Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

Another place a bit off the tourist trail in London this week. Having been grappling with the WordPress new block editor, I finally seem to have managed to to restore the classic editorial style for the time being.

This week’s post will be more pictorial though than I’d planned but another in my series of  “Off The Tourist Trail in London”. This particular Sunday Mlle took me to Camden Passage Islington a really quaint pedestrian-only thoroughfare right up my street. There were pretty shops aplenty, antique stalls, street cafes and a pleasantly relaxed vibe.

 

 

Beforehand we had checked out nearby Colebrook Row to try and find my great grandmother’s old family home. Her parents ran a mission school here for the many poor children in the area – she was born in 1869 and the school certainly existed to the later 1890s. I know she helped her widowed father run the establishment (her mother died young in 1881). I didn’t know the exact number so we walked up and down trying to figure out where the house must have stood. Later I was doing further research and realised it had been at number 68 and was demolished some years ago. The gap where it once stood now leads into Camden Passage adjacent to an art shop on one side at 66-67 and a bar (69 Colebrook Row) on the other! I did find an article on the street’s history here and it appears certain well-known politicians have called Colebrook Row their home – hmmm enough said! St Peter’s Church Islington, which I found in online family records, has now been turned into upmarket apartments although the facade of the old church remains.

 

 

Later we wandered round more shops including spending a fair time browsing in Waterstone’s book store by Islington Green, an attractive area of communal gardens surrounded by a wrought iron fence. We finished off a lovely outing with some afternoon tea and a glass of French wine at the adjacent brasserie, Bellangers, which alas permanently closed its doors in August 2019 just 3 months after our visit (no connection I’m sure!). There are still plenty of bars and eateries in this area though!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

With the summer holidays coming to a close here in Perth it seems a good time to move away from Western Australian posts for a while and finish off my travel series from last year (late April/early May).

After visiting our respective families in Yorkshire and the West Country, Moniseur and I reconvened in London, then travelled to Mainz in Germany for 6 nights in the Rhine region (see that series of posts plus more German travels here).

We headed back to London again by train to spend a long weekend with our daughter Mlle who currently lives there. The train journey was very efficient despite a couple of changes.  We left Mainz at 9.20 am and got back to London St Pancras at 4pm (of course it’s an hour behind the continent back in the UK so the real travel time was just under 8 hours). We went from Mainz to Cologne, Cologne to Brussels and then took the Eurostar train back under the “Chunnel” to London. You do need to book all of those sectors in advance though as they are extremely busy lines.

Our London base was a spacious AirBNB flat in the suburb of Haggerston. It’s one of those places that we’d heard of but never ventured to when we were living in London in the 1980s. Back then this locality in the London Borough of Hackney was not considered a particularly safe area and was rather run down. Today it has been redeveloped with many of the old council estates turned into private dwellings and new buildings constructed. My great grandmother grew up in the Haggerston/Bethnal Green area in the 1870s so it had a particular interest for me (I’ve previously blogged about her mother’s family connections in London here and here).

Our spacious flat had a little balcony with a charming view of the Regents Canal, the same one that wends its way across London passing through Little Venice (see here for a post I did on a previous trip when it was distinctly colder!). We had a regular visitor who popped by to say hello and seemed unfazed by our presence (I know grey squirrels are considered vermin but he was rather cute).

Mlle works in Shoreditch and lives in a flat in Clapton close to Stoke Newington. Since space is at a premium in her flat-share she came to stay with us for the weekend and showed us round her local stomping ground. Haggerston adjoins Shoreditch and Hoxton, now definitely more gentrified than we remembered.

Kingsland Road connects Shoreditch High Street with Dalston and Stoke Newington. It was just a few minutes walk from our flat up to the road where we could pick up one of the numerous London buses or catch the overland from Haggerston Station just off the main drag (when we weren’t walking). The whole area was bustling with people going here, there and everywhere! The elegant buildings fronting onto the high street house a huge variety of shops including many speciality stores. You can take your pick of cuisine from the numerous cafes and restaurants – there should be something to cater for every taste.

