Biking the Rhine // Bingen, Germany
With a weekend to myself and eager to familiarize myself with the area, I toiled over where to go. “Oh no, which beautiful place should I visit? Do I want to hike? bike? Go wine tasting?! Too many choices!” Yes, yes, I hear the sad violin playing, what a horrible first world problem. Alas, I settled on the trusty UNESCO World Heritage list. To the ‘Upper Middle Rhine’ I shall go!
“The 65km-stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. It is intimately associated with history and legend and for centuries has exercised a powerful influence on writers, artists and composers.”
After some google searches I choose to start my tour in Bingen, about an hour north of Heidelberg. A decent size little town with some shops, restaurants and a beautiful view of the Rhine. I found out that the Bingen Tourist Office actually rents bikes for only 12E/day which includes a book bag (life savor!) and bike lock. One very important note though, just be sure you bring the bike back by 4:30PM!
After getting my bike, I headed left with the Rhine along my right. The bike pack is EASY, very flat, paved and rarely intersects with the road. Along my ride I stopped and took lots of pictures of the passing towns. Had I had more time, I would have loved to stop and take more.
With over 40 castle ruins along the Upper Middle Rhine, the picture above is not at all a rare sight. The fortified tower of the ‘Nollig Ruins’ above the town of Lorch were originally built around 1300. Kinda old, just kinda.
After a pleasant ride, I ended in Bacharach where I had a wonderful lunch and accidental hike. Since the Rhine flows north (remember that from your schooldays?!) the ride back to Bingen was upstream and therefore took almost an hour and half. I was foolish and expected that it’d be much faster cruise and therefore was very late returning my bike. Many thanks to the KD Rhine employee who called ahead and told the office I was on my way back. Phew.
The KD Rhine ferry goes up and down the Rhine all day long with stops at numerous beautiful little towns. You don’t need to purchase tickets in advance and can pay a little extra to bring your bike aboard. This makes biking one way and ferrying back simple. The best part – there’s a full bar aboard. I helped myself to 2 glasses of local Reisling!
I think I called someone that once? Check out this link for a full list of castles along the Rhine. Castles Galore!
After a long day, I made my way back to Heidelberg with a huge smile on my face. Nothing tops beautiful scenery, a good ride and a little vino!