The legendary river, which originates in the Alps and combines territory Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands, was stretched across the countries in the 1320 km long. A dream for any traveler will be a journey across stretches of water, which will open the stunning scenery of the city of Basel, Strasbourg, Mannheim, Mainz, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Arnhem. Not surprisingly, the Rhine – one of the most important waterways in the world.
A memorial angle
While expressing his respect for the beauty of the German people has long been called the Father Rhine. In the city of Koblenz powerful Father Rhine meets the Moselle Mother, that is, there is the mouth, where the Moselle flows into the Rhine. The area, which marks this event, it is impossible not to notice: in form it resembles a triangle, which is also called the German angle. Here are exhibited two rows of flags – 16 flags in each federal land. Crowned composition huge (literally) monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I.
In the long history of the statue, which started back in 1888. Then Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to build a monument to his predecessor, Koblenz, in gratitude for the unification of Germany in three wars. After about 10 years of design and performed above the Rhine proudly towered monument height of 37 m, 14 m of which – the height of the statue of William I. Like most of the architectural monuments in Germany, it affects only one size and massiveness.
However, it was not always – at the end of World War II, the statue was severely damaged, and subsequently melted. In the long history of the statue, which started back in 1888. In its place was the new symbols – the flag of Germany – and then there were the first German flags along the corner. The pedestal is almost dismantled the French invaders, but he was saved by a lack of funds. In the early 90-ies of the statue of Kaiser was cast again, and since 2002, German angle is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Romantic castle interweaving
From the very beginning of the Rhine entwined romantic legends and fascinating history. Reinforce the impression of the river, dotted with medieval castles, forests and vineyards. By the way, the distance from Koblenz to Rudesheim – about 90 km, and the castles along the way meets more than 40! Each lock has its own name and legend.
For example, locks and Libesshtayn Sternberg called brothers who fight because of the beautiful girl. The castle Schonburg lived seven sisters who very long time to get married, and once, during smuggle across the Rhine, turned into seven rocks. Two more of the castle for a long time get along with their nicknames – Cat and Mouse: they are on opposite sides of the Rhine, and never reconciled with each other …
On this route the tourists usually offer an excursion to a single one of the many castles along the Rhine, which retained a medieval interior (the rest is converted into restaurants or hotels, or even a school of art of hunting with falcons). It is about Maksburge – this fortress whose path – a steep climb up the now-asphalt road. Massive oak key opens the gate – the time and space to instantly change.
Here visitors can plunge into medieval life, peering into the depths of the Rhine with high stone walls, looking awesome collection of military guns and armor of different times, walking through the chambers of chivalry, studying with a huge kitchen stove and a small vegetable garden where they grow the same vegetables and herbs that then, in the ancient times. The castle is making every effort to provide guests with a touch of antiquity – create the appropriate surroundings, tell stories so many legends associated with this place.
The most famous legend that lives in a castle Maksburg – about unrequited love young girl. The daughter of the family Epstein – former owners of the castle – fell in love with the bold and handsome young man, but the war blocked the way of their love. The man went to the battlefield, and the girl was left pending. Then there was the mysterious Black Knight, who suggested a beauty hand and heart. He seduced her for so long and convincingly, that in the end she agreed to go with him down the aisle, but then something unexpected happened. Monk Mark sensed danger, whether he was partial to the young beauty, went to the knight and his pure hand touched the righteous. Knight became the Devil and forever leave this place, but the girl from a family of Epstein and remained unmarried.
The capital of Rhine tourism
So called Rudesheim – the wine capital of Europe. The town has a population of no more than 2,000 people annually receives millions of tourists. As recognized by local traders, most of all love this place not even the Europeans and the Japanese. They come in large groups, purchasing and red and white, happy to choose souvenirs. For them even specially made signs in Japanese, showing curious tourists, where you can buy and taste the famous wines.
In fact, it is obvious that you find yourself in a tourist town – around a neat whitewashed houses, small streets tidy, red geraniums and vines. Shops skillfully decorated with drawings and symbols everywhere tempting to call themselves souvenir and liquor stores so cozy restaurants.