We always enjoy Mlle’s local tours, which take us to places that perhaps we wouldn’t have considered otherwise. A pleasant evening walk along the canal took us to Broadway Market in London’s E8 postcode. The iconic street joins London Fields with the Regents Canal. It has the feel of a bygone era – a range of street stalls and permanent shops selling fresh produce, artisan breads, traditional London fayre such as jellied eels (pass from me!) and pretty arts and crafts amongst other things.

At night it is obviously the place to be seen judging by the crowds with the famous Cat and Mutton pub (established 1729) so popular we had to join the throngs of patrons standing on the street with our drinks. Still the ambiance was electric and the street corner was an excellent place to people watch whilst we enjoyed our aperitifs.

The tapas restaurant (El Ganso) that we were lucky enough to get a late reservation for was worth the wait. It was an authentic experience run by very friendly Spaniards – the food was simply superb and the wines outstanding. Highly recommend if anyone is visiting that part of London!

Don’t know if it’s just me but WordPress seem to have changed their entire editing system overnight and when I came on to finish off this post it took me a while to navigate the new system. Hopefully all the links on this post work – please let me know if anyone experiences any problem viewing anything thanks!

Copyright © 2020 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

Playing tourist in our home town, we visited the Perth Mint in central Perth the other week. It was the first visit for me but Monsieur has been there on a few occasions for various reasons and highly recommended it.

First stop was lunch at the Grosvenor Hotel on the opposite side of the street on the corner of Hill and Hay Streets. A beautifully restored heritage building, it serves good quality upmarket pub food in addition to a wide beverage selection.

 

We had booked to go on one of the hourly guided heritage walks that take place at Perth Mint (check on the link here for further details). The assembly point is at the front of the beautiful old limestone building dating back to the colonial era. The grounds are pretty and well maintained, a quiet oasis in a busy modern city.

 

 

Perth Mint originally opened on 20th June 1899 as one of only six branches of the Royal Mint London. Our guide was entertaining and knowledgeable and gave us a fascinating insight into the early days of the discovery of gold in the Western Australian outback from the 1880s onwards. The most significant finds were out near Coolgardie (about 550 kms east of Perth) in 1892 and Kalgoorlie in 1893 triggering a gold rush (see here). To this day this region is known as the Goldfields. Gold is still mined at various locations in the state.

We were able to see replicas of the gold nuggets found in the early days – life changing for the lucky gold prospectors! We also heard how lonely and unhappy the wife of the first governor of the Perth Mint was. Displaced from her social network in London she arrived in what was then still a relatively small settlement on the banks of the Swan River – it must have seemed like being transplanted to the back of beyond!

 

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Perth Mint is the oldest operating mint in Australia but it no longer produces currency in everyday use (those coins are minted in Canberra). However it does produce a large amount of commemorative and collectible coins as well as a wide range of jewellery.

Moving inside we were taken to one of the tour highlights to see the enormous “One Tonne Gold Coin” officially the biggest coin in the world (Guinness Book Of Record 2012)!

 

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We were led into a darkened room where this beautiful piece of work is proudly displayed on a plinth in the middle of the room. At night it disappears at a press of a button into a vault underneath. I’m quite sure it was heavily wired for security but it would be difficult to organise a heist even if you were so inclined as it weighs, as its name indicates, one tonne (99.99% pure gold)!

 

 

 

Next stop was the “Gold Pour” where, in the original gold smelting workshop (operations have long since moved to a more modern facility further out of town), you are treated to a demonstration of the casting of a gold bar. The melting point of gold is 1064 degrees centigrade! Our excellent demonstrator, Greg, talked us through the process whilst explaining the history of the work. Back in the day the poor gold “pourers” even wore asbestos aprons to “protect” themselves from burning.

Greg deftly poured the molten gold from the furnace into the ingot mould and cooled it down as soon as possible – it quickly became as hard as a rock. Not a job for the faint-hearted – the heat is incredible! We could sense how hot it was even from the back of the room (seating is auditorium style so you get a good view). Naturally no one can go near the stage for obvious reasons. I also don’t think it would be a suitable demonstration for very young children – certainly no one can move whilst the demonstration is taking place. Photos however were welcomed.

