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yk+child 1week in Germany Mosel/Rhine region, April 2024

yk+child 1week in Germany Mosel/Rhine region, April 2024

Old Apr 21st, 2024, 05:16 PM
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yk
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yk+child 1week in Germany Mosel/Rhine region, April 2024

Hi everyone! My son (age 11) and I visited the Mosel / Rhine region of Germany last week during my son's April vacation break. I have previously visited this area 21 years ago (!) in 2003 with my mom. We had a very hurried itinerary back then (I was young and didn't know better... and my poor mom who had to keep up with me). This time, our itinerary was still jam-packed but at least we weren't changing hotels every night!

I apologize in advance how verbose I tend to be; but hoping the details will be helpful for others.

Why Germany and Why this area?
My son has remarked a number of times how much he likes sausages (curry wurst etc), spaetzel, and sauerkraut, so he would like to visit Germany on his next trip. For me, my last trip to Germany was 2009, to Berlin. I haven't been back to this area since 2003, and I thought this is an area (castles, roman ruins) that would interest an 11-year-old, rather than big cities with art museums. I also secretly want to return to Germany in Springtime so I can get to eat spargel — white asparagus — which is quite a delicacy in the Spring.

I received a lot of help over on TripAdvisor with detailed Qs about logistics, where to stay, how to divide my time, and also WHAT to see given the sheer number of castles that dotted the banks of the Rhine. I'd say the trickiest part was figuring out train tickets as there are so many different types and different regional tickets that may or may not cover where you want to go that day.

Pre-booking
The only thing I booked in advance was our lodging. All the train tickets, ferry tickets, attraction tickets etc were purchased on the spot, given we were there during low season. Ferry schedules were low season (high season begins the last week of April).

DB app
I downloaded DB app before the trip. The DB app is extremely useful. It has journey planner, showing you UP TO DATE train arrival times (often even more accurate than the displays at the station). It also shows you which platforms the trains will be arriving and departing from, which is CRUCIAL if you have only a minute or 2 to change trains. It also gives you other transport options including bus, trams, S- and U-bahns etc. It shows you the best ticket prices; you can add extra passengers, bicycles, choose 1st class vs 2nd class, choose fast trains vs regional trains, as well as add intermediate stops (which was helpful for us on our last day), and you can buy all your tickets on the app. I find the app easier to use than the ticket machines at the stations (which are fine, they have english, but more finicky). Also, most ticket machines don't have contactless, and when I tried to use my credit card w/chip, it asks for a PIN which I don't have.

Weather
First half of our trip was fairly sunny; our arrival day was the warmest reaching 70F. Gradually it got cooler and cloudier; second half was mostly cloudy with periods of rain, in the 40sF

Our Itinerary
Day 1-3 Mosel area, based in Cochem
Day 4-5 Rhine area, based in Boppard
Day 6 Frankfurt/Darmstadt

In terms of where to stay on the Mosel and Rhine, I am very happy with our choices of Cochem (Mosel) and Boppard (Rhine). Both are slightly bigger towns which suits us well, especially during low season. There were just enough services in these towns for us, and they didn't feel overrun with tourists at this time of year. Smaller towns (which we visited) barely had anything open, esp on weekdays. Also, because we relied on public transit, Cochem and Boppard are towns on the train line that most trains stop. Even then, depending on our destination, we find the trains only run 1x/hr or 2x/hr. If you stayed at a smaller town, you get even less frequent train services. If you have a car then it isn't an issue for you.

Getting around
we relied on public transit — over the course of 6 days, we used:
Airplaine x 2; Train x 15; Bus x 8; Ferry x 4; Tram x 2; Chairlift x 4 (2 chairlifts but counting 4 with going both directions); S-bahn x 1; bike x 1

A few observations
Language — We were in Paris in 2022, Denmark in 2023, and now Germany in 2024. I was surprised how many people in the tourist industry still do not speak English. When we were in Paris and Denmark, everyone we interacted with spoke english. On this trip, majority of them don't — they only have a very rudimentary vocabulary of English. Having said that, we did fine. Almost all restaurants we went to did not have English translation on menus. Thank goodness for google translate and my limited German, we were able to figure out the menus.

