The drive down the Rhine was amazing, despite being a little rainy at first. The highlight of the trip for me was stopping at Burg Rheinfels, a medieval castle in St. Goar.
While part of the castle is currently used as a hotel and restaurant, there's a significant part of the castle that is left alone for you to explore. Thin rickety stairs that are as steep as ladders, dark tunnels that formed part of the castle's defense, and a huge wine storage cellar… so much fun to explore!
Despite being left alone to follow one of two routes around the castle, we still learnt a bit of it's history. The most curious part for me was learning about the German robber barons who leveraged the geographic advantage their castles provided to collect tolls from passing merchant vessels. Burg Rheinfels was one of two castles, one on each side of the Rhine, set up to collect these tolls. The fortifications of the castle were even expanded after cannons were invented and the ships could start to fight back!
After climbing all the way to the top of the castle we were rewarded with a breathtaking view of the river. Definitely worth the effort.
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