 

 

 

Afterwards you’re free to wander through the Mint’s exhibits. We learnt more about the Gold Rush history and saw some examples of the Perth Mint special coin ranges, which are available to buy in the Mint shop or else can be ordered online. We also tried out the weighing machine where you find out how much your weight in gold is worth. Suffice to say Monsieur is worth considerably more than I am!

 

 

 

 

You can either book the guided tour alone or pay extra to include Devonshire Tea at the Perth Mint cafe. Fortunately for me Monsieur had decided to do the latter. A very pleasant tea in the lovely cafe courtyard concluded a very enjoyable outing.

 

 

 

 

As a postscript don’t forget to have a browse in the well-stocked shop – you may need a substantial wallet though for some of the items!

 

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Copyright © 2020 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

Getting back into routine after the festive season! Our visitors have left us and it seems a bit strange to have the house back to just ourselves and the pets.

We’ve done quite a few local outings over the past few weeks including a pleasant day in Fremantle with Mlle when she was here from London.

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I have posted about a previous trip to Fremantle (see here). By Perth standards it’s quite a historic place being the first port of call back in 1829 when the first European settlers set up a colony at the mouth of the Swan River (see here). However, importantly, it also has a rich indigenous heritage, which you can read more about here. There is an acknowledgement about the land and traditions on the City of Fremantle website:

The City of Fremantle acknowledges the Whadjuk people as the traditional owners of the greater Fremantle/Walyalup area and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still important to the Nyoongar people today.

It’s always lovely to wander the streets and explore the older style buildings from colonial days. The Fremantle Markets are a wonderful way to while away time and pick up supplies (I have discovered an excellent stall selling all manner of loose leaf teas including all my favourites!)

 

 

Aside from the markets, Fremantle also has plenty of interesting shops selling all sorts of things – artwork, old books, maps and clothing. Monsieur was on a mission to find some old vinyls for the new turntable he received at Christmas! He duly found a store selling a myriad of old records and I left him there to browse for quite a while.

We wandered back down to the sea front and passed by Notre Dame, the univeristy situated in Fremantle – its locations are spread out over a number of old-style buildings.

Later we met Mlle for lunch at coincidentally the same place as my previous Fremantle post – Little Creatures down by the front! I should stress however that there are numerous other cafes and eateries from which to take your pick – The Raw Kitchen restaurant is another of our favourites and the adjoining shop a great place to pick up gifts.

 

 

After lunch we strolled around the historic port front – it was a blustery day though the sea breeze was most welcome. There are some displays about the port’s heritage, an art gallery and steps leading up to the Round House used to house prisoners for many years (we have visited quite a few times so didn’t go up there on our recent visit).

 

 

Fremantle is a perennial favourite somewhere I often pop down to even when we don’t have visitors. If anyone is coming to Perth I’d highly recommend it – it has a charm and character quite distinct from the far more modern Perth city.

 

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We have fortunately not been affected in the Perth Metro area by the horrific bushfires, though there was a severe fire in the Yanchep area to the north before Christmas and the eastern part of Western Australia has been badly impacted by fires near the South Australian border. This is a relatively under-populated part of the state though it has alas burnt through large hectares of bushland and caused traffic delays on the Eyre Highway (the main link road between Western and South Australia).

Thoughts continue to go out to those affected further east by the drought, terrible fires and most recently floods.

Copyright © 2020 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

Belated “Happy New Year” to everyone from Perth, Western Australia!

The photos below were taken on my morning walk today – we have had beautifully mild weather for the past few weeks in contrast to the heatwaves of November and early December. We are so lucky to enjoy unspoilt bushland in the city so close to our home but it is something never to take for granted.

It is heartbreaking to see the terrible destruction being wrought on such a vast area by the horrific bushfires burning out of control in virtually all states of Australia at present (this does include WA though mercifully so far the fires have been in relatively underpopulated regions).

There are many debates going on about causes, solutions and current and future planning but this is not the forum in which to discuss all of that. For now hearts go out to those affected and utter sadness for the loss of lives, homes, native bushlands and forests, wildlife, livelihoods and more…….

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

Here is a little pictorial roundup of the last few weeks out and about in Perth – not sure where this year has gone, it’s hard to believe we will soon be in 2020!

 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year!

