Sunday, April 30, 2006


One of the birds at the eagle enclosure up at the Niederwald in Rüdesheim. This one is a bald eagle (Weißkopfseeadler in German). He was a bit unsteady - probably because of Spring in the air and he wanted to fly and check out the area - so it was a bit hard to catch him. I think they also change feathers in Spring, is that right?

Theme of the City Daily Photo Bloggers today is to post a symbolic picture from our city that can be linked to another city/country. Since the bald eagle is a very symbolic figure for the United States of America, I'm linking it to Jenny from Sharon, CT, USA who had the idea of this theme.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Niederwald Denkmal - "Germania"

This is the view up to the Niederwald monument (also called "Germania"). In the foreground you see the cable cars going up the hill.

The history of the Germania dates back to 1871 when the different principalities where united to one country - Germany. Some people say that it points south to Bavaria since they were the last ones to join the unity ;).

Friday, April 28, 2006

Cable Cars in Rüdesheim

A few meters away from the Drosselgasse and the Museum for Mechanical Music Instrumets is the Rüdesheim cable car valley station. From there we take a cable car up the hill to the Niederwald - a forest with a great view down to the Rhine valley. Also on top of the hill are the statue "Germania" and an eagle enclosure.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett

Today I take you inside the Museum for Mechanical Music Instruments. Since it would take too long to display one by one, I've combined some of the highlights in this collage.

Here's what you see (from top left to lower right)
1. Banjo Orchestra by D.C. Ramey Piano Co. in Chicago (here you see a similar "brain" used as in yesterdays photo quiz)
2. Organ for a funfair in Budapest made by the brothers Bruder from Waldkirch, Germany. Rare oriental style for an organ like this. From around 1900.
3. Oldest funfair organ the museum holds in its collection. Kids were treated with a free ride on the carousel for keeping it playing.
4. New music boxes crafted by one of the museum owner's sons. Can be purchased in the museum shop.
5. Probably the largest ever built automatic puppet orchestrion by Bernhard Dufner (Buffalo, USA) from around 1888/1895.
6. Fun for the museum's visitors - you can play a mechanical street organ.

Related links: (in German only)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Photo Quiz No. 2

Since this photo came out a bit blurry I thought it would be perfect for another photo quiz. Do you know what it is?

As a prize, I can offer a postcard from the beautiful Rheingau to the first person with the right answer :) .

* + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + *

Update 27.4.: You guys are great - you had some really cool guesses!!! And... the winner is... Arnaud! He was the first one who got the right answer. Congratulations! Please email me your address so I can send you the postcard, Arnaud.

What you see on the photo is the "brain" of one of the mechanical orchestras at the Museum for Mechanical Music Instruments. It's a roll of paper with little holes in it that "tell" the mechanical orchestra which instrument to play when and how. Check out todays photo to see a selection of the different kinds.

A quick note for the future: As some of your comments showed me, I had not thought about the advantage/disadvantage of the different time zones. Sorry about that! So next time the prize of a postcard will drawn from all "submissions" :).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Brömserhof in Rüdesheim

Just a few steps from the Drosselgasse you'll find the Brömserhof. It hosts Germany's first Museum of Mechanical Music Instruments, also called "Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett". Parts of the building date back to 1310 which you will see when you take a tour through the museum.

Nowadays the museum holds a collection of 350 instruments from 3 centuries - from small music boxes from the 18th century up to large organs from funfairs (which I'm going to show you soon). In one of the windows you can see a glockenspiel with bells made out of ceramics.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Drosselgasse - full of visitors

Exactly one month ago, I posted a photo of the Drosselgasse waiting for tourists. Yesterday was the last day of Spring break here in Germany and the same alley was full of people.

