Day 11- Tuesday, October 2, 2001.

Travel to Frankfurt and the Rhine Valley.

We woke at 6:30 and got ready to travel again. Today we travel to Frankfurt, where our plan is to rent a car and drive to our hotel in the Rhine area. We had breakfast at the buffet, grabbed our bags, checked out, and walked back to the train station. Every day our bags get a little heavier from the things that we're putting in them. We got to the train station about 8:20. We were originally planning to take the 9:46 train but found one leaving at 8:55 so we boarded it. This train was unusual in that it was running more than 10 minutes late which it never did make up. This was the first time we had seen one that was not on time.

We stopped several times before reaching the train station at the Frankfurt airport. We did not have a reservation but figured that we would be able to get a car from Hertz. The Hertz counter near the trains was closed but and we were told that the Hertz rental counter in terminal 1 was open and taking rentals. It was so stifling hot in this area that we were glad that we had to go somewhere else. It was noon when we found the Hertz counter, and by the time we got done with all the paperwork it was 1:00pm. Again we got stuck with a trainee but at least an experienced person was right there to help when needed. I got the best possible rate and bought all of the insurance possible including theft insurance since I was not sure if my own auto policy would provide coverage here like it did in the U.S. I didn't want to take any chances. If the car was wrecked, stolen, vandalized, or whatever, it wouldn't cost me a dime out of my own pocket. The car was an Audi A4 station wagon, dark blue, with a 5-speed as most rental cars are in Germany. We got last-minute directions and we were off to Castle Liebenstein. We didn't see the traffic light mentioned in the directions but we somehow found ourselves on the right road (A3) going the right direction. Our next challenge was to find highway B42 which runs along the river. I took an exit that I thought was the right one but it wasn't. When we saw a man waiting for a bus we figured we had messed up so we stopped to ask directions. He spoke no English but I was able to get information from him. He told us that we had to turn around and go back the way we came, and somehow, again mysteriously, we were now on highway B42 going the right way. We had gone quite a way but had not seen signs for Kamp-Bornhofen and were beginning to wonder if we really were on the right track. I stopped in Loreley where the only place open was a flower shop. I asked if we were going the right way and she said yes. The castle is just another 20 KM or so down the road.

The drive was absolutely magnificent- Ancient castles high on the hillsides with vineyards below and the river right next to the road. We finally got to Kamp-Bornhofen and found the sign pointing to Castle Liebenstein. We drove up the steep, narrow road. The place was small; very small compared to what we had imagined. We parked the car and walked in the door. There was a small counter to the right with a kitchen immediately behind it. I asked the young man working there if he could tell us where the front desk for the hotel was and he said "This is it." We told him that we had reservations and he checked a large hand-written ledger book and found our name. He told us that our room wasn't quite ready yet so we dumped our bags in the dining room and sat down for lunch since it was now almost 2:00pm. We both ordered the open-faced ham sandwich with 2 fried eggs and potato salad or fries. This meal was quite good but would have probably been better suited for breakfast! The fries were some of the best that we have had yet. You could definitely tell that everything was home-cooked and not something from Sam's Club that had been tossed in the microwave. Then we saw the chef, or should I say the cook. If you've ever seen the TV show 'Alice' and remember Mel's Diner and Mel, well, this guy looked a lot like him.

After lunch we finished checking in which was nothing more than having our bags taken to our room by the young man who was working. There was no elevator so he had to haul each one up a flight of steps to the room. The place was very quaint- no TV, no mini-bar, no radio, no air conditioning (the window didn't count), just a bed and a bathroom. It was clean and comfortable. No complaints there.

After settling in we took the car back down to Ruedesheim to see the city and do some shopping. We found hats and Barb found a vest. By now it was getting close to 5:00pm so we headed back to the castle. Before we left, we reserved the table for dinner that we had lunch at. We came down for dinner at 6:45. I ordered sauerbraten, which was served with raisin sauce and potato dumplings, and Barb had a broiled pork cutlet with fries, and I also ordered a bottle of wine with dinner.

This was not a place where you could walk around after dinner, only because of the location, unless you wanted to walk up and down very steep roads so we went back to the room. We wrote some in our journals and sat in the window and watched the Rhine river traffic below until we went to bed about 8:30pm.

Castle Liebenstein
Castle Liebenstein
Dining Room
Dining Room
Our Room
Looking down at the Rhine from our room
Rhine view from our hotel room
Rhine view from our hotel room
Rhine view from Liebenstein
Entrance to Liebenstein
View of the Rhine at night from our room at Liebenstein
Castle Liebenstein breakfast room
Back to Freiburg Rhine Cruise
Sign for Castle Liebenstein