It was an adventure getting to the beautiful and quaint town of Bacharach, in the middle Rhine region of Germany. Bacharach is, for lack of a better word, darling. 500-year-old, half timbered buildings line the cobblestone streets. Everything is family run, and businesses mostly remain open as long as they feel like it. For being in the midst of high tourist season, Bacharach was relatively quiet - a great Rhine stop if you're trying to avoid the crowds. We had a couple of decent meals here [check out a place called Rustica, run by a sweet woman named Astrid and her husband] One of the highlights was taking a little trip up the middle Rhine River from Bacharach to Boppard. The 90-minute morning cruise took us past several castles/ruins and notably, the Loreley Rock. Worth noting, we had the BEST German meal in Boppard at a restaurant called Historischer Karmeliterhof - I posted a picture below, of course. On the way back to Bacharach, we stopped by St. Goar for a little shopping; Shannon & the kids bought Birkenstocks on the cheap, and I picked up a very German Bier mug. One of the stores proudly displays what is considered the largest cuckoo clock in the world. We didn't check with Guinness Book or anything, but we were happy to take the shop owner's word. It's been fun getting to know the German people. Generally speaking, they seem to be a no-bullshit, get-it-done-and-move-on type of culture. Not a lot of small talk, not a lot of extra niceties or patience, but warm and welcoming nonetheless. We've tried hard to fit in and align with the "German way", although I think some of the restaurant folks we've met could use some hugs. :) For as many good things as I've heard about the German rail system, our experience has been a bit of a challenge on the Deutsch Bahn [DB]. A cancelled train [forcing a re-book], late trains [forcing missed connections], trains arriving at wrong platforms [forcing missed connections], and double booking our reserved seats to Munich (we won that battle) were just a few of the things we've run into so far. Using my iPhone and the DB Train app made booking pretty easy, but I had challenges getting my web account and the app to sync up. Maybe it's just us, but the DB rail system here has been more difficult than the Trenitalia or Eurostar, but we're learning. To be fair, when problems happen, they've been pretty easy to fix on DB. We're currently on the ICE1221 train to Munich. With some luck, we'll make it to Munich in the same seats we started in. Prost!
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