So Mark jinxed us by saying we were trying to avoid paying for data; in the Rhine valley you need to be staying at one of the hotels to get free wi-fi.
Wednesday night on our return from the cycle ride in and out of Germany and Belgium along the Vennbahn we found that the campsite in Aachen was jam packed and people were looking for spots wherever they could. The plots were quite wide, so there is room for an awning. We don’t have one. An Italian gentleman asked if he could park alongside us in our space. He was so grateful that we said yes and he and his friend (who found a slot just opposite) didn’t have to drive on with their whining children in the back to another campsite that we earned ourselves a bottle of Piedmontese wine.
Yesterday we moved on from Aachen to the Rhine valley. After a fraught drive through Koblenz when we had to be in the outside lane and then the inside lane and then the outside lane again with a temporary indicator failure (now fixed)… we have settled in St Goar in the shadow of the Loreley rock. We subsequently realised looking at the guide book of the Rhine that Mark’s mum gave us that we had parked bang in the middle of the front cover photo. I think this may be a prime spot.
It took us a while to find the siren of the rocks. We thought she might be like the Little Mermaid who was on loan to Japan when we went to Copenhagen. After a bit of manoeuvring this morning we now have a spot right on the river side and can watch the cruise ships, barges and trains of every kind go past.
There are trains along both sides of the valley so Mark is close to being overwhelmed; he certainly doesn’t know which way to look.
We took a trip up to Burg Rheinfels and wandered around the Medieval ruins on Wednesday afternoon.
Today we cycled as far as Niederheimbach stopping at Bacharach on the way for a walk round the town walls. At Niederheimbach we walked up to Burg Sooneck to have a virtually private tour of the castle. The guide was perplexed why he had only 4 in our group when on a normal summer afternoon he’d be showing about 30 people around at a time. It was good for us that the group was so small. The tours are only in German, so I had enough time as we went round to listen to the guide and then translate it for Mark. We both learnt a lot about the Prussian kings who rebuilt the castle as a weekend hunting lodge on the site of a ruin (Louis XIV’s troops had destroyed it).
Returning via Oberwesel – billed as the town of towers and wine – it seemed appropriate to try some of the local white wine.
We are now settled in for dinner on the riverside and Mark is testing out the local DAB signal, which he approves of, the DAB project is going to take more than a week to let him go!