wittelsbacher Emperor Ludwig der Bayer. It provided for a nice source of toll income for the Wittelsbacher. Sheila says, a knight is a robber knight with a title. It is for the biggest part preserved in it’s original condition.
Deutschland Burg Stahleck Bacherach
Castle Stahleck at the famous wine town Bacherach.
Deutschland Ruine Fürstenberg
Ruine Fürstenberg at Rheindiebach
Deutschland Ruine Nollig
The Heimburg at Niederheimbach
Deutschland Burg Sooneck
Castle Sooneck is dating back till 1271 was besieged and conquered and destroyed 1282 by King Rudolf von Habsburg, the first roman-german king of the Habsburger dynasty. It was rebuild 1349 with the permission of emperor Karl IV. –>Nuremberg
Deutschland Burg Reichenstein
Deutschland Burg Rheinstein
Approaching the end of the trip and Bingen am Rhein, we finished eating and drinking and could visit the interior of the ship. Sheila in front of the mighty paddle wheels o the „Goethe„, still working.
Deutschland Mäuseturm Bingen
„Mäuseturm Bingen“ built at the beginning of the 14.’th century has it’s name from a tale and was another toll station. Cruel archbishop Hatto II. from Mainz during a time of starvation did not give his wheet to the poor hungry people asking for it. As they continued begging he instead locked them in a barn and set it on fire, mocking the poor dying, screeming people inside . Masses of mice came out ouf the barn and went all over the place, into the home of the bishop. So that the bishop fled into the tower. But in it he again found himselve amids mice which ate him up alive.
Bingen with the Castle Klopp.
With all the emperors, dukes and earls this story of course needs another true king at the end. This heroric memorial Niederwalddenkmal with the „Germania“ on top of it was built above the City of Rüdesheim after the german-frensh war 1870/71 which Germany won. Assmannshausen is situatad a bit North of it and there is a nice walking trail from Rüdesheim to Assmannshausen. And it has a cable lift to the Niederwald hill too. Assmannshausen was a popular Holiday spot for german Nobility, Wittelsbacher Sisi, (Sissi, Sissy) was there too, prussian emperors Willhelm I., II. , chancelor Otto Von Bismarck, –>Deutsches Museum and many more. Assmannshausen is famous as „Rotweininsel“ (Island of red wine) in a area which is dominated by Riesling (white) and for some of Germanie’s best Pinot Noir wines (Burgungder).
Famous german brandy destillery Asbach is based in Rüdesheim and the KD ship line also operates ships named „Asbach“ in cooperation with the destillery. I just recently baught some goodys from the fine destillery in the „Reber“ coffee shop in Bad Reichenhall.(Reber seems to cooperate with Asbach who used to have a own shop next door but the Asbach shop is no longer there. I just shared o n e great tasting candy with Sheila.
But back to the king. There is another cable lift (old-fashioned kind of like the one up on the Eckbauer Mountain in Garmisch-Partenkirchen) from Rüdesheim to the „Niederwalddenkmal“ and guess who rode it together smooching with Juliet Prowse in the controversy movy GI Blues 1960.
Elvis Presley, the King.
Elvis showing Prowse his „Pocketful Of Rainbows„. I told you before, keep rainbows in mind. The film was criticised for showing american soldiers fooling around with „German Fräuleins“ and for Elvis misstreating good german folk music („Muss i denn“) singing „Wooden Heart“ up in a Inn at the mountain station of the lift (Here is another version which shows the international impact of that song).
Elvis was never there though, it was shot in the studios in the USA. Prowse who left Frank Sinatra before because he kept her up in her career and Elvis had a love affair during the shot, a scandal in the 1960’ties and Sheila even before searching the web suspected that fact watching the scene in the cable lift. The film was very successful though.
Elvis also sang the song „No more or La Paloma“ , favorite song of Emperor Maximilan I. of Mexiko. a Cousin of Sissi. Maximilian before also lived in Castle Miramar in Triest (today Italy). The song was played maybe during his execution in Mexiko 1867 or at least when the boat which braught home his dead body left Mexiko. It was long forbidden to play it on Marine Ships of the austrian k & k Marine and on ships using the k & k flag. This was one of the questions to be answered when applying for an autrian sailing diploma. It was extremely popular in Mexiko and all over the world, maybe the most popular song of the world.
Now Sheila thinks this story is cheesy enough.
Deutschland Rüdesheim Drosselgasse
To finish the day Sheila had a excellent Schwarzwälder Kirsch cake, a coffee and a Asbach Brandy. In the Background behind the street and the busy rail tracks is the our ship the Goethe which was bringing us back later and we watched the beggar making a lot of Money at this strategic place close to the iconic, world famous shopping street Drosselgasse. We saw one window full of rubber ducks on sale.
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