June 02, 2004

The Romantic Rhine

We had a lovely weekend trip this past holiday weekend. Scout was remarkably well behaved throughout the entire trip. She quickly settled into the car with only a minimum of panting and aside from a lot of leash pulling she did well in all of the towns we visited. She also got an opportunity to practice her table manners as we were able to eat with her in a restaurant and a couple cafes.

We left on Friday to visit Saint Goar, a cute little town on the Rhine. Unfortunately what should have been a 5 hour or so drive extended into an 8.5 hour drive due to unanticipated heavy traffic. It brought back horrible flashbacks from Thanksgiving trips to LA but I'm pushing it from my mind.

Our hotel in St. Goar was one we stayed at in 2001. It's absolutely darling and we got a great corner room with beautiful views out of 3 sides of the room. The hotel is situated right on the river and was just beautiful. After our staying the night in St. Goar we parked the car in a shady spot and went to explore the castle ruins there. This 13th century castle is one of my favorites due to the underground labyrinth of dark tunnels that the castle defenders used to crawl through to get around if the castle was under siege (which apparently happened a lot with this particular castle). You can buy candles and explore the caves on your own, which I really liked, although Kevin proactively brought a flashlight due to his fear of his candle expiring and being lost like Tom Sawyer.

We then moved on to a short walk through another scenic villiage of Bacharach, and proceeded to Baden Baden. Driving into Baden Baden was frustrating because the entire middle of the town is a pedestrian zone and there are only a handful of ways to get around to the other side which involve leaving the city entirely and coming in a different way. However we did manage to find our extremely cute and luxurious hotel. It was too late for shopping and the stores were all going to be closed the next day (Sunday) but we walked around a little bit. On Sunday we treated ourselves to the Roman Irish bath. I'm not sure what's Irish about this bath but can I just tell you what a wonderful experience this is? You go from station to station for prescribed amounts of time--hot dry saunas, steam rooms, mineral baths, etc. The high point is the massage. They use a body brush to thoroughly exfoliate you and then massage your muscles. There are two cold baths--one is an "exercise pool" and the other is a plunge into very cold water. I'm such a wimp I skipped those two stations. After all of that you slather yourself in lotion and go to a darkened room where you lie on a bed in a cocoon and let the lotion sink in. I of course feel right asleep but luckily the attendant woke me up in a half an hour.

After Baden Baden we headed to Rothenburg. Rothenburg is one of the most adorable citites in Germany. It still retains its medieval city walls and many original buildings. As an added bonus they were holding some kind of festival which resulted in people walking around in traditional costume and things like a craft fair. It was exactly like a Rennaisance Faire except, you know, authentic. Rothenburg is also the place to buy Everything German. If it's a popular German souvenir, you can find it here. After much debate and discussion, we decided to treat ourselves to a tasteful cuckoo clock (after my assiduous questions like "can you turn the cuckoo off?"). I also got Kevin the PERFECT Christmas present from the Christmas shop. Although now we have a few bulky, breakable items to carry home on the plane with us. We're still making arrangements for that.

After a reasonable drive home yesterday we totally just relaxed. I had class but I totally forgot about it. Scout seems happy to be at home in familiar surroundings and we're glad to be here too. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.

Posted by Shelby at June 2, 2004 01:17 PM

Glad you had such a wonderful time! :-)

Posted by: Annastazia at June 2, 2004 06:31 PM

The Roman Irish bath sounds fantastic!!
I would have done the cold bath.

Maybe the "Roman" part if because you are "roamin'" from station to station??

Posted by: Katrina at June 3, 2004 04:31 AM
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