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Rhine water levels 2021 and similar topics


notamermaid
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Let us travel to the Upper Rhine valley and Alsace. On 4 April, the "Badische Zeitung", covering the area of Freiburg, Breisach and the Black Forest, had a look across the Rhine at how the region of Alsace is doing. The article gives us a rare glimpse into the river cruising industry and how one company is faring. But the newspaper also gives us some details about what life is like in the French region in this difficult time. Here it is and as it is in German, I will explain a little: https://www.badische-zeitung.de/corona-welle-bremst-flusskreuzfahrten-ab-strassburg--201036969.html

 

CroisiEurope, the French river cruise company, is based in Strasbourg and has suffered much of course. But they were not idle last year and could sail for a short time. Nevertheless the impact was great. The photo shows the ships in the harbour at Strasbourg awaiting a return to sailing in May. The normal yearly turnover of the company is 200 million euros, last year it was only 20 percent of that. The company has 1500 employees, only 50 to 70 are currently actually working on a daily basis, the vast majority is on short term work (Kurzarbeit). 200,000 passengers CroisiEurope welcomes on board in normal years, last year it was around 25,000. Looking ahead, the company is thinking of implementing the requirement for presenting a negative PCR-test on arrival at the ship and hope to generate 50 to 70 percent of the turnover of 2019 this year.

 

The cultural sector will take even longer to recover, those that need to do long-term planning for the large events are already making hard decisions. The wine fair that was to take place in Colmar at the end of July has already been cancelled.

 

The situation as regards Covid-19 was not as bad as in the rest of the country on 4 April, nevertheless Alsace also saw hospitalizations increasing.

 

And something else has increased, just like everywhere else - rubbish. As people have had to rely on takeaways from their favourite restaurant rather than sitting down, plastic rubbish is overflowing bins in Strasbourg town centre. The opposition party in the town council complained, which prompted the authorities to react with the message that there was not enough staff to deal with the problem - at that time ten percent were on sick leave.

 

These are the woes in this pandemic in Alsace, but they are not much different across the river in Germany. We are all struggling, some more some less.

 

And the lock down in Germany looks set to be extended beyond 18 April which would rule out river cruising.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Time to have a look at Worms. This town on the Rhine also has a cathedral but it together with the town itself plays second fiddle with international tourists and especially river cruisers behind Speyer and Mainz. This weekend though Worms commemorates a decisive event that took place 500 years ago - the Diet of Worms: https://www.dw.com/en/500-years-after-luther-and-the-diet-of-worms-the-ecumenical-movement-is-strong/a-57230023

 

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It has been a quiet week in the Rhine valley - too quiet. No events, no river cruises. A place that saw an unwanted event on Thursday was Mannheim. A bomb was found during construction work and defused: https://www.dw.com/en/wwii-bomb-discovered-and-defused-in-mannheim/a-57305702

 

They are still found all over Germany on a regular basis. Basically, a bit exaggerated but it illustrates the problem, if you want to do more than just dig a hole for a tree in your private garden, be aware that you may find something dangerous. I saw in the regional news on Thursday that in Neuwied, a town North of Koblenz, they need to do some work at the flood protection dyke and for that walk the whole area of what looks to be close to a square kilometre with a ground penetrating radar device. This will enable the engineers to detect any explosives.

 

And just in case you are interested: the river is low.

 

The weather is beautiful, a lovely and warm Spring weekend.

 

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What does it mean when I write that the river is low? Kaub is now at 103cm, which is really low for April. But it is not statistically low yet, the statistical mean low water is at 93cm. Yet, for the shipping industry, this is too low meaning barges and tankers only sail with about half load. Economically speaking low water starts at 150cm for them.

 

Low water was a huge problem for the industry in the terrible drought of 2018. As a reaction to that the chemical company BASF will have ships built that can handle low water better. This is the design and info about it which they presented in January: https://www.dst-org.de/en/basf-presents-innovative-tanker-for-low-water-on-the-rhine/

You can click on the press release, if you are interested. What is new about this ship is the size - 135m by 17.5m -, the hull construction and the propulsion.

 

Hang on, isn't that larger than what fits through a lock? Indeed, which for BASF is not a big deal as the ships do not have to navigate a lock between Ludwigshafen and Rotterdam.

 

Rain is forecast for Wednesday and the following days, so the level at Kaub is predicted to rise from Thursday evening onwards.

