Friday, November 21, 2014


On Veteran's Day we decided to make our first sightseeing day trip, and drove to Bacharach. It is a town located on the Rhine river which we had seen from the Rhine River cruise, but had never before explored on foot.

On the way there, we passed this rest area, which Rob and I had giggled about in the past, but our big kids are just now old enough to find truly funny.  The sign is a bit blurry (you can drive fast on the Autobahn, don't ya know,) but it says, "Rastst├Ątte Heidenfahrt."

 Anyway, we arrived in Bacharach on a grey German autumn day and it was empty.  Like really empty.  But that is just the way we like it.  See that misty castle on the hilltop in the background?  That was our goal for the day and the walk there was full of medieval German cuteness and many, many stairs.

They don't know exactly how old Bacharach is.  The first mentions of it as a town in documents date from the early 11th century, but based on some of the evidence found there, it may have been a place people lived as early as the 700's.

Climb those stairs little bear.

This is the view from our first stop on the path at the Liebesturm, or Love Tower.  There are these towers remaining from what was originally the wall around the town, and they each have a name.  Others include: Thief's Tower, Market Gate, Post Tower, Tithe Tower, etc. 

Our little squirrel with her treasures collected on the hike.

The view of the Rhine from the top of the hill.  It is hard to tell, but this was around 1 pm.  It stayed misty and grey all day that day.

Rest stop.  But not to Heidenfahrt.

 And finally at the top of the hill- Burg Stahleck.
It was originally built in the 12th century, then partially destroyed in the 18th century.  It has been rebuilt in the 1920s and is actually now a hostel.  In other words, anyone with 20 Euros can spend the night in this castle if they so desire.

Another shot at Burg Stahleck.

We took a different route back down into town in order to pass the Wernerkapelle.
It was to be a church and construction began on it around the 13th-14th century, but it was never completed, and still stands there today as part of an unfinished cathedral.

All of that took us about an hour and a half to see.  On our way back to the car we were getting pretty hungry and only then realized that most shops in town were closed.  We hadn't realized that Veteran's Day coincides with St. Martin's Day in Germany. St. Martin of Tours was known as a friend to children and the poor, and his feast day celebrates the beginning of the harvest. In Germany, it is celebrated with bonfires and children walking the streets with lanterns made at school and singing and sometimes asking door to door for candy or donations for a charity. We saw some of that in our last village we lived in here, but didn't see any of it in our new town.  

Anyway, THAT is why Bacharach was such a ghost town.  But we loved our quiet, foggy Fall day.

1 comment:

Aubrey said...

My parents insisted on revisiting Bacharach on every trip to Germany. It was one of our favorites.

I think you'll have to make a return trip on a non-holiday so you can have the pleasure of eating lunch in the cafe that is below the home of one of the loveliest ladies you've ever met. Her story is amazing and she loves to tell it.