I find that often the hardest places to get to, offer the most rewards. Bacharach certainly proved this to be true. After catching a train from Amsterdam to Köln we hopped on a smaller regional train to take us to Bacharach. It took us about 6 hours to reach a place that looked so close on the map.
Bacharach is a beautiful old town nestled between the Rhine River and the hills. It is located in the Middle Rhine area which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
View from Burg Stahleck.
I had booked us into a room at the youth hostel which was located in a castle called Burg Stahleck. We paid 110 euro for two nights and this included a breakfast.
The castle hosts groups of children and youth and offers them an opportunity to explore the area and a medieval castle. The excitement and enthusiasm of the children was a bonus. I thought about how excited I would have been, at that age, if I was able to spend a few days with a bunch of my friends at a castle. (I was pretty excited at the age I am now!) Our room was not fancy and the washroom was up the stairs and across the hall, but it had a great view and was quiet and peaceful. The hostel sold nice wine which was served in a clay vessel that you paid for and kept. I thought it was a nice souvenir.
Getting to the castle was part of the fun. From the train we walked down the main street and turned up the hill at the side of St Peter Kirche. The path to the castle zig zags up the mountain and offers beautiful views of the surroundings.
The path was probably as old as the castle and I imagined people walking up this path centuries before. Right past the church, on the trail to the castle, are the haunting remains of Wernerkapelle, the Gothic remains left as a tribute to the awful excesses against the Jews.
This area is known for its many castles. We took a short river cruise, for approximately 25 euro. We saw a lot of castles on the hills on either side of the river, beautiful vineyards and lovely old German towns.
The cruises can be as long or short as you like depending upon how much money you wish to spend. You can hop off the boat and explore and town then catch another one going back.
Two days was not enough time to spend in this area and I was sad to be leaving it so soon. I would return to this area again and try to give myself enough time to check out some of the many hiking trails in the area.