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

Worms (the German town on the Rhine) used to induce sniggers in history lessons at school when discussing the significance of the Diet of Worms. Nothing to do with some continental delicacy “a la escargots” (snails), it was in fact an important assembly (Diet) of powerful nobles, churchmen and advisors called by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, in 1521 to address the issue of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Luther had set off a revolutionary wave that swept Europe when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church four years earlier in 1517.

Worms is in fact pronounced “Vorms” in Germany with an “or” sound rather than “er” as in English. The German word for “worms” is der Wurm or plural “die Wuermer”.

It was only a 40 minute train ride from our base in Mainz down to Worms and so we set off on yet another rather grey and rainy day to explore more (we didn’t have much luck with the weather on our trip this May). Intrinsically involved in the struggles between Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s and beyond, Worms was also a leading centre for medieval Ashkenazic Judaism. This community existed for hundreds of years before being swept away when the horrors of Kristallnacht in 1938 unleashed a terrible tide of destruction. We wondered what the city would be like today and how much of the past has been restored or preserved.

Our first impressions were that Worms seemed like a typical clean and pristine German town. Quieter that we expected and not obviously touristy but it was a rather dreary day and perhaps that had put visitors off.

We made our way towards the Old Town and wandered round the narrow streets. The building on the corner (in the photo below) houses a casual self-service restaurant that offers a wonderful array of local produce and home-cooked food at very reasonable prices. Soups, hearty meat stews, a wide variety of vegetables plus a couple of glasses of the local vino set us up well for an afternoon exploring in between the rain showers.

 

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We explored the old Jewish Quarter in a couple of stages having started off before lunch. The Judengasse (Jewish Alley) leads off the junction in the photo above. This was the quarter of the city where for many centuries the Jews were required to live. The Hebrew word for Worms was “Warmaisa” (see here for more information). Much of its significance derived from its association with Rabbi Salomon ben Isaak known as Rashi who studied at the Yeshiva (Jewish School) in Worms around 1060 and wrote an important commentary on the Talmud.

 

 

In the 1970s and 80s the old Jewish Synagogue was restored and a museum set up in the Rashi House. It was a very moving and poignant place to visit – we looked round the Jewish Museum at some length and also went into the Synagogue but the Mikvah (Jewish Ritual Bath) under the adjacent grounds was closed for restoration work.

 

 

With a break in the rain we headed off to find the Cathedral and also walk along the route of the old town walls towards the Jewish Cemetery. En route we passed through the main town square again and also found ourselves in some attractive gardens. In the centre was a large statue commemorating Luther’s links to the city with various other significant figures to do with the Reformation.

 

 

Luther was lucky to escape with his life.

The upshot of the Diet of Worms was the Edict of Worms, issued on 25 May 1521 by Emperor Charles V. It declared:

For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work.

Luther had in fact been “guaranteed” safe passage to and from the Diet under the protection of a powerful supporter Prince Frederick III, Elector of Saxony. Not surprisingly the machinations going on behind the scenes were designed to trick him and have him arrested and tried for heresy. Frederick, aware of this, arranged for a fake highway robbery to take place whilst Luther was leaving Worms to return home. He was whisked away to the safety of the Wartburg Castle where he spent years in seclusion and translated the New Testament into German.

Illustrating Worms’s rich history we then visited the nearby Romanesque Cathedral (Dom St Peter). Similar to the one in Mainz it was an imposing structure – one can imagine the sense of power and prestige it conveyed in the Middle Ages when the powerful Prince Bishops controlled these cities.

 

 

Nearby we had another moving experience, walking through the old Jewish Cemetery known as “Holy Sands” or “Heiliger Sand”  in German. The oldest grave dates back to 1058/9 and it was in use as a Jewish burial ground for centuries. I read in a local guidebook that for some unknown reason it wasn’t destroyed by the Nazis although any remaining Jews in Worms were deported during the war. It seems something of a mystery as to why it was left untouched. Today it belongs to the Jewish Congregation of Mainz as there is no longer a formal congregation in Worms. The City of Worms maintains the graveyard. Although entry is free, donations deposited in the box on the wall are much appreciated. Many of the graves are very old including those of important and distinguished rabbis. Pilgrims leave gifts and notes asking for prayers to be answered on the grave stones. The more recent ones, which I could understand, were in German. It covers a large area and it is incredible to think it has stood here for so long.