Tourists — When I say low season, I wasn't kidding. Towns were very quiet during weekdays. During our entire time in Mosel and Rhine area, we hardly came across anyone who weren't Germans, with the exception of Burg Eltz. At both hotels, all the guests at breakfasts were Germans.

Money — this is another surprise to me. For Paris, I hardly used any cash. In Denmark, I didn't even bother to get money from an ATM. Every place in Denmark takes contactless, even paying for a single ride at Tivoli, or buying a hot cocoa from a stall at xmas market. However, in Germany, I had to look for an ATM by Day 2 (i had brought €100 with me) as a number of places only take cash payments.

Train punctuality — before the trip, I kept emphasizing to my son that we had to be ontime for our trains, because German trains are known to be punctual and won't wait for you. At least that was my experience with my previous trips. However, I was disappointed on this trip that ~ 75% of our train trips were delayed. Most only by 5-10 minutes but there were several trains that were delayed for >20 minutes. This was really surprising to me.

Day 0
We flew Condor Airlines nonstop Boston-Frankfurt. Condor is a much cheaper alternative to Lufthansa, and the planes they fly to US are the newest Airbus 330-neo. It is considered a budget airline and I was a bit hesitant, but the price was too good to pass up. I "splurged" on premium economy for the red-eye, but regular economy on the return. Its so-called premium economy offers a few extra inches of leg room plus foot rest, but seat width is exactly the same. Our 2 tickets were $1900 total.

Another "annoying" feature with Condor is that you cannot pick your seat without paying extra, EVEN within the 24-hr check-in period. When you check in online, they assign you a seat and there is no way you can change to another seat like most other carriers, unless you are willing to pay extra.

The red-eye departs Boston at 4pm. We arrived fairly early because I had read online reviews about long and chaotic check-in lines for Condor at the airport. In addition, when I booked our ticket, either i forgot to enter our "known traveler number" (for TSA pre-check), or there wasn't a place to enter it. So when I checked-in online, neither our boarding passes showed TSA pre-check.

We went to the check-in counter, which had a very short line, and they were able to enter our KTN and reprinted boarding passes with TSA pre-check on it. We decided to check our luggage (free with premium economy) even though we only had carryon size.

We flew out of Logan Terminal E (international terminal), and so much for our TSA pre-check... it doesn't open until 1:30pm and we were there before then, so we ended up having to stand in line with everyone else. Since we still had time to kill, we went to the AirFrance lounge for a bit (thanks to my Priority Pass).

The Airbus 330-neo is 2-4-2, and we were assigned seats A/C. Turns out my seat (C) didn't have a foot rest - flight attendant said some were broken and they hadn't been replaced. ugh. For Premium economy, besides the extra leg room and foot rests, you get a "premium meal" (2 options), a free bottle of water, a bigger pillow and a blanket. I managed to doze on and off throughout but my son decided he wanted to watch 7 hours of movies instead 🙄

We landed around 5:30am Frankfurt time at Terminal 1, and we had plenty of time to kill before our 7:10am regional train to Koblenz. We went through immigration, picked up our luggage, figured out what ticket(s) to buy, and then sat in the Regional train station for almost an hour since the train was 20+ minutes late. [keep in mind there are 2 train stations in FRA, one is the long-distance station for ICE/CE trains; the other is the regional station for regional trains and S-bahns. The 2 stations are a good 10-min walk apart. Both train stations are next to Terminal 1]

Day 1 (Saturday)
To get to FRA-Cochem, one has to change trains in Koblenz. We also have plans to visit Burg Eltz later that afternoon. As a result, the most economical train tickets for us to buy for today are:
point-to-point ticket FRA-Mainz (1 adult + 1 child) €10
and
Rhineland-Pflaz ticket (1 adult + child rides for free) €28 [this ticket covers all journeys w/i in the region for the entire day]
Reason for this is, The R-P T covers the Mosel /Rhine region starting in Mainz, so I need to have a separate ticket to cover the FRA-Mainz segment. We don't need to get off at Mainz as long as we have tickets covering the entire journey.

