Friday, March 31, 2006

Stonemason in Kiedrich

Right behind the St. Valentinus church in Kiedrich is the studio of the "Steinmetz" (stonemason) Robert Schmidt. He displays some of his artwork here and you can also see the different kinds of stone he's working with.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Old Crane in Oestrich

This old crane is Oestrich's landmark. Built in the 18th century, it was used to load wine barrels onto the boats on the Rhine. Inside is a huge wheel (like a hamsters wheel), with which two strong men had to get the crane to work and lift up the barrels.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blaubach in Geisenheim

One of the things I really like about Geisenheim is that the town included this little creek called "Blaubach" into the townscape very well. Most other towns in the Rheingau have covered their creeks up so you don't see them anymore.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sunday lunch at Fendel's

Fendel's is a really nice "Weinhaus" with a very good restaurant in Rüdesheim-Eibingen. In summer they have a great patio outside with a view down to the rest of the city and the Rhine.

We went there on Sunday for lunch but since we went late, it wasn't as crowded any more as during regular lunch time. Lucky us - we were able to choose our table and the food was just amazing (and not pricy at all!).

If you come and visit, also try the "St. Hildegard-Kräutersuppe" - a creamy soup with fresh herbs à la St. Hildegard (the St. Hildegard nunnery is just up the hill). Extremely delicious!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Tractor parked for Lunch

Found this tractor during my lunch break, so I'm assuming the owner parked it there to have his/her lunch as well. It seems to be an older tractor (the newer ones have a different style as far as I know) but still in a good shape.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Entrance to "Felsenkeller" in Rüdesheim

An entrance to one of the wine taverns in Rüdesheim. They are prepared to serve visitors from all over the world.

They also sell wine from the region as written on the old barrel. At least that's what I understand in German - does anyone know what the other characters say (are they Japanese?)?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bay of Oestrich-Winkel

Another evening panorama from the Rheingau - the bay in Oestrich-Winkel. The Rhine is quite wide here; I think it's even the widest part of the Rhine and you see only a part of it on this photo. The actual waterway for the coal transporters, tankers and other large ships is on the left behind the trees.

The little dots you see in the water are buoys for smaller boats to be tied onto. I guess they are empty because of the winter. There's also a small harbor for the "larger" boats somewhere in the background but it's hard to see.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Drosselgasse - waiting for tourists

Most of the tourists, when visiting the Rheingau, come to Rüdesheim. I'm not sure why, but I guess it's because they have the most hotels there. Also the boats for the typical Rhine river tour, where you see all the castles along the river, start here.

The Drosselgasse is the main tourist alley - it has all kinds of souvenir shops and there are also restaurants and tavernes serving wine and regional food and having live bands performing.

At the moment it's still really quite here, so most of the shops and restaurants are still closed and will reopen probably around next month when the first tourists arrive for their easter vacation.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Linden Tree in Geisenheim

This around 700 year old linden tree is Geisenheim's landmark. It's in the center of the town right next to the town hall (on the left). It's also declared a natural monument because of its age. When you look closer you can see that there are stilts to help the tree carry its branches.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Information Point

This is an information point next to the main road in Hattenheim. You'll see a map of Hattenheim with points of interest marked in there and some geographical and historical information about Hattenheim and Eltville, the city it belongs to.

I especially like the style of it, since it fits well into the area. Would be nice if all the other towns in the Rheingau would use this as a standard...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Karl Comic Books

Since 1988, the Rheingau has its own comic series. It all started with "Karl", who discovers the "Spätlese" in the first book. Alltogether there are 12 books about characters, stories and historical facts from the region. And they are a lot of fun to read! Some of them are also translated in English, French and Japanese.

Related links: (unfortunately only in german)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sunset in Geisenheim

This photo is taken in a small bay in Geisenheim, looking downstream towards Rüdesheim and Bingen. The Rhine flows on to the right, building the natural border between the two states Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. During Napoleon's era this was even the border between France and Germany.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ships on the Rhine

Since the days of the Roman Empire the Rhine has been a vital navigable waterway, carrying trade and goods deep inland. Here you can see coal being shipped upstream.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Waiting for the train

My aunt came to visit for the weekend and I went to pick her up at the train station in Eltville. While I was waiting for the train to arrive I saw this sign (I have to add that I haven't been at the train station for quite a while...).

Too many accidents have already happened with someone falling on the rails when the train came in. Once even a stroller got caught by a train because it was standing too close.

That's why they introduced these yellow lines - people are supposed to step behind the yellow line when the train approaches.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Market Place in Oestrich

Oestrich is my hometown in the Rheingau. It's part of Oestrich-Winkel - a city joining together the 4 towns Oestrich, Winkel, Mittelheim and Hallgarten.

Out of the 4, Oestrich has the nicest market place (in my opinion) since it's a pedestrian area and no car is allowed to drive through. In summer it's beautiful to sit next to the fountain and have a coffee or some ice cream.

The white building in this photo is the former town hall. It's just been renovated and now hosts a very nice Bistro.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vineyards - ready for spring

Before the vine starts growing leaves soon, the old branches get cut off except one or two (depending on the style of the winegrower). The reason for that is to concentrate the "power and juices" of the vine for the grapes once they start growing on these branches.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kaffee Kränzchen

The Kaffee Kränzchen is my favorite café in the Rheingau at the moment. It's located in the town of Walluf.