Inspired by Lisi's Hong Kong ferry trip, I'll take you on a tour around Rüdesheim over the next few days: today you've seen the Drosselgasse, tomorrow I'll show you the "Musikkabinett", and over the next days, we'll also take a trip with the cable car up to the "Germania" and visit the "Adlerwarte" (eagle enclosure).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunrise in Oestrich

Did you know that Germany has sent off a rocket to the Mars as well, as seen in the upper right corner here? ;) I'm just kidding! It's more likely that this is a plane taking off from Frankfurt airport which is in that direction. :)

On the left, you might recognize Oestrich's St. Martin church from this photo.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Kräuterquark & Pellkartoffeln

Voilà! Here it comes: Kräuterquark with Pellkartoffeln (herbal quark with potatoes). According to the Wikipedia definition "Quark is a type of fresh acid-set cheese of Central European origin". It's quite similar to cream cheese mixed with sour cream. We prepared it with dill, parsley, chives, scallions, and cucumbers and seasoned it with pepper, salt, and a bit of paprika. It's a very refreshing dish for Spring and Summer.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Market day in Geisenheim

We went to the farmer's market in Geisenheim this morning and got lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and also herbs since we're planning to have one of my favorite dishes for lunch today - "Kräuterquark mit Pellkartoffeln" (herbal quark with potatoes). Hopefully, I'll be able to show you a photo of that tomorrow.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Houses in Geisenheim

Some deatils of timbered houses next to the Dome in Geisenheim. Most of the people in the Rheingau are katholic and you'll see statues like this madonna on older houses quite often.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tunnel to the Rhine

A tunnel in Geisenheim going underneath the main road that connects all the villages along the Rhine.

Usually these tunnels tend to be dark and a bit dirty so I was happy to find a nice looking one. It's a lot more inviting with flowers on the walls. Looks like we also got a selfportrait of the sprayer here...

On the other side of the tunnel is a place for skaters and skate boarders.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hut in Vineyards No.2

Another one of these small huts in the vineyards. This one looked so nice in the afternoon mist. Remember the one I showed you in March?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter night in Kiedrich

On Saturday night we went to the Easter night celebration at the St. Valentinus church in Kiedrich. As you see here on the photo, everything was kept dark (deliberately) because part of the ceremony was to light candles at the Easter fire outside the church. It was beautiful when the church started to light up inside by everyone's candles! Too bad I couldn't take a picture of that...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ostereierkrone (Easter Egg Crown)

Every year, a group of women from Hattenheim (Hattenheimer Landfrauen) comes together to create this "crown" made with handpainted Easter eggs. It's actually not a tradition from our region (it comes from the southern part of Germany) but a nice "imported" one :).

Unfortunately, it started raining when I wanted to take this picture so it ended up being a "point and shoot photo". But you might recognize the building in the background from an earlier post...

H A P P Y    E A S T E R !

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rheingauer Weinglas & "Flöte"

This is the type of wine bottles we call "Rheingauer Flöte" (flute). There are also matching glasses for white wine (as you see here), red wine and sprakling wine. What you see here is a "2005 Qualitätswein Riesling trocken" (a dry Riesling) from the winery of Schloss Vollrads. Also noticable is the glass cork than some wineries start using nowadays instead of the natural cork (it can have some impact on the taste of the wine).

Some wineries still use the "old" brown bottles as you saw in my little quiz last week. But especially for the "better wines" like Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Trockenbeerenauslese or Eiswein, they like to use the more elegant Rheingauer Flöte. I'll see if I can put a little photo wine guide together for you over the next weeks to show you the different kind of wines from the region...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hiking in the vinyards - Flötenrundweg

A while ago Oestrich-Winkel has marked different hiking trails through the vineyards with these colorful signs. They show a comic of a wine bottle from the area (done by the artist who also did the Karl comics). One kind of wine bottles from this area is called the "Rheingauer Flöte" - I'll show you how it looks like tomorrow - that's why the trail is called "Flötenrundweg".

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Oestrich-Winkel - the center of the world :)

Not many people have heard of Oestrich-Winkel yet, but as you can see here, there's a connection to the rest of the world :). Might be the travel itiniary of the family living in the house...