 

 

Worms is one of the three ShUM cities on the Rhine (the others are Speyer and Mainz) which have great significance in European Jewish history. An application is currently under consideration for them to be granted UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Finally after a long day exploring we ended up in a quaint cafe, the Affenhaus, in the Judengasse enjoying some afternoon tea (and some early aperitifs!) before heading back to the station to catch the train back up to Mainz. Worms turned out to be a fascinating place to visit, rich in history, beautifully maintained and easy to explore on foot (in spite of the rain)!

 

 

This wraps up my series of posts about our trip to Germany in May. You can read the others here.

I’ll be focusing on posts nearer home in Western Australia over the festive season then continuing with London (our trip to see our daughter Mlle) plus finishing my well overdue account of our Alaskan travels last year!

 

Copyright © 2019 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

 

 

Back in 2011 we spent a few days staying in the picturesque city of Koblenz situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers (see here for a previous post I wrote about this stay).

One highlight from that holiday, that I’ve not blogged about before, was our day trip on the River Rhine when we took the KD line’s flagship, the paddle steamer the SS Goethe, down to Bacharach. She is still plying the river to and from Koblenz to Ruedesheim. In last week’s post I talked about how we took the Goethe again this May, going from Bacharach to Bingen as part of our return journey back to our base in Mainz.

So it seems fitting to finish my series of Rhine posts (I’ll link all of them at the bottom of this post) by going full circle from Koblenz down to Bacharach. The weather back in spring 2011 was glorious and unseasonably warm so rather a contrast with the somewhat gloomy and rainy weather we had in May this year. Spring can be such an  unpredictable season in Europe – we even had snow on our trip to the UK in 2018!

The 65 km stretch of river between Koblenz and Ruedesheim (including Bacharach and Bingen) is known as the Upper Rhine UNESCO World Heritage Area. It is not hard to see why the region has been given this status as you enjoy the stunning journey through the Rhine Gorge area (another name for the Upper Rhine Valley). Sailing by leisurely on the boat you pass numerous castles and fortifications perched precariously on hillsides. Neatly planted rows of vines cascade down the slopes. Even on a rainy day it is idyllic and on this glorious sunny late April day simply breathtaking!

 

 

We must have been hungry or maybe skipped breakfast because it appears we spent a lot of the journey eating! It was also warm enough to sit out on the deck most of the time enjoying the fresh air.

 

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We stopped off to drop off and pick up passengers at several quaint towns with names such as Braubach and Boppard. I love the half-timbered houses, which you see everywhere in this part of the world.

 

 

The route also braves the narrow channel that goes by the infamous Lorelei Rock (or Loreley in German).  One legend has it that a beautiful mermaid would sit upon the rock and so distracted the sailors that many a ship was wrecked on the rocks below. In reality our captain explained that this is one of the most treacherous parts of the river and you have to skilfully navigate the boat through the strong currents. Unfortunately whilst researching this post I read that a barge carrying 2,400 tons of sulphuric acid capsized on 13 January 2011, near the Lorelei rock. All river traffic was blocked for some time (see here for the news report).

Fortunately all had been cleared by the time of our trip in April 2011! Today the Lorelei still sits on the rock in the form of a beautiful statue.

 

 

We carried on our journey upstream towards Bacharach and decided to stop off there rather than head down to the far more touristy Ruedesheim (where all the river cruise boats stop off).

 

 

I won’t go into great detail here about Bacharach since I’ve already covered it in recent posts, which I’ll link below. We enjoyed lunch on the terrace of one of the little restaurants that nestle beneath the town walls, right by the railway line. Although trains frequently sped by it was not as disruptive as it sounds!

 

 

After lunch we wandered through the cobbled streets and lane-ways of the pretty medieval town enjoying the warmth of the spring sunshine.

 

 

We also had time to head up to Stahleck Castle. From memory it was about a 25 minute walk up the hill from the town centre though we stopped to take photos of what appeared to be an old ruined abbey and the increasingly wonderful views of the Rhine below us in the valley.

