The house is covered for dinner, it has been raining here. Incomprehensible, because we didn't get a drop of water on the Rhine.
We leave at 2:30. We pass Nierstein, the Rhine island Langenau. The weather remains dry, but a headwind comes up, which makes the last 7 kilometres hard work. Suddenly the fight against the waves stops as we reach the Mainzer Winterhafen and row to the jetty at the boathouse of the Mainzer Ruderverein, which the innkeeper of the boathouse restaurant Frank Buchholz has made available to us.
We have a drink before we go to the nearby Favorite Hotel located in the Mainz Stadtpark.
For dinner we meet with Rotarians from Mainz in the wine tavern Bacchus in one of the oldest half-timbered houses of the old town of Mainz.
4th Day: From Mainz to Rüdesheim
For exceptional reasons, the next day does not begin with rowing. The morning is dedicated to the visit of the city of Mainz.
We meet our city guide in front of the Stephanskirche. The stained glass windows were designed by Chagall. The blue colour of the windows gives the interior of the church a peculiar atmosphere. We go down to Schillerplatz with its carnival fountain and continue towards the cathedral. Every time we look at a pedestrian light we see a Mainzelmännchen, a symbol of the Mainz-based Second German Television, Europe's largest television station. And why are some street signs blue and others red?
After the visit of the cathedral we go back in the way of the boathouse. We pass the shipping museum and have a look at the Roman ships excavated in 2009.
A feudal picnic awaits us at the boathouse, prepared by Anne and Gudrun and set up with the help of Wolfgang from the RC Simmern. We look at the Rhine and the opposite mouth of the Main.
With a little delay we sit again in our boats, leave the protecting harbour and row along the Mainz city scenery and the Biebricher Castle to the Rheingau with its beautiful wine villages. The two shuttle buses as well as Anne and Gudrun are already waiting in the Rüdesheim marina to take us to the hotel. Recreational drinks, showers, changing clothes and we are ready for our planned evening activities.
We have arranged a meeting with the our rotarian friends of RC Bingen on the other side of the Rhine. It is too late for the passenger ferry; we have to go to the car ferry. So we have a boat trip without own effort and after that a long walk, before we arrive at the "Vinothek" and are welcomed by the president of the club Klaus Becker.
Good wines, good food and good conversations. And a check on the clock: The ferry only runs until midnight!
5th Day: From Rüdesheim to St. Goar
Today we pass the Middle Rhine World Heritage Site. On board the vacant seats have been filled by Simone and Hans-Hermann.
Above Rüdesheim we see the Niederwalddenkmal. The mountains are very close to the river. It seems there is a castle on every mountain: Ruin Ehrenfels, Castle Rheinstein, Castle Reichenstein, Castle Sooneck, the Heimburg, Ruin Nollig and Ruin Fürstenberg.
Situated in the middle of the river behind the mouth of the Nahe we pass the Mäuseturm.
When Stahleck Castle comes into sight, we know that Bacharach is no longer far away. The water is high enough that the sandbanks are no problem.
Ashore we are welcomed by Dieter Römheld, member of the RC Mainz, and his wife Andy, who have descended from their residence, which is located even higher than Stahleck Castle on top of a mountain, to show us the old town of Bacharach.
We ordered lunch from Josch, who runs his restaurant in the boathouse of the RV Bacharach. Everything is freshly made and tastes delicious to those who have enjoyed the food. The look wanders to the clock. The train is waiting in St. Goar! Wrong: The train doesn't wait! Good, if you didn't plan too tightly there.
In St. Goar Anne is already at the jetty of the water sports club. Bolly docks, Remmer and Paul leave the boat, can change in the boathouse and reach their train to Emden or Rosenheim.
Meanwhile we have arrived at the ramp in St. Goar-Felten. We pull the boats onto the trailers.
Klaus and Vera drive with Achim's car and boat Bolly to Neuss. Michael and Christiane take the opportunity and go with.
Simone, Walter, Harald and Christoph accompany Daniel, who carries the boat Charly to Mainz.
Wolfgang and Hans-Hermann are almost at home.
We'll go to the boathouse, change and get our luggage. The end of a boat trip.
Only 13 people are still sitting in Peters Brauhaus in Cologne's old town: Achim and Heidi, Paul and Anne from Neuss; Valer and Ionella, Sorin and Liana from Blaj; Judith and Paul from Zurich; Maria from Berlin; Hartmut and Anne from Mainz.
6th Day: Cologne
And before we go on to the RI Convention in Hamburg the next day, we admire a Gothic cathedral.
With this experience we are already thinking about next year. With church boats on Lake Starnberg?