Luckily despite our FRA-Koblenz train being delayed, we were still able to catch the scheduled Koblenz-Cochem train.[DB app is helpful with finding out in advance which platforms our train will arrive at, and which platform the next train departs from. You can find the info on posted schedules at stations, but with the app, you can look it up while you're still on the train.]

Our hotel in Cochem is Hotel Traumblick, which is located on the other side of the river just across the bridge. It is a good 15-min walk from the train station. We arrived around 10am and unsurprisingly our room wasn't ready. So we left our luggage and headed back to the train station.

Our main event today is visit Burg Eltz. They don't make it easy to visit by public transit. There is a train you can take from Cochem to Hatzenport (20-min ride) but it only runs once an hour. Once you arrive at Hatzenport, you change for Bus 365 for Burg Eltz. The bus runs 2x/hour and it's timed with the train arrival and departure times. The bus ride is another 25 minutes. It drops you off at the carpark at Burg Eltz. From there, it is another 15-min walk to the castle itself; or you can pay and ride the shuttle van. Altogether, it takes minimum 1.25 hour to get there.

We took the 10:44am train from Cochem, and we arrived at Burg Eltz just before 12 noon.(€21 admission for 2) Perhaps it being a Saturday and a sunny warm day, it was pretty crowded. We were told to go in to ask for the next English tour, which was scheduled to start at 12. The tour was packed; they limit the number but I'd say there were at least 25 or 30 of us. Some of the rooms were pretty small but our guide did his very best at making sure we all fit and see everything he pointed out. The tour was just under 1 hour, and we then decided to get lunch at the (very small) cafe at the castle. My son had curry wurst with fries, I had bratwurst and a coffee, and we shared a mango cake. Lunch was €26.

While Burg Eltz is really very pretty on approach (just like what you imagine from fairy tales), it is nestled within the hills so there isn't really a view from the castle itself. Apart from the guided tour, the only other attraction is the treasury, which we breezed through as we weren't too interested in the collection. After that, there really isn't any other sections of the castle you can roam around, so we found ourselves leaving by 2pm so we could take the 2:22pm bus back to Hatzenport and then catch the 2:53pm train back to Cochem.

*unpopular opinion* As I said, the approach to Burg Eltz is really quite dreamy. But after that, I don't think it's that spectacular. I'm one of those who find most interior tours of castles look the same... as soon as I'm finished with a tour, I've already forgotten what the interiors looked like. I mean, they all have similar bedrooms, similar furnishings, similar great hall, similar kitchen etc. While many other castles offer spectacular views from ramparts or walls that you can climb on etc, Burg Eltz offers none of those. So, to spend 2.5 hours to get to and back from Burg Eltz, for a 2-hr visit, I'm not sure it was really worth it. OTOH, my son thought it was REALLY spectacular.

Since it was only 3:30pm by the time we returned to Cochem, I persuaded my son to take a 1-hr boat cruise. We could take the 4:30pm or the 6pm. He opted for 6pm as he wanted to rest a bit at the hotel first. We stopped by the K-D booth and bought our tickets (€20) before going to our hotel to check-in. Once in our room, we both passed out on the bed and reluctantly got up an hour later to take the boat cruise.

This 1-hr panorama round-trip cruise was okay. It wasn't particularly interesting and didn't travel very far before turning back, but it was a relaxing way to spend a beautiful afternoon/evening. Not all the German commentary were offered in English though; I'm not sure why.

After the cruise, we walked around town in search of dinner. The staff at hotel warned us against the restaurants that lined the promenade. We ended up going to a place that's near the city garage called Weinhaus Grδfen which seemed nice. The 2 of us shared a tomato soup and a plate of goulash with spaetzle. I normally don't drink but of course I have to get a glass of Riesling which is one of my favorite wines. Dinner was €29

~ End of Day 1 ~
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 05:22 PM
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Day 1 photos


Approach to Burg Eltz

Panaroma cruise

Beautiful evening on the Mosel river

View of Cochem and its castle from the bridge at dusk
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 06:24 PM
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Wow, beautiful photos! Love your TR, keep it coming!

