Friday, August 10, 2012

Running and recovery on the Romantic Rhinesteig

After my trip to Norway I returned to Germany. After the colder weather, the warm sun in Germany was healing. I was ready to take some time for recovery and for sightseeing, and started investigating what was around the area of Frankfurt. Although I have traveled in the area several times, I had never been to the section of the Rhine river know as the "Romantic Rhine." A UNESCO protected area, it is famous for its abundance of castles, vineyards, and quaint medieval towns. Even better, on either side of the Rhine runs a network of well-marked trails know as the Rhinesteig. These trails are incredible: they run through deep forest, small towns, fields, valleys, vineyards, and open rocky trail high above the river. 

I packed my Salomon SLAB pack (enough space to fit a change of clothes, rainjacket, travel towel, thongs, toiletries, camera, some snacks, ID, bank card, and kindle). I booked accommodation in a youth hostel in the town of Bacharach (a midway point from my start and finish point). I was totally smittened with this hostel because it is located within a 14th century castle - I just had to sleep there! 

The plan was simple: Run and enjoy the trails, enjoy a little culture, stop when I want, walk when I want, and if I was tired I could always take the train. I just love travelling light, exploring on foot, and seeing and feeling more of the beautiful nature alongside the river than I would if I journeyed by car. Below are some photos from my 3 day trip.

My first glimpse of the Rhine from the town of Bingen where I started my trip:

Arriving at Burg Rheinstein:

The view from a terrace inside Burg Rheinstein:

Along the trail, on my way to the town of Bacharach:

A view of the Rhine river:

Refreshments and map reading at Burg Sooneck:

Arriving in Bacharach, directions up to my castle accomodation:

The quaint roof-scape of Bacharach:

My accommodation, Burg Stahleck, sitting high above the town:

On the run, day 2:

Burg Gutenfels:

It started pouring. I kept runnning. I got really soaked:

The town of Kaub, viewed from a ferry I took to cross the river:

Twilight from my castle acccomodation:

A misty morning on day 3, the town of Bacharach still sleeping:

Burg Stahleck:

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