 

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On a recent trip out, I went to Koblenz. Not that bit of Koblenz, you know: the Deutsches Eck, the old town, the restaurants, the shops, etc., not even near the river cruise ship docks. With the city half-deserted (I imagine it is) and the restaurants closed (what a boring place...), I went to the other side of the Rhine on a round trip of the hills. I tried to ignore Ehrenbreitstein fortress as well, which nearly worked, but a wrong turn at a street corner necessitated a three-way turn in the Fortress car park. But first things first.

 

In the village of Ehrenbreitstein you can go up the hill and take a right turn into Mühlental, the valley of mills, and follow the brook, past vineyards, wine taverns and private housing. It is completely different from Koblenz city centre; apart from the road signs and the car number plates nothing reminds you of the city across the river. At a small crossroads stands this pleasant pub/restaurant:

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From there I followed the Mühlenbach and then via hairpin bend got to Arenberg, where there is a monastery. No stopping this time, I went further and down the main road into the valley (via that unwanted detour to the Fortress car park) and got to General-Allen-Strasse. To the left of the road are army barracks, so the name is no coincidence. I will get to that later. First, this is the view that greeted my companion and me:

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It is the Rhine viewed downstream with the motorway bridge North of Koblenz, called Bendorfer Brücke. There is a path along the field where we briefly stopped to admire the view. You get to it immediately before you see this road view:

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To get to the road with a SatNav it is best to put in "Urbar" (but try the road name as well) from Arenberg. From Urbar village you can get back by programming Ehrenbreitstein. A nice little loop, which looks like this:

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From the Rhine river cruise dock this is about 45min. in the car. It was a fun trip in times when there is not much else to do. Nothing spectacular, but simply different. And the most important bit: I learned about General Allen. I had not heard of him before, but I suspected the name is English, perhaps something to do with WWII and the Americans in Koblenz? First bit incorrect, second and third bit correct.

 

General-Allen-Strasse is named after Henry Tureman Allen, who was the military governor stationed in Koblenz after WWI. This is his extensive biography on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Tureman_Allen

But the German Wikipedia has a different emphasis: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Tureman_Allen

He was one of those people who treated the locals with greatest respect and sometimes worked against the interests of the French occupying forces. His greatest achievement for the area one should see in his humanitarian deeds that are happening to this day through his fund, but his greatest visible legacy is the fact that Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is still there. If this is your line of interest, I recommend translating the website of the regional historians: https://www.regionalgeschichte.net/bibliothek/biographien/allen-henry-tureman.html

He wrote a diary of his time in the Rhineland that I will read when I can get hold of the English original (the German is digitally available online).

What a remarkable man.

 

What was supposed to be a short ride through a valley in Spring bloom turned into a short trip with history lesson of the Rhineland. Really nice.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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On 4/18/2021 at 11:13 AM, notamermaid said:

This weekend though Worms commemorates a decisive event that took place 500 years ago - the Diet of Worms:

 

Oh goodness. Das ist nicht so lecker. In English a "diet" is something that you eat, so the "diet of Worms" suggests that one is eating them! (Diät).

 

Sorry I missed this event. I prefer Wurst to Worms.

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On 5/2/2021 at 8:40 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

30 min for @jpalbny's Audi...

I was a bit generous with minutes, I admit. Google maps suggests 37 minutes, but the electronic elves never have to negotiate cyclists in Mühlental or do the "parked cars slalom" in Arenberg. I would not attempt 30 minutes in an Audi as you drive right into the "lion's den": the traffic control police department is in, yes, General-Allen-Strasse 1! :classic_biggrin:

 

On 5/3/2021 at 12:01 AM, jpalbny said:

the "diet of Worms" suggests that one is eating them! (Diät).

Oh, yes, a nice term to confuse people. Apparently it is the correct one. The German is "Reichstag zu Worms" so we do not use the word "Diät" or similar here but the idea is the same, "Tag" here means a day of meetings (or a weekend or longer) and Diet comes from Latin "dies", meaning "day".  I better stop before this turns into a language nerd attack :classic_wink:.

