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WÜSTHOF Knives Hesson Germany Bavaria Germany Kitchenware

I came to Germany in February 2000.  It was all ready getting cold.  I was excited to come back to Germany after almost 25 years.  I was assigned to the 421st Medical Evacuation Battalion, 557th Medical Co (GA), and then later to the 159th Medical Co (AA).

I spent 3 years here and enjoyed almost every minute of it.  While I was there the currency changed from the deutsche mark to the euro.


My House in Wiesbaden, Germany

Kettingsacker Strasse #10 I had my own parking spot! My landlord trains young boxers My patio, I lived on the 2nd floor of the building Living Room View #1
Living Rm View #2 Living Rm View #3 Entertainment Center Dining Room
Bedroom Kitchen Bathroom Map from my house to the airfield where I worked.




In the province of Rheinland-Pfalz between Mainz and Bonn, the Rhine enjoys the relative peace, quiet, and beauty of Germany's wine region.  The valley is a very  popular destination, with its sprawling vineyards, many huge castles, and charming little towns.  Among the most popular of these towns is little Rüdesheim, just a short drive west from Wiesbaden and Mainz.

Rüdesheim is not only one of the towns in the Rhine valley with the most tourists but also in the whole of Germany.  Why is Rüdesheim so popular?  Perhaps it is due to its location -- being one of the first Rheinland-Pfalz hotspots from the Frankfurt metropolis.  Or, perhaps it is because of its extensive shopping and festivals that run year-round.  Or, it could be due to the existence of the Seilbahn, that takes thousands of visitors to the top of the ridgeline to get a perfect view of the Rhine from the Niederwald Monument.  Or because of the colorful wine cellars lavishly decorated with flowers.  Regardless of your preference, Rüdesheim makes for a full day.

The Drosselgasse
Probably the most talked about spot in Rüdesheim is the Drosselgasse, a narrow cobblestone avenue in the western part of town.  The Drosselgasse is the town's  cultural heart, loaded with beautifully decorated restaurants, open-air winegardens, and massive souvenir shops.  There is live music played all day and all night during the summertime, whether it is traditional bands or karaoke.  The tightness of the street never seems to deter -- its always packed elbow-to-elbow with people and activity! 

The rest of the downtown is just as colorful, with fresco-laden building facades mixed with chalet-style buildings, There are several wine cellars where, for a fee, visitors are free to sample various wines in a sophisticated environment and talk wine with the experts.  The riverfront is loaded with great shopping and restaurants, while further inland there are several wine cellars, statues, and fountains.  You will want to walk every street and alley within the circle of streets made up of the Oberstrasse to the north and west, Rheinstrasse to the south, and Grabenstrasse to the east.

Rüdesheim has a number of great museums.  The must-see among them is the Rheingau Wine Museum located in the Brömser Castle near the riverbank at the westernmost point in town.  Containing hundreds of exhibits of original medieval winemaking equipment, the Wine Museum celebrates hundreds of years of the region's major trade.  As a bonus, visitors can climb the narrow and steep castle tower to get a nice close-up view of the Rhein.

Rüdesheim can look back on Roman roots and has the oldest castle on the Rhine, the Brömser castle. The footpath through first-class vineyards takes you to the “Niederwalddenkmal” where the giant iron “Germania” keeps watch over the Rhine. From here you have a view over the Rheingau, the estuary of the river Nahe, the entrance to the Middle Rhine valley and Rheinhessen. This is also the starting point for numerous walking trails. Looking down to the town, your view will be of noble half-timbered houses, various taverns and romantic lanes.

The Denkmal is easily visible from all the way across the Rhein, but you have to get up close to appreciate the detail.

But for the best view, you can't beat taking the Seilbahn to the top of the ridge.  The Seilbahn (cable car) is a fifteen-minute run from the Oberstrasse to the Niederwald Denkmal, that takes you directly over the vineyards

You can try a “Rüdesheimer Kaffee” which is made with the speciality of Rüdesheim, Asbach Uralt brandy, and is one of the tasty indulgences besides the wines from the best Rüdesheim vineyards.






