Wining and Dining on the Rhine

Spending time in the Rhineland region of Germany was such a memorable experience so far on this trip through Europe. We have both been through the central and eastern part of Germany, but had not spent any time in any of the towns located along the Rhine. We were quite surprised to discover how much it reminded us of Oregon in terms of climate, hills, valleys and vineyards. The towns we chose to stay in were all quiet and relaxed, and that's exactly what we wanted for our touring experience.

After we visited Bacharach and St. Goar, we drove down to the Baden-Baden area because we wanted to spend our anniversary in that region, visiting Strasbourg, Baden-Baden and a local spa. We opted to stay out of the city center of Baden-Baden which can be quite touristy in the summer with eastern European holiday-goers, and instead we stayed in a small town called Neuweier about 10 minutes away, up on the hills backed up to farms and vineyards. It was perfect! Neuweier also has an AMAZING gourmet restaurant on their wine estate as well which is where we enjoyed our anniversary dinner after a day touring Strasbourg.

We stayed at a hotel called Hotel Heligenstein and had a view overlooking the vineyard. The hotel staff were so sweet and we had a delicious continental breakfast each morning with our room price. It was a great value and a perfect location for a peaceful retreat close enough, yet far away from town to feel exclusive.

Views from our hotel balcony

Happy anniversary!

The day of our anniversary we drove 45 minutes into France to visit the town of Strasbourg. I have wanted to visit Strasbourg for years, because it reminds me somewhat of Bavarian Germany yet has the relaxed feeling of France throughout the town. It was very, very hot that day (Europe is going through a major heat wave right now...) so we did not spend much time walking around, however, we did visit the Notre Dame cathedral in the center of town, have lunch on the banks of the river in Petite France, and just spent time walking around Petite France and poking in shops at a leisurely pace. All in all it was a perfect afternoon spent there.

Notre Dam cathedral in Strasbourg

Petite France

For dinner we ate at Rottelle's Restaurant and Winery which was absolutely delicious. They mainly feature fish as their main courses, but all is caught fresh that day from the Rhine River and delivered to the restaurant. All of their vegetables and fruits are organic, and they serve the wine from their vineyards at a very reasonable price. It was such a wonderful location to reflect on 5 years of marriage together, and our amazing trip throughout Europe so far.

The next day we went to a spa in Baden-Baden. That was quite the experience, but also one I will never forget. It was extremely relaxing and much needed after many days on the road!

We left Baden-Baden late in the afternoon after enjoying the spa and ate lunch in a biergarten in the center of town, then drove an hour or so away to a town called Munzingen which is right outside of Freiburg.

We had a rental for the night at an Airbnb location that I found while browsing around at midnight one night, and it's a winery and organic farm that has two extra apartments on their property. The owner of the farm is a third generation farmer and winemaker in the small town and is locally renowned for his wine. His wife is from Denmark and moved to the vineyard when they got married several years ago to leave her life of art and photography and work as a homesteader and winemaker with her husband. She was the absolute perfect host. She prepared us a three-course dinner under the sunset in her herb garden for only 18 euros per person. She prepared gazpacho with fresh tomatoes from her garden, coq au vin with their wine, vegetables from their garden and organic chickens from her next door neighbor, and a delicious chocolate and pear dessert with pears from their orchard. It was an incredible farm-to-fork meal that I'll never forget, and if you are traveling through the western part of Germany and find yourself near Freiburg, I highly, highly recommend that you stay with her. (Her airbnb listing is here:

Taking an after-dinner stroll through Munzingen with my best friend

Munzingen at night

The amazing Coq au Vin our host made us!

Couldn't have asked for a better dinner

In the morning, she directed us to a fantastic bakery with freshly baked pastries and hot coffee, and we brought them back to our apartment to enjoy as we lazily read and relaxed before starting a tour of her vineyard and farm later on. Even though it was raining, it was a welcomed rain because Germany has been so hot lately and the rain was cool and refreshing. Walking around with her and hearing her stories was another one of those, "pinch me" moments that you have while traveling, and we were so sad to have to leave her farm.

Maj Britt Vorgrimmler's farm

In case you are wondering, her winery is called Weingut Vorgrimmler.

I would not hesitate to visit these places in Germany again, but for longer amounts of time next time!

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