Contiki European Vista Day 19: St. Goar, Rhine Valley
May 20, 2014 We woke up early to another delicious included breakfast at our hotel in Prague, Ibis Praha Mala Strana, before jumping back onto the bus for another half-day on the coach.
After lunch at yet another rest stop, we rolled into St. Goar, located in the Rhine Valley in Germany. My first thought was that I absolutely loved this place already. St. Goar was a tiny town nestled in the hills along the Rhine River, and had all of the quintessential Germanic charm that I had been expecting when I pictured this place.
Our first stop was The Beerstein-Shop, a family-owned store in St. Goar fearing beer steins of all shapes and sizes. They even had decorative steins specific to Contiki, which featured all of our tour stops and colorful depictions of each. I took home one of these babies…although I’m not completely sure why. I’m a sucker for a good souvenir.
Next up was a cruise of the Rhine River. The cost of this cruise was included in the tour, so we jumped on a boat, grabbed a few drinks, and sat back on the top deck of the boat, taking in the amazing views all around us.
After the cruise, we were off to check in to the Hotel Montag St. Goar and grab dinner. I loved this little hotel. The rooms were pretty tiny, but it was so charming and there was a homey bar and dining room downstairs. We had an included dinner here at the hotel tonight, and dinner at these tiny hotels were some of my favorites. Just like in Hopfgarten, the food here tasted like a family dinner. Delicious!
From here, we walked through the town to a tasting cellar for a bit of wine tasting! This was an optional extra, and cost 9€, or $12 USD. I thought that this was a pretty good deal, considering that tastings in Napa/Sonoma seem to be a $15 USD standard these days.
I absolutely loved the ambiance in here, but the wine was another story! First up was a Riesling that I found quite delicious, but I’m not a fan of sweet wines, and the next three selections were bordering on Moscatos. Not my cup of tea! Turns out the Rhine Valley is known for their sweet wines though, so I sat back and enjoyed the tasting. The last selection was a specialty of the Rhine Valley: Ice Wine. This is a white dessert wine made from grapes that are frozen while still on the vine. This tasted like syrup to me, but the others enjoyed it! Many even bought bottles to take home with them.
After dinner, we had the night to relax. We all convened in the bar of the hotel and laughed and shared stories until we finally got tired. We went to bed and mentally prepared for Amsterdam…although I don’t think I could have ever truly been prepared for Amsterdam.