G3VGR RHEINSTEIG     Koblenz - Braubach      

I managed to get an early breakfast (with free chocolate Easter bunny!) and was back on the trail before 08:30, hoping to get to the Rupertsklamm before it was full of Sunday morning groups of walkers. Also, I'd noticed the trail was beginning to get steeper with many big ups and downs in a day and it would be nice to walk earlier to avoid the later heat. My backpack was now becoming a millstone, being full of outerwear that I didn't seem to require in the strange Easter weather.

The trail wound it's way out of the Pfaffendorf woods into an area of forest owned by the military. It was very pleasant walking and I had the place to myself, except for two deer that I saw in the middle of the path about 50 yards ahead. I was able to watch them for about two minutes, but they bolted when they heard the lens motor on my camera. Shortly after passing a Watchtower constructed by the military, the trail descended in a long zigzag manner towards the top of the Rupertsklamm. There were occasional glimpses of the Lahn river through the trees. I reached the hut at the top of the ravine around 10:00 and was pleased to note it wasn't busy. There were a few fellow Rheinsteigers around and, as usual, they seemed to be heading northwards on the trail.

The Rupertsklamm is deservedly one of the major highlights of the Rheinsteig. I was pleased to be there at this time of year with all the fresh spring foliage present, so it looked especially beautiful. Steel ropes are attached to the rock walls to assist on the narrow difficult parts of the ravine. All too soon, I'd reached the bottom, so went back up and down again.

After leaving the Rupertsklamm, the trail follows the Lahn river upstream and I found a delightful cafe serving Hefeweizen. According to my calculations, I was now more or less halfway along the Rheinsteig, so this was definitely a milestone to celebrate.

Feeling somewhat smug with my progress, I walked to a pedestrian bridge and crossed the Lahn, fighting my way through a huge group of hikers, who seemed to be having some reunion on the footbridge.

The trail climbed up to Lahnhöhe, an overdeveloped eyesore of a place, dominated by an extremely ugly Mercure hotel. Originally, I had planned to stay here, but there were no vacancies when I'd applied. After congratulating myself on avoiding a night in purgatory, I followed a long descent down a forestry road, which ended at a private housing estate on the outskirts of Einmuth. As I arrived, a young boy left the front garden of his affluent home and tried to beg money from me to "eat". He appeared to be used to receiving "hau ab" in reply.

Fleeing from suburbia again. I was confronted with two debilitating ups and downs. Eventually, after reaching the top of the second big hill, I was rewarded with a fantastic view. A few hundred feet below and in front of me was the Rhein, snaking it's way between its steep banks. On a big hill to my left was Marksburg castle, which dominated the town of Braubach below. I was also surrounded by vineyards, the first ones seen since Leutesdorf.

This fairytale view is what every visitor to Germany expects to see. I've been up and down the Rhein many times in the last 40+ years, but seeing it now from the perspective of my Rheinsteig experience, made me as excited as the first time I'd seen the region. Eventually, I made my way down to the lovely old town of Braubach for a late lunch before catching the train to Osterspai, where I'd made a reservation at Heidi's Gästezimmer

Osterspai is a pleasant little village and again I was able to dine outdoors in the warm evening and sample the local wine. When I went for a stroll along the riverbank, I heard some English voices, so it appears quite a few people visit the Rhein over Easter. No doubt, they too were suffering the current "eins-für-eins" exchange rate.

Pfaffendorfer Wald

Forest resident



Lahn River

Marksburg castle and Braubach





[Previous Stage]      [Home]      [Next Stage]