Rhineland Rapsody

June 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm 1 comment

Thursday was a NRW state holiday and did we ever holiday! RC of Willich, under the leadership of both Dr. Burkhard Gronwald and Alexander Berresheim, made the day a family event. Fourteen youngsters from 4 through 17, together with Rotarians and their spouses shared our delight as we experienced a middle Rhine River cruise, meandering down the romantic, picturesque Rhineland from Ruedesheim to Brauch. Ten minutes into the cruise and we all knew exactly why this region has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site!

Castles, castles, and even more castles! Prior to embarking on the GSE trip I was asked what I hoped to experience while in Germany—vocational days aside, castles were my number one request. Anything historical (might have something to do with the fact that I majored in European history for my B.A.) would have ensured I left Germany happy. Forget happy. I feel as if I pulled the brass ring! Watch out Bert—we will return to cruise the Rhine as there are castles, and more castles awaiting exploration!

While meandering the Rhine gave us ample of opportunity to soak up the surrounding landscape, similar to the way the grape vines were soaking up the sun. We were in the heart of wine country, where Reisling grapes are grown and exquisite wine is crafted. Vineyards surrounded by lush rolling hills range as far as your eye can see.  The variegated greenery is interrupted by numerous villages, each  consisting of a large spectacular church, rows of colourful (and according to Alexander, typical) houses of the region whose architecture spans centuries lining the river as if to welcome us ashore to explore!

We left the cruise in Braubach for a private tour of Marksburg Castle, arranged for just after the castle closed for the day so we had the whole place to ourselves!  This castle is one of two castles in Germany, stemming back to medieval times, that was fully intact. Wandering through the castle with its dim lighting and stonework was amazing. The guided tour filled in details that would have been missed had we explored the site on our own. Noticing the architectural periods and the renovations undertaken over the centuries was a joy—I think I have well over a hundred pictures of the castle alone!

The evening was spent enjoying a delicious dinner, sampling various wines typical of the region, and forging friendships with our Rotarian hosts. Today was a day that will truly live very long in my heart and in my memories! I can hardly wait to return with Bert and the family!

Vielen dank!

Marie

RC of Willich Family Event with GSE Team at Marksburg Castle

Castles everywhere on the Rhine!

Castle and garrison on the Rhine!

 

GSE Team prior to walking up, way up, to Marksburg Castle in Braubach.

 

 

 

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Entry filed under: Team Blog.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. billrobson1  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Yahoo Marie. You said you wanted castles and by Jove you got them in spades. It looks like you all an outstanding day. Wonderful.

    Reply

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