 

To change the subject, here is a short drone flight over the place I avoided on my trip, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLHvyfSJQtQ&t=4s

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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A standard port on the Rhine is Breisach im Breisgau and from there an excursion into the Black Forest is usually offered. What is the region famous for? Cuckoo clocks. Not just those small wooden clock, also the famous cake, but let's stick to the timepieces in this post. Who said they have to be small and always ornamented in the same way? Here it is, the world's biggest Cuckoo clock, together with some modern takes on the design: https://m.dw.com/en/the-biggest-cuckoo-clock-in-the-world/a-57065147

 

Triberg, the centre of production, is a bit of a distance from the Rhine, but worth the journey for the landscape if you like dark forests and hills. Cuckoo clocks are sold in the whole region I have been told, as far as Freiburg. You can find the odd authentic one in traditional jeweller's shops that sell clocks, too, further afield as well, but for a good selection stick to buying in the Black Forest and nearby.

 

notamermaid

 

PS: We have had quite a bit of rain, so the Rhine water level has risen pleasantly.

 

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A friend who has taught in Germany for ten years (for the DOD) has a large cuckoo clock collection. I just sent her the link to your cuckoo clock article, @notamermaid - I am curious to know if she has seen the world's largest cuckoo clock.

Myself, I will stick with the Black Forest Cake - yum!

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I must admit that I prefer the cake to the clocks as well. In general I prefer other types of cake, in a café/bakery the cherry gateau is never a top choice with me.

 

I have not been to the Black Forest that often. The landscape is really nice, with dark deep valleys. The Kinzig and Gutach river valleys I really enjoyed. The Kinzig meets the Rhine near Kehl, almost opposite Strasbourg.

 

With many itineraries it does not work out I think, but I do recommend trying to take in Alsace and the Black Forest when it does. They can be so different from each other which makes the comparison appealing, I find.

 

Gengenbach at the foot of the Black Forest has a very popular Advent Calendar on a building. I would love to see that. Also interesting for me, as it so unusual, would be a visit to the timber rafting and transport museum there. This is what timber rafting used to look like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exhAqqy0Rb4  

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Excursion boats are allowed to sail again!

 

The "Primus-Linie" in Frankfurt has announced that they will do short round-trips from 25 May. From 29 May they will also offer their day trips that take them upstream on the Main but also onto the Rhine as far as Rüdesheim.

 

The biggest company on the Rhine knowns as "KD" in short, will set sail again from this coming Saturday. First on offer will be trips in the Rhine Gorge. In North-Rhine Westphalia, sailing is not allowed yet. This will hopefully happen soon. On 29 May, the famous paddle wheeler "Goethe" will return to the Middle Rhine valley and do her regular timetable.

 

The water levels have risen. Maxau is now at 649cm. This is one centimetre below official flooding status. Currently, ships are sailing more slowly due to the shipping mark I (620cm) having been reached.

 

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1 hour ago, Canal archive said:

Sorry can’t help it - It never rains but it pours. CA

:classic_biggrin: Lol. And indeed it has been pouring down. Narrowly escaped a downpour on Sunday. The weather is quite unsettled for May. We have had quite a few of what I call "Weltuntergangsgrau" skies in the last few days - grey clouds that seem to suggest the end of the world is near. Quite dramatic, the Romantics would have loved it. It is just that it is May and I definitely prefer sunny days that enhance the green right now.

 

In between grey clouds I have been able to get out and about and one trip took me North of Koblenz not so long ago. More on that later.

 

notamermaid

 

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A trip to the Neuwied basin

 

part 1: Niederwerth island

 

On a recent trip out I went to what is called the Neuwied basin. It starts at Koblenz. Yes, Koblenz is actually not part of the Rhine gorge, but part of that basin, but do not tell Koblenz people that... The geological feature with receding hills extends as far as Andernach where the two rocks form Andernach Gate and then the valley continues with more hills and castles, right up to Bonn. The basin is named after the largest town: Neuwied. So, now that this explanation is out of the way, I can tell you that this is not spectacular scenery and apart from Andernach being old, historic and kind of quaint due to being small, the area is not a tourist magnet. But it has some interesting features one of which is the only island in the river that is its own municipality. Niederwerth is an island and the village is also called Niederwerth. It is just coincidence that I went there during asparagus and strawberry season, but the village is known for its good quality fruit and vegetables. You can see the extent of agriculture in the aerial photograph on Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niederwerth#/media/Datei:Niederwerth_002.jpg

 

This is a photo of some of the agricultural fields, the view is towards Koblenz with the hill "Kühkopf" and the television broadcasting tower (you can see it left of the largest tree):

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On the right bank opposite Niederwerth is the town Vallendar (from where you access the island via a bridge). There is a a landing stage for excursion boats and at this spot - Rhine kilometre 595 - a marina:

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The railway line more or less follows the river bank here, all the way to Bonn downstream.

