|Ready to roll - 220kms to go The flight to Frankfurt and then train to Mainz go without a hitch. On arrival in Mainz we realise we have no idea where the hotel is, so we pile our bags into a taxi and tell the driver Hotel Konigshof. He turns and points 100metres down the road. Sheepishly we unload the bags and walk across the street.|
We've booked a five day six night trip running along the Rhine from Mainz to Cologne (Koln). Most days are 35 to 40-ish kms a day with the exception of one longer day (which you'll have read about in the last blog, many of you laughing unkindly at my misfortunes!)
We've arrived a day early to do some siteseeing. High on the list is the Gutenberg Museum, as we recently saw two early editions of the Gutenberg Bible, one in the Senate Library in Washington, and the other in the New York Public Library. Sadly, the museum is closed on Mondays. The h-g was interested in the Museum of Ancient Shipbuilding. Guess what! Closed on Mondays. Our disappointment was short lived when we went to St Stephen's Church - not closed on Mondays.
I think this is the first time I've walked into a church and gasped in awe. It's not really large and it's certainly not ornate. What it has is a series of blue stained glass windows by the Russian/French artist Marc Chagall. Just breathtaking.
|Chagall stained glass in St Stephens|
Our bikes are waiting for us at the hotel. Three of us are on e-bikes and the h-g is doing it the old fashioned way. It's my first time on an e-bike and I LOVE it. You still have to pedal but getting the power assist up a hill, not that there's many going along the river, is wonderful.
|Loving the e-bike|
Our trip runs from Mainz to Rudesheim, to St. Goar, to Koblenz, to Bad Godesberg, and finishes at Cologne. A couple of cable car trips give us stunning views of the landscape and river course.
|Vines around Rudesheim|
We're travelling through the expected: vineyards plunging down vertiginous slopes, castles perched on rocky promontories, and twists and turns of the bike path. We rarely have to encounter traffic as the Rhine bike path runs its own route. In fact it runs 1230 kms from Andermatt in Switzerland to Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands.
I guess that means we'll have to do the other 1,000 kms or so another time. I'll definitely be on an e- bike.
|Yet another castle on the Middle Rhine|
|The longest sweep of the river|