Once in Rüdesheim, should definitely look into the store under the guise of «Droffelhof», where friendly and, most importantly, flashy suits German wine and tells jokes about the KGB. Wine collection hits a grand scale, and charisma owner does not leave anyone indifferent, so you have to be prepared for the fact that the empty-handed no avoiding.
Souvenirs are very different – from cheap icons for 0.50 Euro to household items, furniture and clocks, which are far superior in value. It is impossible to walk past items for the home – decorative mugs, cups, glasses, coasters, napkins, tablecloths, fairy figurines, as well as the wonderful toys in traditional clothing.
The fatal Lorelei
The rapid flow passes under the Lorelei rock, where the Rhine reaches its greatest depth. According to legend, it was here, on a rock, once sat in sorrow young beauty and singing…
But it all started, as usual, from love. Lovely Laura, the daughter of a fisherman, had an amazing voice and long golden hair. Whoever came to her woo, no it did not meet the agreement, and one day she met a knight, who fell in love at first sight. He took her to the castle and wanted to marry her, but his old mother has refused such a step, because the girl was poor. The man obeyed, and went to another, leaving the beloved. The old countess had driven Laura, so the girl was nowhere to go – at home just laughed her grief.
Then Laura went to the Rhine, where she sang sad songs sitting on a rock. River God heard her, looked out of my crystal castle at the bottom and made the amazing power of beauty. Her heart was dumb, but the voice sounded like that all the fishermen throwing oars and drifted toward the divine singing. All the rumor went around the neighborhood golden-haired witch.
Meanwhile, back home knight who realized that will never be happy without Laura. He learned that his mother had died, and a favorite for a long time does not live in his village. The man realized that his Laura – the girl on the rock. He got into the boat and swam to her voice. Whirlpool seized him and dragged along with Laura at the bottom of the Rhine – she could not remain indifferent to the misfortune of the one she loved the most.
Since then, the rock is called Lorelei (“Laura’s rock”), and a dangerous whirlpool, and so far, despite the twenty-first century, sink ships.
How to arrange travel to a fairy tale
If the story about the wonderful Rhine interested you should contact the travel company. My trip was organized by the so-called Reisebuero Viktoria – it’s central office is located in Dusseldorf. This company arranges Russian-speaking tours and excursions not only in Germany but in other European countries. The journey from Koblenz to Rudesheim costs about 140 euros per person. It is necessary to take into account the cost of all tours and shopping, so it is advisable to carry an additional 50 to 300 Euros.
As a one-day excursion, accommodation should not spread to different cities – you can live in Dortmund in one of the hotels. It will cost from 30 euros per night (low prices relate to students’ hotels – hostels, where the conditions are not the best). Decent Hotel Ibis – branch Accor hotels, where the night is about 65 Euro.
More should be said about the flight (to go to Germany for cars – not for the faint of heart). A ticket from the German company Lufthansa in one end will be worth an average of 320 Euros per person.
Regarding the organization of the trip to the Rhine, we got advice from Ms. Karina, employee travel agency Art & Journey:
“We have been working since 1992, we arrange customized tours to any destination in the world, taking into account the needs and wishes of the client. Especially popular are traveling to Europe, Asia, Africa (safari in Kenya and Tanzania).
We can arrange a trip by the client, but it’s not a very popular choice and not a very easy task, for it undertake, when a person already has a visa. With the German embassy is very difficult to find a common language. One day there was a case where one man won a certificate for travel to Germany, and he was not allowed – only spoiled the mood of the person and the passport…
From December 30 to January 9, we will arrange a New Year’s cruise. It is a journey through the Rhine, including 5 European countries: Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands. In fact, the trip from Basel to Amsterdam. The cost of the cruise – from 1490 to 2200 Euros per person. This price includes accommodation in a cabin, food, music evenings and New Year’s Eve. We’ll have to pay extra for airfare, sightseeing tours, visas, health insurance, transfers.
Germany – not exotic. It’s all pretty much the same as ours, except that the language of the other, and prices are higher. My advice – stock up on money, because everything in the Euro and all expensive. Second – if you take a car, watch out for speed – it is better not to exceed. And, of course, bring your camera and a good mood! “