So far I see only one Daily Photo Blog city on that list (New York). Let's see if this has changed in a few months/a year...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rheingau and the Wine Business

The Rheingau is a wine region since approximately the 11th century, when monks brought the wine making business into the region. It was mainly the Benedictine (Kloster Johannisberg) and the Cistercian monks (Kloster Eberbach) who made the business so important and successful for the Rheingau. Having the Rhine right in front of the door was also a great advantage for the business in terms of transportation.

When you visit the area, you see references to this quite often, like this painting I found in a wine tavern.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Too Early...

This is one of the little alleys in the old part of Eltville, photographed too early for anyone else to be around :). You can still drive through most of the alleys here but watch out if another car comes towards you... it can get a bit tricky then...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Harbor in Rüdesheim

This photo was taken during a nice evening walk around the little harbor in Rüdesheim. Most boats are still covered in their winter gear.

In the background behind the house you can see what's left from the old Rhine bridge that used to be here, crossing the Rhine from Rüdesheim to Bingen. It's been destroyed during the war, but lately there have been discussions going on to re-build it. At the moment, if you want to cross the Rhine in this area, you would take one of the ferries.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Wind Surfing on the Rhine

When there is enough wind on a weekend, the Rhine seems to be quite a nice spot for wind surfers from the region. You need to be an experienced surfer though because of the currents and the boats and ships.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

An even smaller car...

I thought it would be hard to beat a "Smart" car in terms of size and easyness to find parking. But then I saw this little vehicle... It's maybe a bit more than a meter wide (you can compare it to the front door of the house). I guess even the traffic policeperson would have a hard time ticketing here for parking on the sidewalk...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Photo Quiz No. 1

Let's see if you can guess what this is and especially why you see a lot of this in the Rheingau around this time of the year... Any ideas?

These are palettes with new wine bottles for the 2005 wine to be bottled. They don't bottle all of it yet, some remains longer in the barrels, but there are some early wines that can go out to the customers now.

A friend of mine is vintner and he promised that I can take photos when he bottles some of his wine so I can share it with you. You'll see it hopefully soon!

Thank you all for participating in my little quiz here!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Early Morning in Eltville

I went to Eltville this morning to take some early morning shots but unfortunately, the air was still too misty to get clear shots. I liked the way this one came out though...

A mom with her son, on their way to work/school. I guess, that's a very typical scene for parents - get everyone ready, drop the kid(s) off at school and then on to work.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I've had a full day yesterday. Lots of things going on. So inbetween, I went out in the late afternoon to free my mind and get some fresh air. Thought this sky was definitely worth sharing with all its cloud formations. And check out the white stripe on the right - it's from a plane heading towards Frankfurt airport.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

St. Valentinus church in Kiedrich

The St. Valentinus church in Kiedrich from around 1380 is a popular location for weddings in the Rheingau. It has the oldest, still playable, gothic organ in Germany.

I just liked the view through a small side gate that I captured here, so I decided to share it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Vineyard detail

I got myself a new pocket camera last week and practiced a bit with it during the weekend. Had a lot of fun with close-ups, as you might have seen in yesterday`s photo for my Wiesbaden blog.

Here you see some old twines from the vine - leftovers from last year or even some years before.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rainbow over Oestrich

April started off with the typical "April weather" yesterday - rain, wind, sunshine, storm, sunshine, again some rain and wind, a constant change... But because of that we also got to see some really nice rainbows!

Happy Spring and Happy Sunday to all of you!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fachwerkhaus under renovation

As you can see, this old timbered house is in desperate need of some renovation. And there's actually something going on inside (heard it when I walked by). My guess is that they knocked off the plaster to check the condition of the wood. With old houses there are often problems with decay or wood worms. It seems to be ok here.

Also you can see how the walls were built in former times - creating some sort of a grid with branches between the frames, fill it with straw, and then cover it with clay.

Renovating these old houses is very expensive because most of the times they are listed buildings, meaning they are under monumental protection. There are certain restrictions to what you can and cannot do and everything has to be as true to the original as possible.