 

What quite literally stands out architecturally is the church dedicated to Saint George, the church of the former monastery:

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The portal of this Gothic slender high church:

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Before we move on, what is Niederwerth's historical claim to fame? In 1338 the English King Edward III stayed here at the monastery with his court and had a lavish dinner as records suggest. Yes, we have a description of that splendid stay. The King was on his way to Koblenz to meet Emperor Louis IV, who proclaimed Edward imperial vicar during the meeting. In later centuries, Cistercian nuns lived in the monastery and this is the tombstone of one of the abbesses:

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In the grounds of the adjacent building (in a state of ruin) more stone slabs are lined up. It is quite a serene place that you enter through here: DSCN3242.thumb.JPG.1728b83e7823de1584c8d24e367aed8b.JPG

I wonder what they will find in the building site dig?

 

And what will you find inside the church? Have treasures from past centuries survived?

 

We will have a look at the interior tomorrow.

 

notamermaid

 

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A trip to the Neuwied basin

 

part 2: Niederwerth church of Saint George

 

The Gothic church was consecrated in 1474, but a hermitage dedicated to Saint George is known to have existed at least since 1275. Over the centuries flooding, war and a fire have done some damage but many interesting features, partly of high cultural value for the region, still exist. So let us have a look inside.

 

I always love these old door handles and locks:

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A pietà and a memorial window for the sons fallen during WWI:

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The nave:

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The high altar has a wooden panel dating from 1520, its surround is neo-Gothic.

 

The pulpit up close, also neo-Gothic:

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This oil painting is a remarkable original from the 16th century, it shows the scene of Jesus on the Mount of Olives, the sculpture of Jesus was added in the 17th century:

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Further of note are several sculptures and some remaining original stained glass windows.

 

It was then time to leave the island and use the rest of the afternoon to go and see a ship that had caught my attention on an internet site while looking at the area around Niederwerth. But that is for the next part.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

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This is sort of a 'back to the future' hijack.  A while back we were talking about cuckoo clocks, and of course we've been talking about working from home for a year now.  This meme unites those themes:

Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 2.32.31 AM.png

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Oh, how times have changed, not even the cuckoos are the same... I wonder if anyone has put a mask on their cuckoo in a clock as a joke - or even manufactured one with a disposable mask.

 

Talking of changing times: this extraordinary time in our history in Germany is being recorded in a collection by the Deutsches Museum in Bonn. Very early on in the pandemic they started the collection of items and photographs related to the pandemic. The thing they have not got is toilet paper from the start of the pandemic as it "did not exist", i.e. you cannot collect what was scarce. An article in German: https://www.aachener-zeitung.de/kultur/haus-der-geschichte-sammelt-zeugnisse-der-pandemie_aid-54263519

 

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The level at Maxau has peaked and is on a slow way down, now at 669cm. Shipping could return to normal speed by Wednesday morning. The volume of water will reach the Middle Rhine valley by tomorrow but the impact will not be great, so that we can say that proper flooding status may not happen downstream from Mainz.

 

notamermaid

 

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A trip to the Neuwied basin

 

part 3: Urmitz

 

Travelling downstream from Vallendar and Niederwerth you get to Urmitz, but for that you need to cross the river to the left bank. The closest crossing is the motorway bridge at Bendorf which takes you over the Graswerth island, a nature reserve. From there we took a minor road and passed a sign saying "Bimsmuseum". Now that is a small place run by enthusiasts and backed by companies of that industry. Yes, there is a pumice industry and it is one of the defining features of the Neuwied basin. Pumice is a volcanic stone that is not found in many places, especially not in such abundance as in this area. Responsible for the rich deposits are the volcanoes in the Eifel region, extending almost to the Rhine. The greatest eruption resulted from the Laach volcano, where there is a crater lake and the regionally famous Maria Laach Abbey (I recommend a visit, but it is busy at weekends). If you want to know how a region ticks and what led to its fortune this museum is a good place to go to. Quite technical, with lots of iron and steel machinery this will delight some and bore others. I enjoyed it as I like such unusual places - and steel. Iron and steel are the other major industries of the basin both historically and in modern times. But that would stray too far from Urmitz - well, yes and no.

