The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


Leaving Ehrwald and the Zugspitze behind we headed North up through Germany keeping to secondary roads to see more of the countryside. This made it slow going also very tiring, so after spending the night on a camping platz at Nordlington we decided to use the autobahns that day to speed-up our journey, to reach the Rhine by the evening.

Arriving at our campsite at Gear on the Rhine, the campsite was called Loreley Blick so named because it was not far from the Lorelei Rocks on a bend in the river. I am sure most of you have heard the story of the beautiful siren called Lorelei who sat combing her hair and singing, luring the river boatmen to their death on the rocks. This idea was dreamed up by the romantic poet Clemens Brento who in 1801 included the ballard Lore Lay inn his novel, Godwi.

Christmas Edition 2010

The Happy Wanderer - Homeward Journey

The campsite was situated right on the banks of the river! So we decided after setting up for our stay, to spend the rest of the day in our easy chairs with a gin and tonic or two watching all the river traffic going up and down, a very strenuous activity.

Those of you who have done Rhine cruises will understand me when I say it’s a really busy industrial river, packed with tourist boats and barges loaded with everything imaginable. Sometimes four of the barges were joined together only one with an engine and loaded with containers 100 plus, quite a sight, I often wondered how they managed to make headway against the current with only one engine. Either side of the river are railway tracks which have massive goods trains going up and down till late at night! I know one was only 50 yards behind the camp site and they are not quiet: especially late at night and in the early hours of the morning, but all this activity certainly kept a lot of lorries off the roads.

I found the Rhine a very masculine river, very fast flowing and a hive of industry, too much for my taste. I much prefer the Mosel, it is nowhere near as industrious, slower flowing and much more restful as it meanders through the countryside with lovely little towns along its banks and vineyards down the slopes either side. If I took a long river cruise, it would be on the Mosel!

Just a few miles SSE of Gear, about twelve miles, I cannot remember if it is up or down stream, is Rudesheim, a small town on the bend of the Rhine and is known for its Christmas markets and its quaint narrow streets. It must be four years ago when I went there in December for the market, but I also did the Christmas markets in Brugge and Luxembourg at the same time. That’s when I acquired a liking for hot chocolate with a tot of Brandy in it, delicious!! A real warming drink on a cold evening. Just because it’s got alcohol in it has nothing to do with it of course?

I am sorry to say that my friend David, who travelled in tandem with me on this trip, has died while I have been writing this last episode of our trip together. He had been ill for some time, that’s why I did this year’s disastrous trip on my own. But you will hear all about that in my next story of the Happy Wanderer, or should I say in that case the Unhappy Wanderer.

Christine L Culley

      Niederwald Monument

Paddle Cruise Boat

David relaxing by the Rhine

There is a very large monument which I found very interesting situated on the high ground above the town overlooking the Rhine, but for the life of me I cannot remember for what reason it was built, age must be creeping up on me! But I can and have looked it up! It was built after the Franco-German war (1870-1) as an expression of Wilhelminian power and depicts a sword brandishing Valkyrie gazing defiantly westwards and is 121ft high.

Moving on going northwest to where the Mosel joins the Rhine at Koblenz, then west along the Mosel, as I said before a lovely drive, so scenic. We stopped overnight on a campsite just outside Trier which is not far from Luxembourg. Although we were within a hundred yards of the Mosel we could not see it because the area in between was very overgrown. Not that it bothered us too much, we just needed a place to rest up for the night after a long day’s drive.

Next day we nipped into Luxembourg to fill up with cheap fuel again as it was on our way back with just a slight detour. After which we headed for a small town in Belgium called Dahn to spend a few nights and get some walking in, as the scenery and rock formations there are great. It was well worth a few days stopover to get a few walks in, looking at many of these views and rock formations before heading for Calais and the ferry home.

Campsite at Dahn