More Pictures from Rüdesheim
Drosselgasse-weinberg Drosselgasse-drosselhof Marktplatz-gluehweinhuette frische-waffeln

Drosselgasse looking out toward the Rhine

Drosselgasse looking up from the Rhine

Rhine View

Rüdesheim Cafe View from Niederwald Denkmal, View from Tram  



Rothenburg, Bavaria Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The name "Rothenburg ob der Tauber" is actually a shortened version of "Rothenburg oberhalb der Tauber", which in German means "Rothenburg over the Tauber". This is so because the town is located on top of a mount overlooking the Tauber river. As to the name "Rothenburg", some say it comes from the German words Rot (Red) and Burg (burg, medieval fortified town), referring to the red colour of the roofs of the houses which overlook the river.

In the picture of the Town Hall Square, note that the building on the right has a series of six windows on its second story. There is a webcam located in one of these windows, with a 24-hour view of the square.

This building is the Ratstrinkstube, and also contains the a clock which re-enacts the historic meistertrunk daily. According to legend, the meistertrunk commemorates the event in 1631 when the walled town was under siege from the Imperial forces of Count Tilly. On a lark, Count Tilly told the city that he would spare them if anyone could drink a tankard containing about one gallon (3.5 L) of wine in one draught. Mayor Nusch took the challenge and was successful, and the city was saved. The clock re-enacts the event hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Rothenburg celebrates this rescue each year on Whitsun with a festival performance, a grand army march, and a field camp.

  My Jeep Outside of the Hotel The backside of the Hotel Famous Street
  At Night Town Hall Square  
  The Outer Wall    




The Neroberg Tower (Turm)
The Tower is the only remaining piece of the castle-like Neroberg Hotel. It stood for over 150 years on top of Wiesbaden's home mountain, before it was engulfed in flames in 1986.

Today the Tower is part of the café that - surrounded by 1000 year old oak trees - is 245 meters high and offers a grandiose view of Wiesbaden. Up to 400 guests can discover the rustic benches and sitting places to relax and enjoy. The bistro's kitchen also features hearty meals, aside from the light meals like original Munich white sausage.
Tower Cafe
The Tower The Tower at night
Aussichtstempel Zurmcafe
Zurmcafe Inside Zurmcafe Inside
View from Terrasse Train that brings visitors up



Castle Burg Gutenfels

World heritage Castle Hotel Burg Gutenfels, above the medieval Pfalz in Rhine by Kaub, Germany
Castle Gutenfels sits high above the town of Kaub on the Rhine river with it's plentiful boat traffic.  It is one of the most beautiful castles in Germany, with a wonderful view over the most beautiful part of the Rhine Valley.  Just below the castle there is a famous and unique stronghold, the castle on the island in the middle of the Rhine, Pfalzgrafenstein.  The castle itself is over eight hundred years old.

With the closure of the heavy castle gates, the noise and hectic pace of the outside world disappear. A new world full of romantic magic surrounds you. Because of this, and because of its age and the many traditions surrounding it, Burg Gutenfels has been made into a stylish hotel, where guests from all over the world are made more than welcome.
Erected in the first half of the 13th century, the castle receives first official mention in 1257 in an official record as being in the possession of the family of Falkensteiner. However, already in 1277, the castle, together with the town of Kaub laying at its feet came within the jurisdiction of the region of Kurpfalz. It is one of the most important examples of residential and military building on the Rhine. It received its name after Landgraf Wilhelm von Hessen had besieged it in vain in 1504 (lit. = Good Rock). After being broken up since the year 1807, it was then reconstructed in the years between 189 and 1892. Today it serves as a hotel and is open all through the year.
Romantic and delightful are the many small gardens, terraces, and alcoves to be found on Castle Gutenfels. From all of them you have a wonderful view into the Rhine Valley. Up-stream to the large bend in the Rhine and Bacharach, down-stream to Oberwesel and the Castle Schonburg, and beneath you to the old town of Kaub and the Island Falkenau with the Pfalzgrafstein.
The Rhine terrace with view to the water castle Pfalzgrafenstein and the Rhine river valley. View from the Cannon-terrace
of Castle Gutenfels over to the Castle Pfalz
in Rhine by Kaub.


Gutenfels Castle, situated on a rocky ridge above the pretty little town of Kaub, was once one of the most important defence facilities of the Rhine valley. The castle was erected about 1200 under instructions from the ministers Falkenstein-Muenzenberg, who, although not of the same rank as nobility, were nevertheless relied upon by the emperor.

