Lisa in Germany: 2001

Day 4: Monday

We started out early, after a delicious breakfast with Stefan and Jenny. I did all of the driving, while Mom did the navigating. We began out through small roads, passing small farms, meadows and villages. The typical hawks on the wood posts watching over the meadows were pretty common, and occasionally you'd see one down on the ground, munching his own breakfast.

Soon we got onto larger roads, and after passing south of Stuttgart we came along towards Pforzheim. We were expecting a tiny farming village, where Baba would walk to church on Sundays with the farmer's wife. Instead, we found a few smaller villages as suburbs of the much larger Pforzheim, which had a large train station, rathaus, traffic lights and everything. Right at the entrance of town was a large map where we stopped and got our bearings.

We found the road the photo shop was on and drove down it, but didn't find the number. We parked and went into the train station, but there wasn't much information on the town. We walked down into the center of town, and found that the street actually became a pedestrian cobblestone walkway with a fountain and everything. However, instead of being the older style buildings, they were all rather modern looking, with concrete and steel and such. Mom's guess was that the original town had been bombed so badly that they had to tear most of it down and redo it. Only a few buildings - the old rathaus, a big stone building by the train station (but not the station itself) looked older.

We found a lovely cafe and got window seats to watch the world (and pigeons) go by while we ate. Mom had a vegetable dish while I had sauerbraten. Quite delicious. We didn't have room for dessert, so we headed back up the street.

We watched the numbers but unfortunately the spot where the photo shop should have been was now a big movie theater. I guess we'll have to have Stefan call around to figure out how to track them down now.

On we went. Through the Stubian? alps, very pretty mountainous roads with villages tucked into the valleys. Through Ulm, through meadows and farm areas and little woods. Soon we approached Mainz and started looking for the turnoff to the Rhine. We stopped in Mainz after a few exits looking for the tourist office, but this city is HUGE and very industrial. We got back on the highway and passed mile after mile of the city. We crossed the Rhine a few times and found our way along the 'north bank' - the one with all of the vineyards and with the view of most of the castles.

Just as we started, we saw signs for the Rhineland Riesling (REE-sling) route. We found a wine bar immediately, and stopped in. Sparrows and swallows hung out over the barn while we were served rieslings to sip. The vineyards were gorgeous, with the Rhine drifting along past them. When we were done, we headed on.

We stopped by the Rhine a bit further on to wander along a rose-laden path. There were mallards out, and towers across the Rhine, and lots of people enjoying the evening sun.

We saw a turnoff for the Kloister Eberbach, and I couldn't resist. This was supposedly where The Name of the Rose with Sean Connery was filmed, and I love that story. Off we went. The valley along the Rhine is really pretty short - it was no time at all before we were up on the ridge, looking down across vineyards to the Rhine.

The tasting room at the Kloister was closed, and it didn't look anything like Name of the Rose. If they filmed here, it must've been inside somewhere. They did have lovely paths and vines though.

Along we went. Gorgeous roads, as 42 went right along the Rhine, following its twists and turns. To our right, the slopes rose up sharply, with vines along them all. Across the Rhine to our left, there were little villages and castles, and boats occasionally. There was also a Kloister on a little island, and even trees growing right in the middle of the Rhine sometimes! Here's a map, showing in essence that all the wineries were right on the slope.

It was impossible to get lost. Only the one road went down the Rhine. Roads went up the slope at right angles in the towns, with green signs clearly indicating where each vineyard was.

Eventually the vineyards stopped and the side of the road was just wild rock and grass. We decided to stop for the night so we could go back up the Rhine tomorrow. We found a lovely little town full of inns, and a single parking lot at the 'uphill' end of the street. Here's a picture looking down towards the Rhine through all of the inns.

We had a delicious dinner of sauerbraten and other treats, and headed to bed!

Day 4: Picture Set A
Day 4: Picture Set B
Day 4: Picture Set C
Day 4: Picture Set D
Day 4: Picture Set E
Day 4: Picture Set F
Day 4: Picture Set G
Day 4: Picture Set H

Lisa's Germany Trip: Master Page