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Between Bingen and Koblenz, the Rhine meanders past steep rocky slopes. When looking closely, an unexpected originality is revealed. Exotic-looking emerald lizards frolic in the slate slopes of the slopes, birds of prey such as buzzards, kites and iguanas circle above the stream, and the wild cherries are blooming on the banks just these days. However, this section of the Rhine is also surrounded by mighty castles, palaces and fortresses - each one almost within the call of the next.
As great as the legends inspired by the current are the longings he embodies: "The whole of European history, considered in its two major aspects, lies in this flow of warriors and thinkers, in this fantastic wave, the France In August 1840, the French poet Victor Hugo wrote in this same St. Goar. In fact, the Rhine in the 19th century was a sensitive issue in relations between Germany and France. Whoever crossed it penetrated into the territory of the other - the Rhine as a border and thus on both banks a symbol of nation-state interests.
The Burgundergarten, designed in the style of romanticism, is gracefully framed by the castle complex Rheinstein with a great view of the Rhine Valley
But from an earthbound perspective, too, Victor Hugo paid tribute to the river: "The Rhine unites everything: the Rhine is as fast as the Rhône, broad as the Loire, dammed like the Meuse, winding like the Seine, clear and green like the Somme. as historic as the Tiber, royal as the Danube, as mysterious as the Nile, gold-embroidered like a river in America, surrounded by stories and ghosts like a river in the interior of Asia. "
And the Upper Middle Rhine, this large, winding, green canyon full of slate, castles and vines is certainly the most spectacular stretch in the river, also because it is so inflexible. For example, the Upper Rhine was straightened centuries ago and forced into an artificial bed, the meandering course of the river here so far - apart from a few land consolidation except the access of progress. That's why it's a pleasure to explore it on foot: on the right bank of the Rhine, the 320 kilometer trail "Rheinsteig" also accompanies the river between Bingen and Koblenz. Already Karl Baedeker, who died in 1859 in Koblenz ancestor of all travel guide authors, found that the "walking" is the "most enjoyable way" to travel this section of the stream.
In addition to hikers, the emerald lizard and wild cherries, Riesling also feels at home on the Upper Middle Rhine. The steep slopes, the slate soil and the river make the grapes thrive excellently: "The Rhine is the heating for our vineyard," says Matthias Müller, winemaker in Spay. He grows his wine, 90 percent of which are Riesling vines, on 14 hectares at the so-called Boppard Hamm, as the locations on the banks of the large current loop between Boppard and Spay are called. And although you know the Rhine wine all over the world, the wine from the Upper Middle Rhine is a real rarity: "With a total of only 450 hectares, it is the third smallest growing area in Germany," says Müller, whose family has been producing winemakers for 300 years.
The Ruppertsklamm is a rock canyon in a small side valley of the Lahn near Lahnstein
In addition to the Boppard Hamm, the locations around Bacharach are also considered to be particularly favorable for climatic conditions, so that a fine wine thrives there as well. It is an old, pretty place that contributed to another myth: the Rhine as a river of wine. Whoever grows up on the Rhine, therefore, learns the following long before Heine's verses: "If the water in the Rhine was golden wine, then I would like to be a little fish." How could I drink then, would not need to buy wine, for that Barrel of Father Rhine never gets empty. " It is a wild father, a romantic, a famous, a fairy-tale and now also deservedly ennobled: For nine years, the Upper Middle Rhine has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.