G3VGR RHEINSTEIG    Rüdesheim - Kühn's Mühle      

I checked out after breakfast, after thanking Ms Scherf, the effervescent and helpful owner of Pension Blatterbach, for an enjoyable stay and caught the first cable car to return up over the vineyards to the NiederWaldDenkmal, where there were already quite a few Japanese tourists present. The trail made it's way through the vineyards that slope down gently towards the Rhein. This part of the Rheinsteig also coincides with the Brahmserweg, apparently a walk enjoyed by the composer. I soon reached the Abtei St. Hildegard, towering impressively over the vineyards. After another 30 minutes of walking past the vines, the Rheinsteig entered the RheinTaunus Naturpark and proceeded along forest trails until reaching the outskirts of Marienthal.

This was the unpleasant face of suburbia, with a small estate of dreadfully designed new houses. Whilst humming Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes" to myself, I quickly passed through this area and back into the woods. The trail descended quickly to Kloster Marienthal. The monastery is nestled in the valley in a beautiful location. The gardens were very tranquil and I was totally impressed by my visit. It was a steep, short ascent through the trees back to the forest trail and the Rheinsteig ran through the forest for a few more miles until eventually reaching the vineyards near Johannisberg. On reaching this treeless area, a big thunderstorm started and I was quite concerned at being out in the open with no cover. I was relying on the steel posts that held up the vines to be more attractive to lightning than a lone walker. The storm passed over with no disasters occurring and I arrived at Schloss Vollrads shortly afterwards, just in time for Kaffee and Küchen.

From here, it was a short walk to my overnight stop at Kühn's Mühle. The lady of the house seemed a little curt when I arrived, but became quite friendly after I told her I'd stayed before about 18 years ago with my family. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed because Sunday is their Rühetag. After a shower, I had to walk 2 Kms to Oestrich for dinner. Oestrich is a another sleepy wine town and I stumbled across Fetzer's Weinstübchen, which was full of locals (always a good sign). They serve enormous portions accompanied by a good selection of local wines, all at very low prices. The staff and clientele were all very friendly and it made for a very enjoyable evening. After far too much wine and a few glasses of Korn, I made my way back unsteadily to Kühn's Mühle for a good night's sleep.

Abtei St. Hildegard

Antonius Kapelle

"Little boxes made of ticky tacky"

Kloster Marienthal

Garden at Kloster Marienthal

Steep path up from the monastery

Vineyards of Schloss Johannisberg

Schloss Vollrads

Kühn's Mühle

Oestrich Marktplatz

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