Now converted to a youth hostel, Stahleck Castle also houses a cafe. We enjoyed ice creams and the superb views from the courtyard grounds before heading back downhill to catch the SS Goethe again en route back to Koblenz.

 

 

There are plenty of other delightful towns, castles and wineries in this beautiful region that we hope to explore some day on future visits. Meanwhile here are the links to the other three parts of my “Exploring the Rhine” series (herehere, and here)

 

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Copyright © 2019 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

After our pleasant lunch in Bacharach (see here and here for my last couple of posts on the Rhine), we caught the KD ferry heading south. 

We had planned the schedule carefully as we wanted to have another chance to ride on the flagship of the KD fleet, the SS Goethe, the oldest and last remaining paddle steamer plying the River Rhine. The SS Goethe only travels from Koblenz as far as Ruedesheim so we hadn’t been able to take her earlier in the day en route up from Mainz, which is further south. However we remembered her fondly from our trip in 2011 when we took her all the way from Koblenz to Bacharach and back. There is something so special about paddle steamers – you feel you’re being transported back to a bygone era and we thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely ride down to Bingen, another enchanting town on the banks of the river.

 

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Bingen is beautifully preserved like most of the towns along the Rhine. Rich in history (settlements grew up round here prior to Roman times) it was closely associated with Saint Hildegard of Bingen, an abbess, medieval mystic and musical composer. There are many historical buildings of interest such as the nearby Maeuseturm (Mouse Tower) so called because allegedly Bishop Hatto of Mainz was eaten alive by mice here in the late 10th century arggghhhh!!!

Undaunted we set off to walk along the river and wend our way back round into the town. It was bitterly cold especially with the wind whipping up from the water! If you look closely at the photos of Monsieur and myself down by the Rhine you can just make out the Mouse Tower in the background (it is actually situated on a small island just outside Bingen).

 

 

There were plenty of information signs to give you an idea of the history and local culture.

 

We found the town centre pleasantly laid out and with pots of spring flowers in abundance. We also noticed the religious iconography on some of the buildings though it is worth noting that Bingen, like many towns along the Rhine, also had relatively large Jewish settlements from the middle ages onwards though they were often subjected to discrimination and persecution.

 

After an hour or so of wandering round we needed warming up so we made our way back down to the river and found a cafe near the quay. We had a very pleasant afternoon tea whilst waiting for the ferry to take us back to Mainz. It would have been a shame to sit indoors and not take advantage of the superb view so we braved the elements and huddled up on the outside terrace!

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Our return ferry (the same one we had taken earlier in the day up from Mainz) duly arrived right on schedule and we spent a pleasant few hours watching the scenery go by before the lights of Mainz came into view in the early evening twilight.

 

A long day out but well worth it!

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Copyright © 2019 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

Bacharach is a gorgeous picture-perfect medieval town nestling on the banks of the Rhine River in the stunning Rhine Gorge region.

We took the early ferry up from our base in Mainz (see here) arriving in Bacharach late morning. On our first visit there in 2011 we had lunch in one of the restaurants tucked alongside the medieval town walls overlooking the railway tracks but on this day all seemed rather quiet and nothing appeared to be open.

We wandered beneath the arches of the ancient 14th century walls and set off down the cobbled streets leading to the town square. Bacharach was as pretty as we remembered – charming old half-timbered buildings with dates inscribed on the facades going back to the 1500s and in the case of the Altes Haus (Old House) to 1368.

We stopped to buy some souvenirs at one of the little gift shops and had a pleasant chat with the owner who came from the southern German region of Swabia.

It soon became clear why most of the cafes and restaurants were closed – this was a Monday and the day off for most of the traders. We could have set off to take the climb up to Stahleck Castle perched strategically on the hill overlooking the town and river. Nowadays the castle houses the local youth hostel and we had had a pleasant lunch back in 2011 in the courtyard cafe there.

However we decided that the pub in the town centre would surely open up and it duly did right on midday. Good old-fashioned home cooking and a couple of drinks warmed us up (it was still unseasonably cold). After our hearty lunch we had a pleasant stroll along the little brook (presumably a tributary of the Rhine) that flows through the town before heading back to the quay to catch the steam ship down to Bingen.

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking!

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

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