After a quick stroll through town, we bought a 10 euro “ring ticket” for the gondola/lift/boat from Rudesheim to Assmannshausen, the next town along the Rhine. First we took the gondola cable car up to the Niederwald monument. The weather was nice and the views were stunning. We glided over the vineyards and could peer down at people harvesting grapes.
At the top there is a temple on a lookout point where Steve took this picture of me.
The monument itself is impressive but we didn’t spend much time with it, we set off on the trail to Assmannshausen, a pleasant half hour to 45 minutes walk. The trail leads through the trees with little side paths that take you to various lookout points. The views of the Rhine are beautiful, but walking through the forest was a treat for us as well. The landscape is so completely different from what we have at home. This time of year some of the trees were turning all those beautiful fall colors.
At the end of the trail there was a chair lift to take you down to the town of Assmannshausen, where we had lunch before catching the boat back to Rudesheim. Seeing the towns and various castles from the vantage point of a boat is definitely the way to go. I just wish we had more time to cruise the Rhine and to get off and tour some castles.
As it was, we got back to Rudesheim around 5:00 and had just enough time to do some winetasting at Georg Breuer Winery (same owners as the hotel where we were staying). Most of their wines are the region’s specialty — riesling. We especially liked the drier rieslings. And surprisingly they had a couple of very nice Pinot Noirs. The Spatburgunder Pinot Noir 2005 was excellent and we bought a bottle to take with us to Amsterdam. If you go there for winetasting, I would suggest that you call and book a tasting in their cellar, we just did a walk in, so that wasn’t an option. But the photos in the brochure sure looked nice.
For dinner, we were ready for Italian food again, and then we headed back to the hotel restaurant for a drink and to listen to the band. It was a full day. The next morning after a really fabulous breakfast at the hotel we were off to the train station.
I am really glad that we made the effort to stop at Rudesheim, even though it was far too short a time. Next time I would spend probably 4 nights in Rudesheim, that would give you 3 full days. You could daytrip 2 of those days and then have a day to relax in town, if you wanted. The Hotel Schloss is clearly where you’d want to stay. The room was perfect and had everything we needed, and the people there were incredibly helpful. You also have their fantastic restaurant right below you. The day we arrived the owner was off to an award ceremony where she ended up winning 3 awards for the restaurant! Here is a photo of their charming courtyard:
We got to the train station a little bit early because we need to buy tickets. It was a small station with just one person, but he was a gem. We had planned to take the train to Frankfurt and then to Amsterdam, but he saved us about $100 and routed us to Koblenz and Koln. So we got to see more of the beautiful part of the Rhine on the way to Koblenz. Then at Koln we had a hour and half break so that we could pop out and see the cathedral. We also had some coffee and a snack at a Starbucks. Then we made our way to our final destination—Amsterdam.