The trip starts in Koblenz. With its impressive chimney, the Goethe is already visible as it approaches from afar. The closer the historic ship gets to the jetty, the more impressive the soundscape becomes. The huge paddle wheels, each four metres in diameter, powerfully slap the water. With a little imagination, it could sound like applause, welcoming the guests. The Goethe is a ship with its own soundtrack. At 9:00 a.m., the ship’s horn sounds, and the world’s largest sidewheel-propelled ship sets course. Now things get both nostalgic and cosy. The original Art Déco furnishings in the saloon welcome guests in the style of the twenties. People must have travelled in similar style in the days of the emperor.
Fortunately, the varied breakfast and coffee specialities on-board are not historical, but fresh and tasty. After powering up with a delicious breakfast, it’s off up to the open deck, ready to take in the incomparable beauty of the romantic Middle Rhine Valley with picturesque towns on the Rhine such as Rhens, Braubach or Boppard, the magnificent vineyards and the imposing castles and fortresses on both sides of the river. History can be so relaxing when it just glides by while you sit in the sun with a refreshing drink, daydreaming of knights and damsels. Without wanting to trade places with them. The work-life balance was certainly not as pronounced back in the days of the Counts of Katzenelnbogen, who once resided at Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar, among other places. Something always had to be defended against someone and there was certainly always something to do in a castle like this. At around 12:20 p.m. we arrive in St. Goar, one of the central points in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
From the KD jetty, it is just a few minutes’ walk along the newly designed Rhine bank promenade to the town centre. If you are a good walker and are not afraid of a gentle but steady ascent, you can reach Rheinfels Castle, the landmark of St. Goar, in around 20 to 25 minutes. A signposted path leads up to here from the pedestrian zone. The “Rheinfels-Shuttle” from the company Zickenheiner provides a less strenuous means of transport. It runs every 30 minutesbetween the centre of St. Goar and Rheinfels Castle. The stop is not far from the KD jetty on the market square.
Regardless of whether on foot or by bus, you shouldn’t miss out on a trip to the castle. It was founded in 1245 by Count Diether von Katzenelnbogen. Since 1925, the castle has belonged to the town. In 1973, the “Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels” opened in parts of the historic Rheinfels Castle. For several decades now, the fate of the building, one of the few 4-star superior hotels on the Middle Rhine, has been controlled by Gerd Ripp. He took over the role of hotel director and managing director in 1982, and in 2003 he acquired the castle hotel together with his wife Petra for 99 years in long-term lease. Today, the building complex forms a small hotel village consisting of Rheinfels Castle, Villa Rheinfels and the auf Gut Rheinfels apartment building.
A visit to Rheinfels castle ruins and a rest in the castle tavern “Der Landgraf ” can be very nicely integrated into our day trip. Tip: First into the castle walls, then into the castle
tavern. There, not only culinary delights await the guest, but also a breathtaking view of the Loreley valley and the Loreley cliffs from the World Heritage terrace. It’s not easy to tear yourself away from this fantastic view. After all, the World Heritage Site is at our feet. The “Rheinfels-Shuttle” takes us back to the KD jetty, where the paddle-wheel ship Goethe picks us up again at 5.55 p.m. Two hours later we reach Koblenz.
The magnificent area around St. Goar offers various hiking possibilities. To explore these, we recommend a stopover and overnight stay at the Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels. The return journey with RMS Goethe then takes place the next day. www.schloss-rheinfels.de
Hiking enthusiasts can start various tours from the Schlossberg. What other leisure activities are there?
I’ll name a few we have to offer. The idyllic trips through the World Heritage Valley with the old-timer bus “Schnauferl” are very popular. Guests can also find peace and relaxation in the hotel wellness area “AusZeit”. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the wellness offer. For example, we offer daily, monthly and annual passes. Additionally, there is the Rheinfels kitchen party, the charming fairy tale dinner or the original murder mystery dinner.For some years now you have also been running the “Maria Ruh” restaurant opposite the Loreley.
What is so special about this place?
In the forest chalet “Maria Ruh”, guests can enjoy a “million dollar view” of the Loreley. The property is located on the RheinBurgen Weg between St. Goar and Oberwesel. The terrace-shaped park, the cosy beer garden, the coffee house and the restaurant invite guests to come and linger. We are particularly proud of our own coffee roasting plant. We also hold events such as classic car gatherings, weddings and picnic events. With the “Maria Ruh Classix”, we have also been offering an open-air concert offer for some time now. And by the way, it’s only a one and a half hour hike to “Maria Ruh” from the Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels.
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