Assmannshausen to Lorch

This is the third part of the series about my weekend walking between Rüdesheim and Oberwesel. Part two can be found here.

The way out of Assmannshausen led up a narrow flight of steps behind a row of houses, from there the path widened and again clung to the vineyards on the slopes overlooking the town, zig-zagging upwards.

After arriving on the highest level, the path continued for a short while before entering some woods. Inside the woods the path became narrow and un-even. To the left, a steep slope led downwards through the trees – a similarly steep slop led upwards on the right. The path therefore required a clear head and a good sense of balance, as one wrong footing could cause serious a fall and serious injury. In fact, the best thing to do was to look ahead and just keep going.

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Paul-Claus-Hütte, between Assmannshausen and Lorch

It was in the wooded section that I believe my problems began. Unknown to me, blisters had started to form on the soles of my feet, which, due to my good hike boots and thick socks I didn’t notice – but it was enough to make me walk slower and and a result my calf-muscles starting aching.

By way of motivation, Lorch came into view down below and around the next corner. Little did I realise how much there was still to walk to to reach it. The path continued to follow the side of the hills along the Rhine valley, although there were less vineyards at this point. Every now and then there would be woods on either side, but the path was much wider here and more even so I was able to enjoy the changing scenery.

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One of the many corners through the trees on this part of the path

At last, Lorch seemed to be within reach, when the path played a nasty trick – and took a detour to away from the river into a valley and back out again on the other side. This detour did not help my already aching legs!

But having returned back to the river, the view down to Lorch was magnificent – the vineyards were back! These ones even had signs of activity, as small groups were transporting boxes of grapes, loading them onto trailers as we passed.

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Looking across the vineyards towards Lorch

Finally the path started to descend towards Lorch. We found somewhere to eat our late lunch and to sample to local wines – how good it was to be able to sit down for a while!

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The sign to the “Straußwirtschaft” in Lorch

Having rested, my main concern was how I was going to get to our accommodation in Oberwesel. The answer led me down to the river…

Bingen to Assmannshausen

This is the second part of my series about my weekend walking between Rüdesheim and Oberwesel. Part one can be read here.

Leaving the Niederwalddenkmal behind us we continued to walk across the Rüdesheimer Berg, a group of vineyards on the slopes overlooking the Rhine. On the opposite bank lay Bingen, its many railway lines clearly visible.

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Bingen

The next sight to see was the Mäuseturm, built on a island in the middle of the Rhine. The tower that currently occupies the site was built in the 19th Century as a Prussian signal tower, before that there was a customs tower on the island.

The name of the tower comes from a legend about the Bishop of Mainz in the 10th Century, who was apparently besieged and later eaten by a swarm of mice in revenge for not distributing grain to his people during a time of famine.

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The Mäuseturm, seen from the Rüdesheim bank of the Rhine

Opposite the Mäuseturm lie the remains of Burg Ehrenfels. The castle was also used in the collection of tolls but was severely damaged in the 17th Century. Later parts of it were removed when the vineyards were being planted.

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Burg Ehrenfels

Our route led us directly behind the castle and continued towards Assmannshausen. Here we had the choice of taking the chairlift or going down a flight of steps into the town – the steps going almost through peoples’ back gardens and coming out in an alleyway in the middle of the town.

Bingen to Assmannshausen
Assmannshausen viewed from the vineyard path

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Assmannshausen

Tickets for the chair lift can be combined with those for the cable car in Rüdesheim, so it is possible to do a round trip, returning from Assmannshausen to Rüdesheim by boat.

For our journey, however, we continued through the town and followed the path back up the hill towards Lorch…

Rüdesheim and the Niederwalddenkmal

A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend walking along the Rhine valley from Rüdesheim to Oberwesel with a group of my fellow Scout Leaders. Over the next few blog posts, I am going to talk about this area and some of the sights there.

We had stayed the night at the youth hostel in Rüdesheim, located on a hill above the town itself. This position was ideal to enter the many public footpaths that weave their way along the vineyards.

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The youth hostel in Rüdesheim

The youth hostel itself had been very basic, and had cost 16,90EUR for the night with breakfast. Unfortunately we had been given the wrong time for breakfast and even when we turned up at the right time we were, at first, sent away again because it was not ready.

We left the hostel at 9am and headed out on the paths above the vineyards, with a magnificent view looking down towards Rüdesheim and the Rhine.

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Looking down towards Rüdesheim

Eventually we started to climb upwards and came to the cable car, that brings visitors up from the town.

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The cable car hangs above the vineyards

The visitors are heading for a number of attractions – there is a restaurant located near the end of the cable car itself, and also a small temple that has been restored and rebuilt in recent years.

But what most of them come to see is a slight walk further along the valley – the Niederwalddenkmal – a 38m high monument built at the end of the 19th Century, on top of which stands a 12.5 high statue of Germania.

The monument was commissioned as a symbol of the new Germany, which had just beaten French troops back to Rhine. Indeed, at the time it was built there were apparently French troops still on the other side of the Rhine. Indeed, it is built as a position far away from any of the nearby towns, but is more than large enough to be seen from the other side of the river.

Rüdesheim and the Niederwalddenkmal
The Niederwalddenkmal

As it happens, such monuments are unusual in this part of Germany. So many have been either destroyed by war or deemed unappropriate. It is awesome to stand at the base of the steps and look up towards the statue – an experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

Leaving the monument behind us, we carried on along the vineyards towards Assmannshausen…

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