We took the train from Lucerne to Basel, from Basel to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Rudesheim. It took a bit of time. Luckily on the longest leg of the journey a young man was sitting in our compartment and Steve struck up a conversation with him. As soon as Philip began talking to us (in pretty good English, by the way), he pulled out two little English-German dictionaries the size of a matchbox. We had a great conversation with him, learning that he was headed to Berlin to go to College studying Facilities Managment. He planned to get a job in Switzerland after he got his degree because the wages are so much better in Switzerland. He also gave us some recommendations about what to eat and drink while in Rudesheim.
When we got off the train in Rudesheim, I was hoping to find a Tourist Information office because I had done a very stupid thing. I forgot to bring the address of the hotel we had a reservation for the first night. I barely remembered the name. So we got off in this very tiny station and, of course, there was no tourist information office. There was a map outside of the station and it showed the office on the other side of town. So we started walking down the main street along the river. Suddenly we were in a sea of humanity. There was a huge crowd of people -- they were all walking the opposite direction, and we were dragging our suitcases. It was pretty much one of those travel nightmare moments. We still hadn't found the information office when Steve looked up one of the cross streets and said "is that the hotel?" It was. We were very lucky. Especially since we found out later that the tourist information office was closed.
Our hotel was modest and seemed a little stark... especially after coming from the Palace Luzern. Also, they only had one night available, so we had to find another room for the following night. The morning we left Lucerne we had mentioned to Pat, one of our tour guides, that we were going to Rudesheim, and it turned out that she had a friend who had a hotel there. She gave us the address and we decided to seek it out so we could possibly stay there the following night.
As we walked through town, we realized that we had somehow managed to come here at the peak of the season. The place was packed. Steve said he thought we had taken a wrong turn and ended up in Solvang. (Solvang is a faux Danish town for tourists in Santa Barbara county). We were not sure if this was really the place for us.
At the Hotel Rudescheimer Schloss, our fortunes changed. We walked through a charming courtyard and into the hotel. They not only had a room for us the following night, but they were incredibly friendly and helpful. After explaining some things to do in the area and making a reservation for dinner, gave us glasses of champagne to sip in the terrace. Suddenly things began to look a little brighter.
We walked around town for a little while then went back to the hotel to change for dinner. Dinner was at the Restaurant Schloss. We had a delicious and hearty German dinner. We started off with a large salad for two. Mixed greens that were so fresh and flavorful, Alice Waters would have been impressed. And then they were topped with fried bacon and fried garlic! It was delicious. Then I had the wild boar (that is what Philip had told me to try while here) and spaeztle and apple sauce. It was so good that it made me think of my German great grandmother's cooking. It was a very nostalgic meal for me. Steve had the bratwurst with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Needless to say we were stuffed by the end of the meal.
The entertainment was as good as the dinner. There was a live band that played everything from "Pretty Woman" to "Chatanooga Choo Choo" to traditional German songs to Creedence Clearwater. And there was dancing, too. And there was a conga line, too. A good time was had by all.
This morning we checked into Hotel Schloss and the room is great. We love it here. I am writing from their computer in the lobby so I cannot post photos, but once I do you will see how nice it is. So, now we are off to expore the town, sightseeing, cable lifts, hiking, boats and winetasting. Too bad we only have the one day here. But I think we are going to make the most of it.