Lavandula
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 03:11 AM
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Thank you for posting. Following along, expecting to visit Germany later this year and explore the area around the Rhine with a car.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 04:30 AM
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Following along. I'm already exhausted!
Glad I am not the only one to think that of Burg Eltz.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 06:12 AM
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Following along and taking some notes. Great photos.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 08:22 AM
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Loving the details and the photos, yk. That castle is spectacular.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 08:52 AM
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One of my favorite areas, during Covid lockdown I dreamt of buying a house on the Mosel.

While you may not drink, did you walk up into any of the very steep vinyards to see the warmth that gathers in some of the bowls?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 10:49 AM
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I meant to say as well that DB sadly now has a terrible reputation for time keeping and random cancellations and re-routings.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 01:17 PM
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Day 2 - cycling along the Mosel

Day 2 (Sunday)
We were woken up at 8am by church bells; not a bad way to wake up TBH. Today is the only day with good weather forecast, so we chose to do our bike ride along the Mosel. The biking activity was something I really wanted to do, but planning it was a bit overwhelming at first, mainly because I didn't know where to start:
I didn't know where all these towns are, how far the distance, how difficult the terrain, where I can rent bikes, how the paths are (on-road or off-road), whether to do one-way ride + train vs riding a round-trip loop, how easy/ difficult to transport bikes on the trains etc. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have worried so much, as everything worked out well in the end.

The Mosel Cycle Path website is fantastic. The path is broken down into 10 stages which is a good guide. It has the map, description of each stage, distance, elevation, plus elevation map. Others have recommended Stage 7 (Traben-Trarbach to Bullay), but I ended up picking Stage 8 (Bullay to Cochem). My reasoning is: 1) we only need to deal with bikes on trains for 1 leg; 2) the entire route is flat, in fact it is slight downhill the entire way.

Now my next worry is, where can I rent bikes? I emailed the Cochem tourist office ahead of time and they sent me a brochure (in German only) with a list of 4 bike shops. However, while we were there, I think 1 had gone out of business and another one didn't look open on Sundays. Luckily, turns out our hotel has bikes (and e-bikes) for rent so that worked out great!

So, after an excellent hearty breakfast at the hotel, we picked out our (regular) bikes and helmets (€10/day), we headed to the train station for a train to Bullay. I bought point-to-point tickets for us as we only needed a single train ride today (€8). bikes are free on trains on weekends and weekdays after 9am. Both Cochem and Bullay stations have elevators for bikes to get to the platform. Bullay is the next station, a 10-min ride. It is also the last station that is along the Mosel until Trier. From Bullay station it is a short ride to the river where we crossed the bridge to join the cycle path. From there, it is 31.5km to Cochem. The entire journey is flat, and with a slight downhill. (FTR, we left our hotel at 10:10am and arrived at Bullay station at 10:50am, started the Stage 8 ride at 11am)

The towns we rode past include Sankt Aldegund, Bremm, Ediger-Eller, Nehren, Ellenz-Poltersdorf, Ernst. Most of the route is very scenic, and a good chunk of it is completely separated from the road itself. We stopped at Ellenz-Poltersdorf ferry landing, but it doesn't appear the ferry to Beilstein is operational on Sunday. It's a very pretty view of Beilstein from across the river; I think if the ferry were running, we might have considered crossing over for a look. At around 12:30pm we stopped at an Imbiss at Ellenz for lunch. Once again we both had wursts; lunch was €9,20. By that point, we were 2/3 along the way, and my son was feeling it. It also didn't help that the headwind had picked up quite a bit. With a lot of encouragement, we finally returned to Cochem, and we stopped at the foot of Cochem Castle, locked our bikes and hiked up to the castle. It was still quite a beautiful day and we enjoyed the gorgeous view from the castle ramparts. We decided we didn't want to pay for another indoor tour, so we headed down the mountain, and then biked over to the Cochem Sesselbahn and took the chairlift up (€11,85). The chairlift ride is only 7 minutes or so, but just before you get off, don't forget to wave and smile at the camera! You can buy a souvenir photo for a bargain basement price of €2,50 (yes we bought ours!)