The interior is decorated in a lovely way with antiques - a bit like a "Wiener Kaffeehaus". The owner collects old cups so when you get your order, everyone will have a different cup from her collection (same with the plates). She also bakes all the cakes herself and they are extremly yummy!!!

So whenever you come to the Rheingau, don't forget to stop by!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

11th International Easter Egg Fair

Last weekend we went to the 11th International Easter Egg Fair in Kloster Eberbach. The fair was hold in the former "dormitorium" of the monastery. It's a beautiful hall with a fascinating ceiling as you can see on the photo.

Related links:
Easter Eggs from the fair
And more eggs (using a stitching technique)
Easter Eggs (Wikipedia)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Soccer place in floods

Luckily the World Cup series haven't started yet... ;-)

The waters of the Rhine river have even flooded this soccer place in Hattenheim by now.

I guess, it only has to get really cold now so we can use it as an ice rink...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Up to a water picnic?

Are you in the mood for a "water picnic" today?

This is what I've been talking about in some of my previous posts. In spring, when the snowmelting starts, the water in the Rhine river rises up and often floods the surrounding areas.

I've taken this photo this morning and the water is still rising...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Rheingau Forest

Driving up the hill from the Rhine river valley, you'll soon get into the forest where there's still snow. But even here you can see the first signs of spring if you look closer.

Also: Please congratulate Paris Daily Photo Blog to its 1st anniversary!!! Eric (the author of the blog) has received greetings from all over the world. Check out my birthday greeting as well...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Rheingau Panorama 1

This panorama gives you a great view down to the Rhine river valley with the towns of Winkel, Mittelheim, Oestrich, Hattenheim, Erbach and Eltville (from right to left). It's hard to tell where each town starts and ends since they start "growing into each other" at some points...

I've taken this photo a few days ago - snow started melting so there is not that much around any more and you can see the first signs of spring... Hurray!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hotel Schwan in Oestrich

Hotel Schwan ("swan") - a very nice hotel in Oestrich with also a very good restaurant. They're located close to the Rhine river, so each year, when we get the floods in spring, their basement is flooded as well as part of their ground floor (american 1st floor). I guess they're used to it by now and it's also only a few days (plus the drying and cleaning though!)...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Biedermeier in Eltville

The town Eltville is closely connected to the Biedermeier period. You can see signs of it all over the place - there is even a Biedermeier Club.

During summer members or friends of the club dress up in the traditional Biedermeier costumes and hold a little parade during the sparkling wine festival (this tradition was introduced 1935).

Related links:
Biedermeier Verein (german)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sunset in Johannisberg

Since we have clear skies at the moment, you can witness beautiful sunsets like this one.

This picture is taken from the Johannisberg hill down to the Johannisberg valley. If you look closer you can see the reflection of the sun on the church towers of the former nunnery of Johannisberg. And maybe you remember from a previous post that there used to be a Benedictian monastery up on the hill next to the castle (founded 1100). The nunnery in the valley was founded shortly afterwards...

Related links:
Schloss Johannisberg

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hut in Vineyards

The Rheingau is one of the largest wine regions in Germany, so you can see vineyards all over the place. We used to have a lot of these little huts in between the vineyards, primarily for the winegrowers to store their tools or take a rest.

Nowadays most of these huts are open to everyone, hikers can take a rest there or be save from rain and storm, and in summer some of these huts are even used by wineries to offer refreshments to passers-by.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Kurfürstliche Burg Eltville

When you stroll along the Rhine river in Eltville you can already see the tower of the "Kurfürstliche Burg" (castle of Eltville) from quite a distance.

It's from the 14th century and one of the popular places for wedding ceremonies in the Rheingau.

Reason for that is also its Rosengarten (rosery) making it look like the castle of "Sleeping Beauty" in summer.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Shoveling snow

It was my turn to keep the sidewalk clear for pedestrians yesterday which was not an easy task since it kept snowing nonstop.

Alltogether I think we had around 15-20cm of snow. Everytime I was done, I could already see the next layer of snow piling up again - a bit frustrating, but hey, that's life. I wonder if they have snow shoveling competitions somewhere...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Schloss Johannisberg

I needed to get a wine present yesterday and since the weather was so beautiful and the sunset started, I decided to drive up to Schloss Johannisberg. It is located on a hill in the "middle" of the Rheingau, overseeing the Rhine River valley.

It also has the oldest winery of the Rheingau - founded 1100 by the Benedictine monks (the basilica of the monastery is still there - on the left of the castle from this viewpoint). And of course they have a nice "Vinothek" (wine shop) where I got my presents.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

High tide

Last week, the water level of the Rhine river was a bit higher than usually. You can see that the small island in the middle is flooded. This is quite normal for this time of the year, in fact, we expect it to go up again once the snowmelt starts in the alps (probably at the end of March/beginning of April).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The end of a walk

I went for a walk in the park of Kloster Eberbach yesterday, a former monastery from the 12th century (but not used as a monastery since 1803). This is one of the buildings next to the basilica - it hosts part of the museum of the monastery and the museum's store. When it started snowing again, this door really looked inviting.