A May 2002 trip
to Rüdesheim by Eve Carr
Quote: I’ve been to Rüdesheim, Germany with—and without—my husband; I like it much better with him. Whether it’s walking along the narrow Drosselgasse, savoring Rudeshimer Coffee at Breuer Restaurant/Hotel, or listening to old musical instruments at the Musikkabinett, Rüdesheim is always a fun stop along the Rhine River.
A couple of years ago, my husband I wandered up the steep hillside, just behind Siegfried’s Musikkabinett. (See separate journal entry for this lively attraction.) As we walked up, we looked down through row upon row of Riesling grapes to discover an incredibly dramatic view of the Rhine, with its storybook castles below us. It was great exercise, but the true joy was taking photos of the stark parallel lines of vineyards carpeted with brilliant yellow rapeseed in the springtime.
We wish we had worn more comfortable shoes (we didn’t know about this hike) and had stopped in town to pick up a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way. Oh, well, there’s always next time.
So, when you go to Rüdesheim, enjoy the city, but check out the vineyards. And, yes, learn from our experience, and plan a picnic at this lovely side-dish on Rüdesheim’s delightful menu of things to do.
The Germans are serious about this delicate vegetable and have entire menus devoted to it. Look outside for special blackboard signs featuring their selections. From soup to pizza, German cooks are very inventive about finding new and unique ways to savor their Spargel. But, skip the Spargel that comes with Hollandaise sauce. It’s fattening and just masks the true flavor of this succulent vegetable.
Actually, I’ve known people (not that I’m mentioning any names of course) who have deliberately planned their trips to Germany at Spargel time.
If you’ve come here as a stopover from your Rhine River cruise, then you’ll be fine without a car. If you’ll be staying here for the night and need to walk to your hotel, you’ll be grateful that you have a backpack or wheeled luggage.
If you drive here, you’ll want to park your car at your hotel because public parking space is limited.
Do wear comfortable shoes; cobblestones are not meant for heels—and you’ll also find hills here, especially if you hike up through the vineyards above the town to savor the view of the city below.
Here you’ll be able to not only view, but listen to one of the world’s largest collections of self-playing musical instruments. Housed in the majestic Brömserhof, close to the famous tavern-lined Drosselgasse, you can take a guided tour and return to a time when musical instruments were a one-person band. These intricate musical machines range in size from minute music boxes to the gigantic Concert-Piano-Orchestrion.
As you listen to them play their happy circus-music-type songs, you’ll marvel at how intricate these Rube Goldberg-style inventions are. And, you’ll also learn that, sometimes, a hobby can change your life. At first Siegfried Wendel, the owner of these beauties, just collected and restored mechanical musical instruments as a hobby. But, before long his hobby grew to such proportions that in 1969, he opened this museum. Because of his love for these old-time musical marvels, we can enjoy them today.
For more information: telephone 067 22 49217
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 4, 2002
Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett
65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein
But, I do like river cruises, especially in Germany. I floated gently along the Elbe Rive a couple of year ago and, just recently, had the privilege of taking another KD Cruise, this time from Mainz, to Koblenz Germany, and stopping mid way to overnight at Oberwelssel.
On board this comfortable and spacious ship, I enjoyed the beverage of my choice and dined while I soaked up the scenic beauty of the Rhine as we glided along. From storybook castles jewels that stud the steep hillsides to the profusion of vineyard that cascade down from the mountains, it’s easy to see why it’s called the Romantic Rhine.
KD operates these cruises from the end of March to the end of October and, during the trip, they explain what you are seeing and give you a map so you can follow along. It’s a great way to not only see the Rhine, but travel on it and become a part of its history. To plan your KD cruise, visit www.k-d.com or call 49 0 221/20 88-318
To receive a free copy of Under the Spell of Germany's River Scenere: 200 Years of German Romanticism on the Rhine, visit click here.
While it is possible to use regular coffee cups, true Rudeshimer Coffee is made in a Rüdeshimer Cup decorated with scenes from the Rhine River. It tapers from a smaller base to a larger brim and is shaped to make it easier to warm or keep your hands cool, depending on how you hold the glass.
You then flame the brandy, pour in freshly brewed hot coffee (I sweeten mine just a little), and then top it with freshly whipped cream (no substitutes, please!) and a little nutmeg and or cinnamon if you wish.
Rüdeshimer Coffee is a specialty of the Breuer Rüdeshimer Schloss Weingasthau, and, judging from others I sampled outside of Rüdesheim, this is the best. So, when you visit Rüdesheim, be certain to stop at this restaurant and enjoy the taste of history because the Asbach and Company was founded in 1892.
Here in Rüdesheim, there’s a hotel that combines world-class elegance with old-fashioned charm. The Breuer’s Rüdeshimer Schloss Winehotel and Winegasthaus is a 4-star facility with ultra-modern rooms so typical of German high style. From Internet access to color tv’s, everything is here to pamper travelers. In addition, it oozes historic charm because this hotel was built in 1729 by the Archbishop of Mainz.
In addition to pleasing individual travelers, Breuer’s Rüdeshimer Schloss has an extensive program for meetings and conventions.
Conveniently located to major attractions, this hotel also offers an array of first-class cuisine and is definitely the place to savor the local Hessian regional fare. Since the Breuer family also operates a winery, you’ll be able to enjoy the finest wines with your meal—and visit their tasting room.
Also, if you stay here, you’ll not only be able to enjoy homey, yet stylish accommodations and dine on tasty food, you’ll also receive an outstanding city map, with a walking tour already laid out for you. For more information on the restaurant and hotel, visit ruedersheimer-schloss.com or for the wines visit click here.
(0) 67 22 – 905 00
D-65385 Rudersheim am Rhein, Reingau