 

Oh - just in case you are wondering: wine here plays a tiny, tiny role...

 

Urmitz is a largish village with some history of fishing and the pumice industry is dominant as mentioned. In the village there are a few nice buildings and a small museum which I may contact for opening hours for a next visit. Outside of the main part is a mobile caravan site which I recommend for the great view over the Rhine, if that type of holiday is your thing. What I enjoyed are the typical small alleys leading to the Rhine, this is one we went through:

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Getting closer to the water, a ship approached, you get a sense of what is coming, a large river view:

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And this is it. Ready?

 

 

 

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I told you the hills recede in the basin... In the background is Urmitz bridge. There is steel in the area beyond the industry. Several iron/steel bridges cross the river. This one is a railway bridge, sister to the Bingen bridge and the Remagen bridge. Neither of those two were rebuilt after WWII, only Urmitz was rebuilt in a slightly different design from the original. Let's get closer and see the boat.

 

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This is the Aalschokker called St. Georg. Schokker is a typical Dutch boat design and this one was used for catching eel and other fish in the Rhine. The boats for salmon fishing looked different. It is one of the last of its kind, there are a few that are also museum pieces and one is still in the water anchored further downstream in a town.

 

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It is a monument, not a playground...

 

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It was built in the Netherlands and named Sankt Josef. In 1988 it was taken out of the water and renamed Sankt Georg, after the village church patron saint. It is looked after by the club of fishermen called St. Nikolaus Schifferverein.

 

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All river cruise ships sailing under Urmitz bridge pass this old fishing boat, but I am sure few will have noticed it. Is it ever pointed out, as a reminder of life past?

 

It was time to head back home with quite different impressions of "my" river.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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A trip to the Neuwied basin

 

part 4: some further info and thoughts

 

The Neuwied basin is a curious short strip of Rhineland as it is only around 25km long, around 22km without the bit at Koblenz. It is sandwiched between the Rhine Gorge with its dramatic landscape of rock face and castles and the Romantic hills and (fewer) castles between Leutesdorf and Bonn.

 

So, an area to ignore along a river cruise? Yes and no. From Lahnstein Gate, that is the upper end, and Andernach Gate, that is the lower end, there are actually river cruise ports - apart from the obvious and highly touristy Koblenz. On the right bank there is Engers, right at the village's Palace. A little downstream, also on the right bank, is Neuwied. If they can get their act together, the new landing stage will be ready some time this year. Just before the end of the Basin is Andernach, on the left bank, which is already of international (minor) importance. All three places can accommodate 135m ships.

 

Koblenz - we need not talk about this popular town.

 

Engers - a pleasant village with a highly attractive palace used for classical concerts

 

Neuwied - they will still need to find their place in the grand scheme of river cruising with the town's unusual young age among the Roman and Medieval settlements in the vicinity

 

Andernach - an old Roman (Celtic) town with appeal and a base for the unique cold water geyser at Namedy

 

There is none of the drama and the spectacular history of other places or the size of cities in these 22 kilometres (without Koblenz) of river and it tells a different story of life in the Rhineland. If you want to read part of that story then there is enough to see for you here.


I conclude with a look back towards the Basin with a photo I took from Hammerstein hill in 2019. You can see the rocks of Andernach Gate with the village of Leutesdorf in the foreground, Andernach town upstream on the other bank and the hills of the Eifel and Koblenz forest in the far distance:

 

 

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Next: an unusual trip to Cologne, completely avoiding the Dom, but seeing the "Dömchen". And spotting a few, quite a few, lots of river cruise ships.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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@notamermaidCan I take advantage of your local knowledge? My sister and I are due to arrive at Frankfurt airport at 8:15 am (me from Toronto) and 9:10 am (her from Newark). We need to get to Cochem.

 

There seem to be 2 reasonably equivalent train trips, but I think that one would be more scenic than the other, which is why I put it under the Rhine, even though I am headed to the Moselle.

 

Option 1 (regional trains, this goes through the Rhine valley, it looks like on the west bank):

Frankfurt Flughafen Regionalbf 11:23 - Koblenz 12:54 (via Russelsheim, Mainz-Bischofsheim, Mainz Römisches Theater, Mainz Hbf, Ingelheim, Bingen (Rhein) Hbf, Bacharach, Oberwesel, Boppard)

12 min transfer from platform 1 to 9 (might be an issue)

Koblenz 13:06 - Cochem 13:41 (2 intermediate stops)

 

Option 2( ICE and regional, I'm not sure whether this goes through the Rhine valley between Mainz and Koblenz):

Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf 11:58 - Koblenz Hbf 13:11 (via Mainz)

17 min transfer from platform 3 to 9

Koblenz 13:28 - Cochem 14:18 (13 intermediate stops)

 

We aren't in a hurry. We have all of the next day to explore Cochem.

