Science on a ship – the MS Wissenschaft on tour

The MS Wissenschaft is a container ship that has been converted into a floating exhibition.  Each year the ship tours the main rivers of Germany, stopping at towns along the route, and this weekend it was Frankfurt’s turn to play host to the 2011 exhibition called “Neue Wege in der Medizin” (new paths in medicine) during the Main leg of the tour.

The MS Wissenschaft moored in Frankfurt am Main

The MS Wissenschaft moored in Frankfurt am Main

The exhibition, which is aimed at both children aged 12 and over, and at adults is split into different sections which first explain how the body works before looking at new ideas both in traditional medicine but also in what might be called “personal lifestyle”. [Read more…]

Crossing the Rhine

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

Having stopped to eat in Lorch, it was now time to cross the Rhine and make our way to Oberwesel.

On this stretch of the Rhine there are no bridges, but small, flat, ferries that take cars and foot passengers back and forth across the river during daylight hours. Heading out of Lorch towards the river and the station, it was only a short walk to the ferry berth.

Looking from the ferry back up the ramp and the berth in Lorch

The ferries consist of a flat metal baseplate for the cars with ramps at each end. The bridge is a small cabin located on one side. Foot passengers pay as they board, the car drivers pay during the crossing.

Two rows of cars on the ferry, crossing the Rhine

In a matter of minutes, the ferry reached the other bank of the river at Niederheimbach and we disembarked.

The ferry in the berth at Niederheimbach

From the ferry berth we made our way to the railway station, only to see a train to Oberwesel leave before we could buy our tickets. As the next train was not for another hour, we had plenty of time to work out the ticket prices and I was pleasantly surprised to be able to get a discount with my Bahn Card on such a short trip within a Verkehrsverbund.

Crossing the Rhine
The ferry returning to Lorch

We made out way to the right platform and sat down to wait for the train to Oberwesel.

The view from the platform in Niederheimbach back across the river to Lorch

A number of trains ran through the station while we waited, but none in our direction stopped, until our train arrived. Only a few stops later it was time to get out again and we found ourselves in Oberwesel.

Our final destination of the day was the Jugendherberge (youth hostel), located on the hill near Schloss Schönburg. A sign outside the station showed us which way to go, and we proceeded to walk along a road up a steep hill. Half-way up the hill, we left the road and continued up a footpath that led in a zig-zag form upwards through the woods on the side of the hill. The two street lamps located on the path were not alight, and it got darker and darker as we climbed ever higher. Finally we turned a corner at the top and saw the castle floodlit ahead of us. From here, it was only a few metres to the Jugendherberge and a bed for the night.

Schloss Schönburg at dusk

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.

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.

Looking down towards Rüdesheim

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

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…

Please click on ACCEPT to give us permission to set cookies [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details or to revoke permission.