I had an extra day in Germany after my board meeting on Wednesday in BadSoden, Frankfurt. I had planned to go to either Munich or to Berlin on Thursday before heading home on Friday. But, both entailed over nine hours in train to and for; and I just didn’t have the gusto for it at the end of 15 days of ruthless travel across Canada, US and Europe. When my German friends suggested Rudesheim am Rhine (a small town on the riverside of Rhine) as an alternative with only one hour of train ride from Frankfurt, it appealed to me. A day with myself in Rudesheim seemed like a damn good idea after 15 days of continuous human interactions.
As soon as I alighted the train at Rudesheim, the overwhelming presence of the Rhine river hit me; it was full of tourist boats but also had the scent of trade. I decided to explore the town a bit. Walked around for 15 mins and I knew I had to go up the mountain to get the best views. And as I started to climb up the mountain amongst the vineyards, I felt the might of Rhine valley: not only there is ample food all around and plenty of vineyards, but also one couldn’t but experience the might of industrial empire of Germany. A glance around the wide landscape of Rhine valley atop Kaiser’s magnificent monument in Niederwald and I understood why Romans wanted an absolute control of the river Rhine. At the top of the hill I felt tranquility and serenity; but also sensed the power of mighty Germany.
My next stop was Rebenhaus: a perfectly perched restaurant on the side of the hill with a magnificent view of the Rhine valley. To complete the German experience of the day, I ordered schnitzel and a local Riesling. Both were exquisite; much like the exquisite afternoon sun surrounding the vastness of the valley in warm sunny haze. And the radio played: here comes the sun from Beatles: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9SosaWJYdEg
In that perfect moment, I was complete: complete in the understanding of the history of the Rhine valley but also in appreciation that in the story of my life, I am but a minor player.
So, when you get an extra day in your life, grab it with both hands. Especially when that extra day takes you to Rudesheim am Rhine: a sleepy but scenic town with a ring of tranquility, and enjoy a perfect schnitzel and a fresh Riesling in the historic Rhine valley.