Our first stop when we got to the top was the restaurant ☺️ After 31km bike ride, we feel we deserved some ice cream. A big bowl of ice cream + a juice + a coffee + million dollar view from the restaurant terrace = €19. After that, we did the easy walk out to Pinnerkreuz (the cross). It's definitely worth the walk because the view from there is even better than back at the terrace.

After drinking in all the scenery, we took the chairlift down and rode our bikes back to the hotel. We sat out on the balcony of our room for an hour before setting off back to the town center for dinner. After our dinner the night before, I had scouted around and noticed ONE restaurant that was advertising spargel, so that's where we went for dinner tonight — Neos. I ordered completely from the spargel menu: had the spargel cream soup and then the 250g spargel with potatoes and hollandaise sauce. My son chose to have a burger, but he did try the soup and liked it. Dinner was €49,60

~ End of Day 2 ~
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 01:22 PM
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Day 2 photos


View from ferry dock across from Beilstein

View from Cochem Castle

Ice cream from restaurant terrace at Cochemer Sesselbahn

View from Pinnerkreuz

Did someone say spargel?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 01:57 PM
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Enjoying my morning coffee reading your heartwarming report.
What a great holiday with your son.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 06:27 PM
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Day 3 - day trip to Trier

Day 3 (Monday)
Once again we woke up to church bells ringing at 8am. After another great breakfast, we slowly made our way to the train station. There are 2 trains/hr for Trier; a fast train (49mins) and a slow train (64 mins). For today, I bought the Rhineland-Pflaz ticket as that is the best option. We ended up catching the slow train at 10:15am and arrived in Trier a little before 11:30am. Weather-wise, it was still sunny but much colder and very windy.

From the train station, we walked over to Porta Nigra, stopped at the TI to pick up a map, then visited Porta Nigra (€4 for family ticket). Inside the building they have an audioguide you can access via wifi; I picked the kids audioguide, which isn't terribly informative.

Across the TI is a post office where we stood in line for quite a long time in order to buy postage stamps for my son to mail postcards to his friends and family. Next we walked through Hauptmarkt (bought a qt of strawberries) to get to St Peter's Dom. It's free to enter, and we were able to enter the chapel that houses the wooden case that holds the Holy Robe. Last time when I was in Trier, the chapel was not open for visit. From what I could gather, the chapel is only open for 10 days shortly after Easter, and we happened to arrive during these 10 days. My son isn't terribly interested in churches, so we skipped the Church of our Lady next door. Instead, we headed towards the Palace and the Palace garden, towards the direction of Kaiserthermen (Imperial Baths), while also looking for a place for lunch.

Unfortunately, with it being Monday and us away from the main pedestrian zone, the few eateries nearby were all closed. Reluctant to backtrack, we ate our qt of strawberries on a bench at the Palace garden, and pushed on to tour Kaiserthermen (€4). 21 years ago, my mom and I only looked in from the outside but didn't actually pay to enter, and I thought we had seen most of it. It turns out not to be the case! There are many underground passageways beneath the surface, and my son had such a fun time exploring every nook and cranny down there ("perfect place for hide and seek!"). From what I understand, it was never used as baths because the original construction was never finished, and when they restarted working on it again, they converted it to barracks. In any case, I do recommend you pay the entrance fee to visit the underground tunnels.

We soldered on to our final stop, the Amphitheater (also €4), which I also recommend seeing. [Of the 3 Roman ruins we saw, I would say you can skip climbing Porta Nigra.] By the time we were done, we were hungry and tired. Fortunately there is a bus stop right outside Amphitheater, so we hopped on the next bus that took us back to Porta Nigra. (our R-P ticket includes bus fares) We went straight to the nearest eatery — Dean and David — which actually has very good food. My son had mango curry with rice, I had a "paris salad". It was actually 4pm by the time we started eating lunch (€21,40).