 

In terms of fares, 2nd class for the 11:23 is €49 for the 2 of us for saver fares and €69,40 for flexible fares, for the 11:58 is €35,80 for saver fares and €82,20 for flexible fares.

For 1st class the 11:23 is €111 with no saver fare and the 11:58 is €53,80 for saver fare and €138 for flexible fares.

Is first class worth it, since we will have luggage with us, although neither of us will be travelling with too much stuff? For 2nd class there would be an additional charge as we would reserve seats which are included with a 1st class ticket.

 

I look forward to your suggestions, and thank you in advance.

 

 

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I am always happy to answer questions about local stuff. Give me a bit of time with this one. First glance though says: option 1 definitely Rhine valley left bank and view of the Lorelei if you sit in the direction the train is going in. Option 2 must normally go through the Rhine valley as well as Koblenz has no connection to the fast line through the hills. So Mainz to Koblenz should get you through the valley, again on the left bank.

 

Here are the two rail maps, local train stations and routes:

https://www.bahn.de/p/view/mdb/bahnintern/fahrplan_und_buchung/streckenplaene/mdb_306443_streckenkarte_rhlpfalz_saarl_2020.pdf

 

and long distance train stations and routes

https://www.bahn.de/p/view/mdb/bahnintern/fahrplan_und_buchung/streckenplaene/mdb_326989_ice_liniennetz_2021_v2.pdf

 

There is another train line on the right bank which is served by the local service called VIAS, also stopping in Koblenz.

 

notamermaid

 

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Let's continue.

 

 Option 1

On 5/26/2021 at 8:50 PM, gnome12 said:

12 min transfer from platform 1 to 9 (might be an issue)

I think so too, potentially, as I am not sure what the rules are for waiting of one train for another. Platform 1 has no escalators, but a lift. Platform 9 is a bit of a distance to walk, you need five minutes from platform to platform with luggage. From what I remember. It is not tight, it just depends on how comfortable you feel with the 12 minutes.

On 5/26/2021 at 8:50 PM, gnome12 said:

Koblenz 13:06 - Cochem 13:41 (2 intermediate stops)

That is the fast regional train, or in short an RE. They are comfortable modern carriages. I do not think choosing first class gives you much extra, a little bit for sure.

 

Option 2

On 5/26/2021 at 8:50 PM, gnome12 said:

17 min transfer from platform 3 to 9

Easy.

On 5/26/2021 at 8:50 PM, gnome12 said:

Koblenz 13:28 - Cochem 14:18 (13 intermediate stops)

The slow train, called an RB. Not sure how comfortable this is, but again I do not think first class adds much.

 

The first part of your journey can be on the Süwex train, the regional one, in option 1. It looks good, really modern, never been on it, photos here, including 360 degrees tour: https://www.suewex.de/wir

Not sure that first class makes much sense here.

 

Option 2 has the ICE in the first part of your journey. I have not been on the modern ICE's, they have been updated in second class, but in general I find second class not so good here and for a long journey I would choose first class. However, you are only travelling from Frankfurt to Koblenz and not at peak time. You may find second class okay.

 

What I will say is that on the ICE you have a bistro with edible food, not brilliant, but not junk either (from what I remember) so you can have a lunch snack there. Do check when booking, there should be an icon for it. As far as I know there is no bistro or snacks to be had on the regional trains. For more info you can contact Süwex through the website. There are snack vending machines in Koblenz station. This is the station: https://www.bahnhof.de/bahnhof-en/Koblenz-Hbf-3809594

 

Flexible against non-flexible fares? Not sure what I would choose. I find the non-flexible long-distance journeys make me nervous. Allowing lots of time helps of course...

 

For more info also have a look at https://www.seat61.com/train-travel-in-germany.htm#Travel tips

 

It's been a while since I have been on a train but I remember all journeys of the past 10 years being fine and comfortable. Apart from the return journey from my river cruise... Long distance (more than three hours) on a Friday? Always first class in future.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

Edited by notamermaid
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