Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where the River meets the River

Day 141

I woke up leisurely and took my time getting my act together. I had a day trip planned, but it wasn´t far away and there were loads of trains so I didn´t have a time frame to follow. I was headed to Koblenz for the day.

Now, I´ve only been in Germany for about 4 days but I must say that I am very disappointed with the trains. Three out of the four I have taken have been late at this point. The trains themselves are very nice, and the conductors are more helpful than anywhere else. The late thing is just driving me crazy though.

The tourist office was right at the train station in Koblenz and I had no problem finding it and getting a map. It was a bit of a walk to the old town, but I didn´t mind. It was a bit warm, but there was still a nice breeze going on. After about 40 minutes I had found what I came for. Koblenz is where the Rhein and Mosel rivers meet. I had expected the water to be more turbulent, but it was very calm. Only the tour boats created any ripples. It was really quite magnificent. I didn´t just want to stand around in the sun, but I didn´t want to leave either. I decided to grab a beer at the uber touristy beer garden right next to the rivers. It was one of those fabulous travel moments. All the tourists, mostly British, seemed to fade away. It was just me, the rivers and a really good lager.

Eventually it was time to move on. I decided to just wander the cute city. There are a lot of half timbered buildings to check out and hidden squares to explore. I ducked into the Florinskirche for a few minutes. It dates back to the 12th century. I think it must have been rebuilt though, it didn´t look very old.

My next stop was the Mittelrhein Museum. My guidebook said that this had a large collection of local art over the past few hundred years. This wasn´t quite true. It basically had overflow artwork from existing and bits from destroyed cathedrals. One of the guys working there was kind enough to read a bunch of the descriptions to me. They had a special exhibit on wooden carvings of Mary and baby Jesus. They had them arranged chronologically so that you could see how she changed from severe and kinda scary, to caring and comforting.

When I had finished with the museum I sat in a square and had a rather belated lunch. I had packed myself a salad sandwich.

For some reason the train back to Frankfurt took hours longer than the train to Koblenz had taken. As soon as I got back I headed to the internet cafe to update blog.

After making dinner and having a beer with some nice Austrian s at the hostel bar I headed up to bed. I had an early day and didn´t want to miss my train.

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