Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
[ source: Wikipedia]
The KD cruises offers daily service to explore the wonderful, romantic Rhine Valley with its good wines, historic villages, beautiful castles and stately homes covering 65 kilometers of the most stunning scenery on both banks of the Rhine. After a short and wonderful stay in Rüdesheim, you can take the KD cruise at around noon which arrives into St.Goar in around 1 hour 40 minutes and en route crossing the wonderful towns of Bingen (Bingen vacation rentals | Bingen travel guide), Assmanhausen, Lorch (Lorch vacation rentals | Lorch travel guide) and Bacharach. The good thing is that if you are traveling on Rail Europe and on the German Rail Pass, it is valid for travel on the KD Rhine river cruises as well, the perfect was to explore the romantic Rhine region.
Along the way to St. Goar, we were able to see some stunning castles such as the Stahleck Castle, a 12th Century castle near Bacharach (Bacharach vacation rentals | Bacharach travel guide) which was built on the orders of the Archbishop of Cologne (Cologne vacation rentals | Cologne travel guide) and overlooks the Rhine and Loreley valley. It was destroyed in the late 17th Century and later built in the early 20th Century and is now a hotel. As we sailed along, we arrived at the most photographed castle on the Rhine - the Pfalz Castle. This castle, built in the 13th Century on the river bed near the town of Kaub (Kaub vacation rentals | Kaub travel guide), was an ancient toll booth of sorts and made the town of Kaub one of the wealthiest on the river along with the Gutenfels Castle, which is now a hotel.
Onwards you cruise along to the romantic Rhine region of the Loreley - a 433 feet high slate cliff near the town of St.Goar where we were to disembark and spend a couple of hours in this town of the Rheinfels Castle - the largest and most imposing castle on the Rhine. On arrival we boarded the Castle Express which took us up to the Rheinfels Castle from the town centre. It is a train on wheels and goes through the Market Place. The Castle Express operates from 1st April until 31st October and costs 3 Euros for a round trip to and from the Castle for an adult and 2 Euros for a child. It operates every 25 minutes from the St. Goar "Martkplatz" and the Rheinfels Castle car park and is a good way to go up to the castle.
The last leg of our Rhine cruise and on to Koblenz (Koblenz vacation rentals | Koblenz travel guide) where we were to arrive in 2 hours 15 minutes and part of the Romantic Rhine route with a wide range of castles along the way. As the cruise boat started off from St. Goar, on the other side of the Rhine, at a distance was the Cat Castle situated on a rocky mountain and now is a privately owned property. Further down there was the imposing Stolzenfels Castle which was built by Karl Friedrich as a 19th Century palace as an epitome of Rhine Romanticism. The castle with the yellow facade can be visited to see the original furnishings as well as the collections of armour and weapons. As we were approaching Koblenz, besides the stunning scenery of wonderful buildings and castles, we came across a building which had Konigsbacher written on it and it is a brewery that makes beer and situated close to Koblenz and sells its products to chains of stores and supermarkets across Germany.
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