Our legs were still tired (probably from biking the day before) so we hopped on the next bus back to Trier train station. The one thing that doesn't make sense to me is for the return train, even though there are also 2 trains / hour, they run at :31 and :41. Of course we had just missed the :41 so we had a long wait for the next train at 5:31pm. It was past 6pm when we got back to Cochem and the rain had arrived. There is actually a bus that runs from the train station to our hotel, but it only runs 1/hour and it wasn't the right time for the bus. Instead, we took the next bus for 1 stop to get to Endertplatz, which is at the bridge. This saves us a good 8-min walk in the rain.

We were about to walk across the bridge back to our hotel, when I remember that there is an ice cream place nearby, so we headed there instead and had ice cream for dinner. It's called Bortolot and they make the gelato looking like spaghetti! On this cold, rainy, Monday night, we were the only customers and they were at least 8 staff members and they were so happy to see us! We shared a dish of spaghetti-looking gelato and I got a coffee. (€14,50)

By the time we finished, it was just the right time for our 1/hr bus that goes to our hotel (it's actually a small van), so we took the bus back instead of walking across the bridge in the rain.

~ End of Day 3 ~
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 06:32 PM
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Day 3 photos


View from the top level of Porta Nigra

Glass case enclosing wooden case enclosing the Holy Robe at Trier Dom

Palace Garden

In the subterranean passageways at Kaiserthermen

Bortolot Spaghetteria

Our "spaghetti" gelato
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 08:29 PM
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Thanks, yk! Good report, fun to be along.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 04:51 AM
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We had white asparagus for dinner on Wednesday last week. We do rather overdose on it during it's very short season.
And if it looks like spaghetti then it must be a meal right?

Lovely photos again.
I'm surprised the Beilstein ferry wasn't running - it should run daily from April 1st.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 05:00 AM
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I do love a good yk and son trip report! That gelato looks delicious.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2
We had white asparagus for dinner on Wednesday last week. We do rather overdose on it during it's very short season.
And if it looks like spaghetti then it must be a meal right?

Lovely photos again.
I'm surprised the Beilstein ferry wasn't running - it should run daily from April 1st.
I could totally be mistaken about the Beilstein ferry; it looked deserted and there was nobody there, the pier was roped off and there was a big 🚫 on the sign (which was in German and I didn't bother to google translate it). Maybe it runs infrequently and we arrived at the wrong time (? lunch hour ?)
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 07:33 AM
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in the uk we have a green asparagus season running which is wonderful
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 07:58 AM
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Day 4 - Rhine Cruise in sun, wind and rain

Day 4 (Tuesday)
We bid farewell to our stay on the Mosel; no sleeping in for us as we needed to catch a 9:18am train to Boppard (via Koblenz). Since breakfast at Hotel Traumblick starts at 8am, we showed up to breakfast room on the dot. The hotel definitely has few guests during weekdays.

I bought another Rhineland-Pflaz ticket (€28) on the DB app, and thought I was very clever about it because we can use it to take the bus (departs from the stop at our hotel at :55) to the train station so we didn't have to drag our suitcase for the 15-min walk. This bus is one of the very few (maybe the only one?) that asks us to scan our QR code... and it didn't work! Turns out it was my miscalculation; the R-P ticket is valid from 9am onward, and the bus was at 8:55am. The driver was kind enough to let us take this free ride to the train station.

Our Koblenz-bound train ended up being over 15 minutes late, which was a big problem because we only had a 9-min connection to catch our onward train to Boppard. I kept checking my app and it appeared that we would miss the connection, but we decided we would still make a run for it. (the app is helpful this way because we know exactly which platform we need to run to). So with our luggage in tow, we dashed across the station from Platform 9 to Platform 1, and to our surprise, they did hold the train for 10 minutes and we got on the train just in time.

We got to Boppard around 10:30am and it was raining. Luckily our hotel, Hotel Garni Gόnther is only a 7-min walk from the train station. Obviously it was too early to check in so we dropped off our luggage and headed back out into the rain. Since our plan for the afternoon is to take a K-D cruise from Bingen to Boppard (w/a stopover in St Goar), we stopped at the K-D booth to inquire about buying tickets. The K-D booth/pier is directly across the street from our hotel. The friendly gentleman informed us that yes there will be a ferry, but he would rather us wait to buy our tickets when we get to Bingen, as his "colleague will be happy to see us." Okay then, we set off back to the train station.

