Monday, September 25, 2006

Wine on the Rhine

At long last, we have finally made it to Germany; Deutchland, as it is really called. We laid our bags in a Rhine-side village named Bacharach (say it in the most backest-back of your throat).

Our B&B host, Ursula, was super. She spoke very little English and we spoke even less German. You might be surprised how effective smiles, coupled with wildly exaggerrated hand gestures are when verbal communication is not possible. Danke, Ursula!

The Rhine Valley is known for their wine. Before tourists discovered the beautiful Rhine, wine making was the area's largest income. In Niagara, the escarpment plays a major role in our world-class vintages. Here, slate in the hills is the major player. The heat from the slate sweetens the grapes, thus making for tastier and more potent wine. We were told the Rhine's premium wines come from the highest vineyards. Now we aren't on a 'premium' kind of budget, but we did enjoy a glass of Bacharach Riesling Trocken (it was from the lower part of the hills). Very tasty.

Taking advantage of the frequent ferries up and down the Rhine, we stopped off at a couple different Rhine villages and toured the Marksburg Medieval Castle. It is a unique castle. Most of the castles overlooking the Rhine were destroyed (courtesy of Napoleon) and later rebuilt in the 1900's 'in the style of' the originals. Not Marksburg, though. It was so well fortified that even Napoleon left it alone. It is one of the most genuine reproductions (inside) of a Medieval castle on the Rhine. It was interesting to see the simple setup of the rooms. Castles are nice tourist attractions, but would make for a cold and uncomfortable residence. I suppose, though, safety was more important than comfort in those days.

Does anyone know our next stop? If you guessed Rothenburg, you are absolutely, positively RIGHT!

Here we go again!


Jessica said...

Yah, I love you Kirsten......Thanks!!!!!!

MOMMY said...

You should have taken some German lessons from Aunt Karin.
Sure wish we could be traveling with you........ it sounds so awesome.
love and smiles

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Anonymous said...

Hi guys: Bob was sitting nearby when I opened your blog site and he asked who the movie stars were. Ha - how cool is that.

I just read Karly's message (guess that is snooping). When did she become so cultured. Sounds like something my Dad would have said.
Love Betsy

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Mom Mooney said...

Thanx for doing such a great job in keeping up the itinery. Helps us to imagine that we're there with you - if only in spirit!
Mom and Dad M

lesleylovesparis said...

hi kristen:) i love the updates! i got my first pay check from teaching woohoo!!!! wish i could fly and meet ya in paris! loving the pics! miss you