Lisa in Germany: 2001
Day 5: Tuesday
Tuesday morning we awoke late - 10:30am. The room was in the back and dark, so the sun didn't wake us as usual. We quickly dressed and packed. When we went downstairs the German innkeeper offered us coffee or tea, but we didn't really have time so we checked out (no credit cards here) and got into the car.
Headed back up the Rhine, gorgeous scenery, saw many green signs to vineyards. After a town or two we decided to turn off at the next town to explore. We followed the green signs towards the beautiful vineyard slopes, complete with a gondola heading overhead. We sat and waited (engine off) for the water train to go through, and then turned left through the narrow streets. Unfortunately they were doing construction, so we turned back and headed further down the Rhine.
The next town also had quite a number of vineyards - not only on the slopes above the village (again with long gondolas) but also in walled areas down within the town itself. We drove around the town (only a short loop) and found the tourist area, with little shops and clocks and such. We pulled in at a parking area, put in our coins and got a ticket to set on the dashboard. There were little finch-like birds in the walled vineyard area, and on the other side an old monestary had a banner claiming it housed the largest wine museum in the world. We of course had to enter!
The ticket said 5 marks for a 1 hour guided tour, complete with wine tastings. We began in the lower grassy area, where large kegs were set up and many, many old wooden presses. These dated back to the 1500s and showed just how long the wine tradition stretched in this region. We then headed into the lower level of the museum. There were a series of corkscrews, plus various glass bottles from the 1500s. Most of the bottles had large, round base areas and thin top areas.
Up the stairs to the truly ancient exhibits - Roman amphorae, Grecian urns, Iranian wine goblets. There was an entire case of Christian wine chalices, and even a few statues showing saints and Jesus holding grapes and vines. Further along was a cooper exhibit, with old lathes, cooper tools, cask fronts and much more. A pictoral section explained how barrels are made.
Through narrow curving stairs, and we entered the glassware area. Glasses and flasks of every shape and size, with quite a number of them in 'Traditional' German style. This involves a base which is a series of smaller and smaller rings, up to where the base of the cup itself starts. There were many painted glasses and even a pedestal with a series of drinking horns in it. Just outside of this room was the open air patio.
It was simply lovely! We sipped wine overlooking the Rhine, watching the birds play in the trees, surrounded by centuries-old stonework. After the wine, we headed up into the tower. These curved stairs were tiny, our feet barely fit on the steps and we had to hunch over to get up them. The view from the top was lovely, across the vineyards up hill and down to the Rhine on the other side.
When we were set, we headed back up the Rhine again. The barges chugged alongside us, cars waited for the ferry to take them across. The trees stood placidly in the middle of the water, and motorcycles curled gracefully along the road. The tall, thick, trees stood with leaves just poking out of their tops.
All too soon, the Rhine was behind us and we were heading 'home' again. Through the gigantic, industrial city of Mainz, through the edge of the Black Forest, past Pforzheim and Stuttgart, across the Stubian? Alps and Ulm, home of Einstein. Along through woods and meadows into smaller and smaller roads until we once again were pulling into the driveway in Kaufering.
We gathered up Stefan and Jenny and headed out to dinner. We were taking them to their favorite Chinese restaurant. This is where they'd taken the Chinese ambassador to Germany, and he'd been impressed. We had a shared meal on a revolving platter, very traditional, starting with plum wine mixed with sekt. I then had a Franken white, since normally I love gewurztraminer with Chinese anyway. Mom had a Chinese beer. The 'egg roll' was actually a fully pillow shape, and quite delicious. The various dinner items - shrimp, duck, chicken, beef - were all delicious as well. For dessert I had lychee, a white, roundish fruit with a light, sweet flavor.
After dinner we talked for a while, then headed home. A few more pictures and we were exhausted, and headed into bed to sleep well before the flight home.
Day 5: Picture Set A
Day 5: Picture Set B
Day 5: Picture Set C
Day 5: Picture Set D
Day 5: Picture Set E
Day 5: Picture Set F
Day 5: Picture Set G
Day 5: Picture Set H
Lisa's Germany Trip: Master Page