Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Romantic Rhine

...and we're back. Almost one year later the JeTZ blog has been resurrected and the old diary dusted off. If you recall we were in Germany on the run from a crazy Turkish woman and her band of merry maniacs who tried to kill Jeremy after he did a runner and refused to pay for a bottle of Moet he didn't order. We left the story there so Jez could tell this enthralling tale in person during his cameo appearance in Perth. The cameo lasted months and the blog went into semi-retirement. Now as fate would have it, we've landed up in Karratha with enough spare time on our hands to appease popular demand for the return of the JeTZ!

So the adventure continues with us running south. They would never find us down here because most tourists head to Berlin or Munich. We took the road less taken. A road so less taken it was in fact a river - the Rhine river. Here we would hop on a ferry and make our way down to the Black Forest (yes like the cake but more on that later).

Our first stop was Koblenz. What do you mean you have never heard of it? It is home to the largest pair of horse balls in the world! The horse being a statue and also proudly claiming fame for being bloody huge.

Once we had seen the horse though, it was time to go. TZ was clearly bored and ready for something a bit more exciting.

Actually we did stay in Koblenz over night but the next morning we hopped back on the ferry and made our down way to Boppart. They dont call it the Romantic Rhine for nothing. The view was nothing short of spectacular with castles and church spires littering the landscape.

Later that day, whilst walking around the cobbled steets of Boppart, we stumbled across a crooked little house - of the tea variety! Inside we found an impressive collection of 100 different kinds of teas. Being highly adventurous with our food and beverage as usual, we selected 'Five O'Clock' tea.

We also made a less interesting discovery when we visited the bent wood museum...

...but TZ managed to amuse herself.

The following morning we packed up yet again. Our day started out typical German style - with an altercation. It seemed to us that every time a German person raised their voice to us, we would fear for our lives. So when a crazed Crout insisted that our ferry ticket was invalid, we did what we do best. We ran away, sneakily made some "adjustments" to our tickets and on returning to the ferry, showed someone else our ticket who let us on board. We were not only street wise, we were river wise too!

Many castles and church spires later, we arrived in the teeny tiny town of Bacharach. Isn't it cute?

Unfortunately the Bacharachians weren't as excited to see us as we were them. Our hotel booking had mysteriously disappeared. So we had to hunt down some where else to stay. The hotel we chose was nice enough except our room had a faint odour of sewage. But we didn't stick around to smell it. Instead we set out for some wholesome German tucker. Unfortunately, everywhere we went we were shooed away like flies. How could everything be closed, wasn't it lunch time at 13:30? Finally a wholesome German lady saved us from starving to death and welcomed us into the only open restaurant in the whole of Bacharach.

Although the town was small, there was much to explore. Have a look at the photo above. Notice the green fields in the top left hand corner? That dear readers is a hill. And where there are hills, there must be climbers.

So we set off to discover what was at the top and boy were we in for a shock! Why was there a giant window lying before us?

What we were looking at were the ruins of the Werner Chapel. It was here the fake legend began about a boy who was supposedly murdered in a ritual killing by Jews. This story was then used as pretext to several religious riots spanning centuries. The window now serves as a memorial and symbolises unity between different faiths.

On returning, the town had come alive (to the best of its ability). We eased our pangs of hunger with cheese and wine and pretzels of course!

The following day we'd head to our last stop on the Rhine and the first stop at the mouth of the Black Forest. It was here we were hoping to find out exactly what inspired Hans Christiaan Anderson to write Hansel and Gretal. We would not be disappointed...

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