In 1252 the German King William of Holland laid siege to the castle, its owners being supporters of the anti-king Conrad IV.  It is known that in 1267 the Rhine tolls, the castle and the town of Kaub belonged to the Counts in 1277, with supplementary agreements to 1291. The new lords ascribed great value to their possession and a noble lineage appeared, one of whom being Count Adolf of Nassau who later became king (1292–1298). It was in the King`s Hall that he accepted his election. King Ludwig the Bavarian favoured the castles and in 1326 several times held court there.

In the Bavarian- Palatine War of Succession of 1503 to 1507, Landgrave William of Hessen besieged the town and castle for 39 days but had to withdraw without result. The castle, rebuilt in 1508, has since been called Gutenfels.

In 1620 Kaub was besieged by the Spanish General Spinola and the "Spanish Cementery" is a reminder of this.

In 1631 the Swedish allies of Hessen under General von Upden surprised Gutenfels, which surrendered in 1632.

In 1635 it was occupied by Imperial and Hessen-Darmstadt troops. These were dislodged by the French in 1645/1646.

In 1647 the castle yielded to General Mortagni after one day`s bombardment. In 1793 the castle surrendered to the French.

In 1805 the contents were put up for sale, in 1807 the woodwork and in 1813 the masonry.  In 1833 the archivist Friedrich Habel acquired the ruin and rescued it from further destruction. In 1888 it came into the possession of the architect Gustav Walter of Cologne who renovated it.

In 1952–1954 it was adapted as a rest home and for a short time after 1959 served as a youth meeting place.

View into the inner court-yard of the Palace
of Burg Gutenfels.
Entrance to the rooms are from the wooden
galleries over the court-yard.
The small stage in the inner court-yard is
ideal for orchestral works or small theatre
View of the Philosophers' Tower
in the Spanish Garden on Castle Gutenfels.
From the Philosophers' Tower and from
the Bellevue Tower to the left, you have
a wonderful view into the Rhine Valley
to the Pfalz in Rhine and the town of Kaub.

Sincere hospitality is a long standing tradition of Burg Gutenfels. Where once Landgraves and Kings stayed, the guest of today now finds romantic atmosphere and relaxation.  Behind the solid old walls of Burg Gutenfels, you will find atmospheric comfort. In the apartments (of course with bath and WC), in the small drawing-rooms, or cosy corners, every guest feels special and spoilt!

King`s Room for up to 80 people.
The long table seats 40 people.
Chamber Wachenheim (view of the vineyards), 2 people 170 EUR, only accommodates two.

The rooms were rustic but comfortable.  I enjoyed my stay there.  In December 2006 the Hotel was closed and sold to a private owner.

Chamber Rinberg (view of part of the Burg Gutenfels, Bellevue Tower, vineyards, Kaub, Rhine, Oberwesel and castle Schonburg). 2 people 170 EUR, up to 6 people possible. Chamber Stockheim with canopy bed (view of the vineyards) 2 people 170 EUR, up to 3 people possible.



Areas of Interest


Wiesbaden Market Church
Located in the centre of Wiesbaden, right next to the state parliament and the city hall, the neo-gothic Marktkirche is Wiesbaden's most important protestant church.  It's central spire is 92 metres high.



Russian Church
In Wiesbaden, this building is usually known as the “Greek Chapel”. It was, however, built for Elisaveta Michailovna, the Russian wife of the grand Duke Adolf of Nassau.

So, although it is an orthodox church (church services are still regularly performed) it is actually a “Russian” rather than a Greek church. There is an interesting small Russian graveyard a few steps from the church.





Schloss Biebrich
This is the former main residence of the dukes of Nassau in Wiesbaden-Biebrich.




Mainzer Dom
This is a church in Mainz Kastel






Christmas Market Heidelberg Castle Loreley Siren Loreley

According to German legend, there was once a beautiful young maiden, named Lorelei, who threw herself headlong into the river in despair over an unfaithful lover. Upon her death she was transformed into a siren and could from that time on be heard singing on a rock along the Rhine River, near St. Goar. Her hypnotic music lured sailors to their death. The legend is based on an echoing rock with that name near Sankt Goarshausen, Germany. The echoing heard today is said to be Loreley.



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