This post is dedicated to Mom, Betty, Pete & Robin - the visitors we dragged up and down the Rhein in the pouring rain, snow, sleet, or all of the above! Sunday we went to Rheinfels, the ruin of a castle on the Rhein. This is a really fun ruin to explore.
This is just a small fraction of the original castle complex.
One of the remaining parts of the castle is a series of mine tunnels. These were used on the western, more vulnerable side of the castle, and were intended to be filled with gunpowder and exploded if enemies got that close - a forerunner of the land mine, I suppose. Based on this experience, I have a new rule: I wil not go into any tunnel in which Abby has to bend over to walk. After this the tunnels actually got shorter, and of course they were pitch dark. We did have a flashlight, but navigating underground is a little tricky, as there were lots of cross tunnels and dead ends.
This time of year the hops fields are in bloom. They are spectacular.
We continued up to the Mosel River and went to Cochem. There we toured a palace built in the 19th century, so very different. Although this looks like a frog, it's actually a lion wearing armor. Or so the tour guide said! This tour was notable in that the tour guide spoke such clear and simple German that I could actually understand the tour! She did pass out cheat sheets (just to our group of maybe 20) in English, Dutch, Polish, Chinese, and Japanese.