Last updated on March 20th, 2018
I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along on Natalie’s work trip to Cologne, Germany.
We flew into Frankfurt. Spent a quick night in the quaint Rhine river village of Boppard. Spent 3 nights in Cologne. And then headed to Amsterdam for 3 nights.
It was a blast. And, Natalie and I took some pictures!
Sights and Eats around Boppard
After flying into Frankfurt, Natalie and I hopped on a train straight from the Frankfurt airport that, after a quick cross-platform train change in Mainz, took us up the Rhine River to Boppard.
Once off the train, we were greeted by a statue of Engelbert Humperdink, who apparently spent time in Boppard.
I can only assume that the two children are Hansel and Gretel.
A short, 5 minute walk took us to our hotel, the Bellevue Rheinhotel.
Our room, had a nice balcony with a view of the River.
Because we were touring Boppard during the offseason and on a Sunday, not many places were open. We happened to get very lucky and stumbled upon Weinhaus Heilig Grab just as it was opening. It was a cute little wine cafe where we got overly ambitious about the amount of cheese we wanted.
I was some combination of happy and tired after having our little snack.
We continued to walk around the town and headed to Cafe Zeitgeist, a lovely little cafe that serves up delicious cakes.
We unfortunately took no pictures of the cake, but it looks like we got one of the outside of the menu.
We finished up our tour of Boppard at the one restaurant we could find that was open which happened to be a pizzeria. We didn’t take any pics of the pizza (which tasted a lot like DiGiorno), but we did get a picture of this thing called beer that they seem to serve in Germany.
Run to Mittelrhein Klettersteig
The next morning, Natalie had to take a work call before we headed to Cologne, so I took the opportunity to go for a run.
The main attraction in Boppard is the view from a hill of the area where the Rhine makes a sharp bend called Mittelrhein Klettersteig. Outside of the winter, there is a chairlift (or Sesselbahn) that brings you to the top. But I didn’t have that option so I decided to run it.
Using Strava Routes and Strava Heatmap I plotted out a course to run up to the peak and down. As the title of my Strava activity attests, there was more climbing involved on my jog than I was bargaining for.
I set out on an easy enough path by the river past some Boppard houses like those pictured below.
And eventually came to a small path that didn’t necessarily look public. However, the route I had mapped out assured me that many people had come that way in the past, so I ventured on and up the path.
Of note, the path was “Only for experienced walkers.” If I didn’t have my 33 years or so of walking experience under my belt, I still had an option as the sign says that “Children and the inexperienced only with climbing gear.” I’ll let the audience figure out how that would work.
While the run so far had been fairly steep, the first real challenge came when I reached a wall of rock. I’m sure some more adventurous and experienced hikers would laugh at this as a challenge, but this was already getting a little tricky for me.
So, I ventured through. Unfortunately, my finger was covering the camera and I turned my phone camera off during the process and missed half of it.
But ultimately got some more views of the Rhine as a result of soldiering on.
Here is some footage of me running down the trails and to a vista during one of the more pleasurable points of the journey (this video worked out a lot better than the previous one).
After sitting on that bench for a few minutes, I continued on and reached this fork in the road.
I didn’t know what these words meant, but my strava map told me to go left. Since the trail I was on was called Mittlerhein Klettersteig, it seemed to make sense that I would follow the sign with “Kletter” in it as well. I figured the “Wandervariante” must head to some other trail head. What I didn’t know at the time was that “Wandervariante” roughly translates to gentle, enjoyable hike. And “Klettervariante” roughly translates to “death cliffs.”
It’s hard to tell from this photo, but that was essentially straight up (I had just climbed down this rock). With aid from the trees growing adjacent to it and the steel cable that had been installed on the right side.
Again, for some people this might have been an awesome adventure, but I was growing uncomfortable with the choices I had made.
I came to another rock that at had some metal steps and spikes to grab on to. But it had rained that morning and this was still more of a challenge than I was looking for. Perhaps I was not as of an “experienced walker” as I had thought.
But I made it down safely. And when I reached the sister sign to the one at the top of the hill realized that maybe I should have used Google Translate on my phone to figure out what these words actually meant. It’s not completely clear from this picture, but the “Klettervariante” path was the one covered by the ice, while the “Wandervariante” path was a nice, dirt trail.
After the run, we then headed to Cologne.