Since we'd planed on flying to Europe for a group tour of Tuscany, we decided to spend some time along the way on our own. Untours, which arranges independent tours with the rough spots taken care and local contacts, had been on our radar for a while. We made a great choice with a week on the Rhine in the picturesque village of St. Goar, or Sankt Goar. (Photos by Jack & Mary Dodge, September 2011)

Click photos for larger versions

Our first sight of St. Goar was its train station,

Where we were met by our Untours host ...

... and walked down the "backway" to our well-equipped, well-sited and comfy apartment

Though there was a full kitchen in the apt, we often strolled to the nearby Cafe Am Markt for supper and wine. The patio was lovely at night

But the main attraction was the Rhine River itself

The famous Lorelei

Views from the Lorelei ...

The river is also a threat as these flood marks in St. Goar indicate

St. Goar had many attractions, including the "world's largest working outdooor cuckoo clock" Click for a close-up

It also has a lovely waterfront park

... with lovely flowers

This cute open-air train takes visitors up steep hills to the town's main attraction ...

Rheinfels Castle, which also houses a hotel

View from Reinfels Castle.

It is far from the only castle in the area ...

In fact, you're rarely out of sight of at least one of them along the nearby stretch of river.



We could take a ferry or a train to visit nearby towns. Trips further afield were also available, but we stuck pretty close to "home."


Across the river from St. Goar is St. Goarhaussen,

... which has a charming back alley ..

... and at least one restaurateur with a sense of humor.

Our favorite sidetrip was to Bacharach ...

Bacharch even had picturesque church ruins ...

And the Altes (Oldest) House Restaurant


Another trip was to Rudesheim, home to Carl Jung and Ausbach Uralt brandy

Here we took a cable car ride

... over the vineyards ..

... to see the Neiderwald monument of Germania. Here is what we were supposed to see.

But there was this pretty gazebo ...

... and a great view ...

The touristy and very narrow Drosselgrasse was fun to visit and have a lovely lunch.



But soon it was time for our last day in St. Goar ...

and to say "Auf Weidersehen"