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Published: September 6th 2007
In the fairytale surrounds of southern Germany, castles dotting the landscape amidst rolling hillsides of vineyards pointing towards the languidly looping Rhine, two beautiful maidens Cherida and Amy, met their kind and generous friend Dirk. A tour of the lovely town of Bingen was had, with spectacular sunset views and a scary dark tower (turm) where the tears of many a long tressed maiden could still be heard hitting the concrete floor. The trio shared a traditional German supper of bread, meat and cheese and told tales of past travels, enjoying the challenge of conversing in each others languages. Friday dawned and Dirk, the wunderbar tour guide, led the maidens through his sehr schon homeland. They explored the charming town of Bacharach, with its cobblestoned lanes and ancient houses cheerfully lopsided. They rambled over the remains of Schloss Rheinfels in St Goar and watched knights play medieval games in the courtyard.
Around midday when the sun shone high in the sky, the trio could here a strange alluring melody drifting on the breeze over the vineyards... it was a womens voice, softly singing songs of ships and sailors from days gone by."Aha", said Amy, "I have heard this tale during
my school years, her name is Lorelei", "Das ist richtig" (that is correct) said Dirk, and told the girls the story of Die Lorelei............
"The beautiful and gentle Lore Lay lived in Bacharach on the Rhine. She bewitched the men and conquered their hearts, with no escape for those who fell under her spell. Her fame came to the attention of a bishop, who brought her before a court to try. He too was bewitched by her beauty, and could not bring himself to punish her, but asked her who had seduced her to practice such witchcraft. She asked to be allowed to die, because anyone who looked into her eyes was lost, describing her eyes as two flames, and her arm a magic wand. She begged to be burnt at the stake to break the spell. But the bewitched bishop could not give out such an order, unwilling to condemn her without knowing the secret of her magic, to punish her would break his own heart. Lore Lay begged for mercy and said she couldnt bear to live any longer, she could no longer feel love for anybody since her sweetheart had deceived and deserted her. She tried
to hide herself but still men succumbed to her wild and gentle eyes, her red and white cheeks and her mild and quiet words. When she saw herself she simply wanted to die. The bishop refused her pleas and had her taken away to a convent where she would be forced to live out of sight of men as a nun. Three knights were to deliver her to the convent and as they passed a mighty rock she begged them to let her climb to the top as to have a last glimpse of her sweethearts castle and the mighty Rhine beneath. Nimbly she ascended the rock,with the knights tying their horses at the bottom to follow her. On reaching the top Lore Lay said she could see a sail on the river and that the man standing on board the ship was her sweetheart. Leaning over, she fell into the Rhine, ending her misery either by tragic accident or cunning plan.
(translated from the German ballad "Lore Lay", by Clemens Brentano)
It is said you can still hear her singing when the wind is right... those who dont go in for fairytales might merely say its the
echo off the rock... but its nice to believe in a bit of magic once in a little while.
Amy and Cherida were interested to see this rock where the beautiful Lorelei sings her song, and so Dirk obliged driving them to the Lorelei Rock, which sits 120 metres above the Rhine, overlooking the town of St Goar. It was easy to see from this vantage point the mystical beauty of the Rhine and surrounding areas that has inspired so many imaginations and produced some of the most wonderful fairytales. After combing their hair and singing on the rocks the beautiful maidens and their gallant driver moved on to the next stop, the beautiful village of Rudesheim. They were given a magic potion of the sweetest white wine, picked from the vine at midnight while the grapes are frozen, which cast a magic spell and made the trip from here to Langen fly past.
In Langen the fair maidens were introduced to the wise and comical Michael, also a wizard on the bbq, and his family. Hours passed in happy laughter and a delicious feast, before Dirks car seemed to grow wings on the return journey and the
trio were home after a busy day.
It was an enjoyable and fulfilling time spent in the Rhine Valley, and the three stars of our story all lived happily ever after.
Vielen Dank Dirk, wir haben ein sehr gutes zeit mit dir und hoffentlich wir sehst du sobald.
**Also pictures from a wet cold and windy couple of days in beer filled Munich**
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