Simon left Rome very early in the morning and landed at Frankfurt-Hahn airport, hired a car and drove to meet me at Oberwesel. Happily freewheeled down the hill to find him waiting in the car park. We wandered through the quaint town and milky coffee and a large slice of romantic cake at the Konditorei-caffè Bonsch.
For the sake of love I let him ride my bike sans-panniers for 17 kms to Boppard while I drove the cumbersome car. There he surprised me with a booking at the extraordinary Bellevue Rheinhotel. A luxurious room with a river view! Lovely place for some pampering.
No cycling this weekend but as Simon is known to be a no-limits man, we managed to visit five different castles on one day. Including the infamous Loreley rock. “Die Loreley” is a poem written by Heinrich Heine in 1824 which describes a lovely siren sitting on the slate cliff above the Rhine and combing her golden hair. She unwittingly distracted shipmen with her beauty and song causing them to crash on the rocks.
The tour was not without a good number of wine tasting sessions. This is Riesling territory after all.
One cannot escape sampling the German beer as well, and eating enormous helpings of tasty food under the hanging baskets of geraniums and rose covered pergolas. It was all supremely majestical.
We also took a small boat over to an island to see the customs house. Once the passing ships had to stop to pay taxes here. History on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pfalzgrafenstein_Castle
Here are loads of photographs which tell the story.
The horseshoe which belonged to the devil, was embedded in the road when the people rolled a barrel down upon him as he tried to enter the town….
Day 36 – Boppard to Bad Honnin
Simon had to leave very early on Monday morning to get back to the office in time.
He was not there to see me heading off north down river, hopping from coast to coast by ferry, whenever things looked more interesting on the opposite bank. The track is perfect up until Koblenz where it gets a bit lost in the industrial zone. An older couple stopped me to complain, they thought it was an idyllic riverside tour all the way. It soon became idyllic once again.
Having got lost and eventually crossed over the train bridge at Ermitz, the path fizzled out, and I found myself struggling along in the grass. But after some panicky moments in a dark wood, up popped a lovely girl with a dog, and said I should persist. Soon a town popped up and I felt much more on the right track. There are many lovely little villages along the way, but now they are much flatter and more spread out.
Linz am Rhein.
Found the super Bacchus garten at Leyscher Hotel in Leutesdorf under giant walnut trees on the river bank for lunch.
The track was closed, so I shot onto the ferry just in time. On the opposite bank was another ferry just ready to go, so hopped onto that one, so zigzagged a bit to avoid the construction works.
Later that afternoon I was happy to accept a very generous invitation to stay with our friends Rolf and Bianca in Bad Honnef. They treated me to a sumptuous BBQ with good Italian wine and a lovely guest room. Fabulous friends.