We took the next train to Bacharach (runs 2/hr, 20-min ride) and arrived around 11:30am. Luckily the rain had stopped. the entire town is a ghost town; we didn't see more than 5 people when we walked around. It is very pretty town, with lots of old (I mean, 400 years old) half-timbered houses, but the town is fairly small. What I dislike most however, is the main street (a narrow cobblestoned street) is open to cars, and they really ruin the atmosphere. Given it is a Tuesday and low season, we had a hard time finding any restaurants that are open for lunch. There was one that have Spargel on its menu but it is closed on Tuesdays. Eventually we settled on Posthof where my son had a spicy tomato soup, while I got "serviettenknφdel" with mushroom sauce. It is a bread pudding which I don't think i've come across before in my travels. Lunch was €34,40

We then had to dash back to the train station to get to Bingen (stadt), as our ferry departs at 2:30pm. You guessed it, our train was over 25 minutes late. Eventually the next train arrived but this is a local one that stops in Bingen Hbf for 20 minutes before it sets off for Bingen stadt (which is only a 4-min ride). Not wanting to sit on the train for 20 minutes, and THANKS TO DB APP, I saw there is bus departing right then that goes to Bingen stadt. So we jumped off our train and ran out to the bus stop, and caught the bus just as it was leaving.

We made our way to the K-D booth just before 2pm, and the lady there was truly happy to see us. In fact, she told us that her colleague in Boppard had phoned her to let her know we were coming. And yes, we were the only 2 customers for this ferry. She said the town center is pretty dead quiet. Ferry ticket = €39,40 with a train ticket discount (discount is only valid for adult fares).

We had 20 minutes to kill so we walked into the town center for a quick look, and it was only then when I realized Hildegard von Bingen was from Bingen. (her name comes up not too infrequently in classical music world.)

We boarded our K-D ferry, which actually departs from Rudesheim and has about 20 ppl on board, and there were an additional family of 4 who got on in Bingen with us. The entire boat had no more than 30 people. It was chilly and extremely windy (wind gusts of 20mph), but the sun was out, so we stayed up on the top deck the entire time. (We are from New England and we brought enough warm clothes including wool hats, scarves, gloves and warm jackets. We were the only ones who stayed on the deck the entire time.) It was so windy that the stacked chairs on the top deck were blown all over the place.

This K-D ferry has both German and English narration, and not too boring for my son. We rode downstream so it's faster than the other direction. This boat journey ends in St Goar; in order to get back to Boppard, we have 1hr20 mins in St Goar before picking up the next ferry that goes to Boppard.

The clouds were gathering when we docked at St. Goar. We took some pics of the castle, followed the other tourists to the only souvenir shop (the one that sells cuckoo clocks) and came out empty-handed. Since there's still time to kill, we did the next touristy thing — stopped at a cafe for coffee, hot cocoa, and cake (€16,40).

Our Boppard-bound ferry departs at 5:30pm, so we were at the pier by 5:20pm and we were the only 2 people. It started pouring, I mean sheets of rain coming down sideways, and there is no shelter nearby. Despite each of us having an umbrella, our pants were soaked, and there was no ferry in sight. Finally a man came over to wait with us; he is a local and is visiting his grandmother in Boppard, and he reassures us that the ferry is coming. He said the ferry does a sightseeing cruise around Loreley and will stop at St Goar to pick us up to bring us to Boppard. Finally we saw the ferry through the heavy rain, and after docking a group tour got off and the 3 of us got on. The staff on the boat welcomed us warmly and told us this is our own private cruise 😊

This time we sat inside because the pouring rain continued for the entire hour of the cruise. Luckily the rain lightened up when we got back to Boppard, and the fact that our hotel is like 20' from the pier. We checked-in, got to our room, and my son immediately took a hot shower. He didn't want to go out again, so I checked the map on my phone and saw an Asian restaurant nearby, where I went over and got take-out. Dinner was €16,80.

~ End of Day 4 ~
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