G3VGR RHEINSTEIG     Kamp Bornhofen - St. Goarshausen      

I had an excellent breakfast at the Altes Tor, sampling some of their homemade wurst. Due to the poor train connection times from Filsen, I took a taxi to Bornhofen. The driver deposited me outside Burg Sterrenberg around 8:45. There was thick fog this morning, so very little was visible as I made my way across to Burg Liebenstein. According to legend, each castle was owned by a jealous brother. Apparently, the two hostile brothers managed to simultaneously murder each other one morning by each firing an arrow into the other's bedroom. This probably made them early recipients of the Darwin Awards. Unfortunately, the castle wasn't open this early in the morning, so I made my way up through the forest in the fog.

The trail left the forest and passed through the hamlet of Lykershausen, then wound it's way downwards to the Hindenburg Höhe, which was an impressive viewpoint. The descent down to Kestert was steep, as was the continuing ascent to Oberkestert. Passing through the village, the trail made it's way into the woods, which were carpeted with flowering Periwinkles, and towards the Pulsbach Gorge. The fog was clearing now and it was hot and humid again. After the gorge, I proceeded along a winding trail in the forest with various descriptive signs detailing how mining for ore and slate had been operational in this area.

When I reached Maus castle at Wellmich, this too was closed, so I missed out on a falconry display again. Above the castle, there were excellent views along the Rhein. The trail was on the side of the cliff face and the vegetation was small and stunted, very similar to Mediterranean hillsides. The trail cut inland, through some woods and into large open fields and I could see a radio mast in the distance. When I reached the mast, I found it was directly above St Goarshausen, close to an excellent hiker's hut, built by a local Rheinsteig walkers club.

Again, I was surrounded by superb views. Directly across the river was St. Goar, dominated by the ruins of Rheinfels castle. Looking up the river, Katz castle was perched above St Goarshausen and further in the distance, I could see the Loreley. From here, it was just a short, but steep and stony path past the vineyards down into the town of St Goarshausen and the end of my Easter hiking trip.

This stage of the Rheinsteig had been quite challenging and being fatigued after the previous days didn't help. However, I had achieved the goals I'd set for the Easter trip, so celebrated with lunch and a bottle of Rheingau in St. Goarshausen Altstadt. Again, I was able to dine outdoors on another hot sunny afternoon. After lunch, I caught the train to Koblenz, where I changed to one of the superb ICE trains to Köln. At Koblenz, I bumped into my Rheinsteiger acquaintance from the kneipe in Osterspai of the previous day. He had just completed his hike from Osterspai to Ehrenbreitstein, so was making fast progress towards Bonn. The ICE train took me to Köln-Bonn Airport and I checked into the Holiday Inn for the night, prior to catching an early flight home the next morning

Liebenstein castle in the fog

Model farm at Lykershausen

Horsetrough c.1895

Hindenburg Höhe


Maus Castle overlooking Wellmich

Forest trail near Pulsbachklamm


Rheinsteig hut above St. Goarshausen

View upstream to Loreley

St. Goarshausen Altstadt

Celebrating a successful Easter trip

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