Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Nineteen: The Rhine Valley and Mainz

My next destination after Aachen was Worms around three hours away. Getting to Worms required me to catch three different trains. So rather that trying to get there as fast as possible I gave myself the whole day to do some sightseeing along the way.

It was fortunate that I wasn’t in a hurry as my first train of the day from Aachen to Cologne was delayed by 25 minutes. Once I got to Cologne I changed trains for a slower IC train but one that would wind itself down the side of the Rhine Valley.

I have previously been down the Rhine Valley on my first visit to Germany but it is so spectacular that it is worth doing multiple times – next time I do it I hope to be on a boat, photos taken through a train window just don’t do it justice. For tourism reasons it is called the “Romantic Rhine” and with huge cliffs, many castles and beautiful villages it more than lives up to its name.

After the train left the Rhine Valley we pulled into Mainz Hauptbahnhof where I hopped off and put my bags into storage. On my first visit to Germany I had planned on visiting Mainz but ended up staying across the river at Wiesbaden instead. My first impression of Mainz was that it was not as historically German as I was expecting and I was slightly disappointed. After about 20 minutes walk I found the main Cathedral and the Gutenberg Museum. The museum was okay but many of the signs were only in German.

I then continued onto the pedestrian walkway along the Rhine and came across the Museum of Ancient Seafaring which houses wrecks and replicas of Roman boats that used to travel on the Rhine. This museum was my highlight of Mainz, it was free and an unexpected discovery.

My somewhat random walk then took me back towards the centre of Mainz. I then got slightly lost but found the real old town area and behind which was a path that lead up a hill to the Mainz Citadel. Randomly walking around the Citadel was a lot of fun, at the time I wasn’t even aware of what I had randomly walked into but I realised it had been used in wars before as it appeared to still contain many shelter-like sections in the various walls around the fortress.

As it was now approaching sunset I headed back down the hill and got myself lost again before finding my way back to the main train station and getting on a train to Worms.