Cuckoo Clocks and Birkenstocks (it rhymes ok)

Trip Start May 06, 2007
Trip End May 26, 2007

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Rhine Valley was really neat, somewhere I would like to spend more time.  As we drove along the river we passed through heaps of little villages, all with their own church and castle, and story.  Most of the farmland is covered in vines, often on the steep river banks.   We pass the Cat and Mouse castles, and Loreley's Cliff - there is a legend that a virgin waiting for her sailor fiance who never came home jumped to her death, and her ghost sang sailors to their death against the rocks at the base of the cliff...  spooky.

We stopped in St Goar village, which is a bit of a tourist trap - in one block there is a cuckoo clock maker, a stein maker, and a Birkenstock shoes factory store (very cheap).  Outside the cuckoo clock place is, da duh dum, the worlds biggest cuckoo clock.  And the stein makers had, da duh dum, the worlds biggest stein.  Did a bit of shopping, the cuckoo clocks and steins were actually very intricate and beautiful, a lot of them handmade.  Some of the collectors items were very expensive too. 

We stayed at St Goar camping ground, run by Herman the Mad German (who is a very nice man) and his wife (a former Miss Germany).   Great campsite alongside a stream, very friendly people, nice bar and food.  Herman hosted all the girls at a Rhine Valley wine tasting - with HUGE wine tasting glasses that we got to keep.  5 wines, 2 white, 1 rose, and 2 red.  After the girls were done, the boys (and some brave girls) had a boot party - which is a drinking game with heaps of rules that involves drinking out a large glass boot.  Some of the rules were... left hand drinking, pinkies up, boot must never touch the table, toe of the boot always pointed inwards.  Lots of fun to watch - some hilarious punishments for breaking the rules - get on the table and pretend you're bacon sizzling in the pan, do the chicken dance... and then the ice game started, where a large ice cube is delicately passed from mouth to mouth - great to watch all the homophobic boys trying it out! 

While the boys were having their boot party, the girls watched on, and did way too many of "Herman's Special Shots" - not too sure whats in them, but it was at least 5 different spirits/liquers including (I think) Baileys, Jagermeister, and god knows what else!  And we had to table drink them - which means no hands.  Fun night had by all, and some very sore heads the next morning!
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