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Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

Jupiter, Florida
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Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

Hello,

My fiance and I will be traveling by train from Amsterdam to Speyer on a weekend this July, and would like to see the Middle Rhine Valley. I'd need some advice about the best way to do that.

Is it much trouble to connect (while carrying some small luggage) from the standard trains to the trains that go along the Rhine? Considering money and even time (we would like to have as much time in Speyer as possible), would it be best to take a train the whole way, or try to incorporate a small boat segment also (say from Sankt Goar to Bingen)? Are the boats vastly superior to the train? We are looking at the KD Rhine, but is there another line that may be more suitable? We are a young couple and keep seeing that this is very popular with senior citizens, am I just being silly or could be end up completely out of place and bored? Where would be the best place to star, Bonn, Coblenz, another city?

Basically, I heard about this part of the Rhine some time ago and it seemed very special. When I saw that it was more or less on the way from Amsterdam to Speyer, I wanted to make it part of our trip. Does this make sense, or am I just stretching a day too far? thanks for any help!

Paradise, California
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for Rhineland-Palatinate
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1. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

You seem anxious to get to Speyer and haven't allotted any time for the Middle Rhine, so it's not clear what you might have time for. You can use the high-speed trains that pass through the valley without stopping - just make sure your route makes a stop Koblenz and you'll see the Middle Rhine from the train windows. Or you can transfer to milk run trains that stop everywhere along the way for a few seconds between Koblenz and Mainz and then continue on the high-speed trains to Speyer. Or you might hop out of these trains for an hour or two in one of the west bank villages. I'd suggest Oberwesel or Bacharach.

The boat is another matter. It requires 4 hours to cruise from Boppard south to Bingen, the cruise I would normally suggest to visitors (actually, I normally suggest the opposite direction - Bingen to Boppard, which takes only a little longer than two hours since you're cruising with the current. But you are headed south to Speyer.)

If you have any time at all, I would suggest you hop off the train in Koblenz and catch another to Braubach (11 min. from Koblenz) for a tour of the only never-destroyed castle in the area, Marksburg Castle. Should you be able to catch the 7:04 train from A'dam, you can be in Braubach by 11:06. The Braubach TI is near the station and will watch your bags (during open hours, of course.) You can take a stroll through the old town then head up to the castle (walk 20 min. or shuttle up) for the 12:00 English tour. Check the DB itinerary page for connections to Speyer.

www.marksburg.de

DB page: http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Edited: 8:52 am, June 30, 2013
Jupiter, Florida
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144 posts
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2. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

thanks for the information there! Some more questions: What is the quality difference between IC and MRB trains? MRBs take :50 and IC trains take :32, is it just that the MRBs make stops or is the IC train faster, and therefore not as good for sightseeing? also, I'd rather take the IC train, as I could go straight from Koblenz, where we'd have to for lunch and a stroll, to Mannheim and connect easily to Speyer. While we are at it, any lunch suggestions in Koblens between the Hbf and Deutsches Eck area. As a reference point, we love Vapiano because its quick and has good value. You are a great local expert!

Paradise, California
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3. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

The MRB is a commuter train for local stops. You can see out the windows just fine. Because of the stops you have a little more time to look around.

bahnbilder.de/1024/460-002-9-mittelrheinbahn…

duesseldorf-blog.de/wp-content/…desiro-4.jpg

The IC trains are perhaps more comfortable and have windows too but do not stop on the way.

bahnbilder.de/bilder/ic-zuege-und-ic-wagen-7…

All trains travel the same route through the MRV so you'll see the same sights.

Stopping for a quick look around in Koblenz is much like stopping in Mannheim or in any other sort of "meh" modern German city. Not bad but nothing special, IMO. I think it's more interesting to stop off in any of the Rhine Villages for an hour or so. Oberwesel or Bacharach would be good choices. Boppard is nice as well, with some al fresco cafes around it's main square.

Boppard: …staticflickr.com/6086/6064553061_339f44f511…

Jupiter, Florida
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4. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

okay, perhaps we will do both, I appreciate the help!

Jupiter, Florida
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144 posts
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5. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

Of those towns which would you say is the prettiest and best for us? we like to walk around, get a great view, take some photographs, maybe sit and grab a beer and something light to eat. We are not big on shopping or nice restaurants. They all seems similar and lovely though. Do you think the best views would be from the Marksburg Castle? What about the aerial tram in Boppard? Thanks for the help!

Edited: 9:28 pm, June 30, 2013
Paradise, California
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for Rhineland-Palatinate
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6. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

"...we like to walk around, get a great view, take some photographs, maybe sit and grab a beer and something light to eat."

You can do that in all these places. Hard to choose. I suppose it depends on what you'd like to photograph and the views.

Hmm. Scenic value: Maybe St. Goar, actually. Gorgeous spot in the valley near the Lorelei cliffs, 3 castles visible from town, grand view from the clifftop set of castle ruins known as Rheinfels - no doubt a good subject for photos - and from the patio of the adjacent castle-hotel at the "Landgraf" eatery (refreshments, light meals.) The tour of the castle is self-guided - photograph all you like. The shuttle to the castle should be running from the town square.

http://sr47.de/t/pics/56e71e44de.jpg

www.st-goar.de/17-1-rheinfels-castle.html

www.st-goar.de/files/flyer-burg-eng-01-13.pdf

Half-timbered buildings: Bacharach's are the best.

Old town wall and towers: Oberwesel's are great.

The view from the Gedeonseck terrace-cafe at the top of Boppard's chairlift is great as well, but castle-less.

gedeonseck-boppard.de/mediac/…Terrasse1.jpg

Whichever town you end up in, you'll find it more attractive than Koblenz, I'd wager.

Marksburg Castle is great too - there's a terrace cafe at the castle itself - but I think being a formal tour that starts and ends at a certain time, and the fact that connections for Speyer are not as good on that side of the river make the west bank towns a better choice for your interests (but it's a great castle to tour.)

Edited: 10:12 pm, June 30, 2013
Jupiter, Florida
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7. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

you are a lifesaver! thank you so much, its so helpful to have all these questions answered. I really really appreciate it!

8. Re: Quick Trip down Rhine Valley

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