I crossed the Rhine on the ferry from Bad Breisig to Bad Hönnigen, and set out to explore there.
Between the ferry and the city is an expansive campsite. The city also sports a large factory. From the left side of the Rhine, the white steam from its gleaming, towering chimneys can seen from far away, but from here it's barely visible.
The main road into town is lined with typical 19th century townhouses, and a Protestant church. The pedestrian zone, and what was probably once the old town, is marked with a kind of steel frame gate.
Only a few old buildings are still left standing. While not very beautiful, everything is well in order, and while there are some vacant storefronts, business seems relatively healthy for the current economic depression.
The church was closed. Towards the Rhine, there's a wide open lawn; on the other side, Bad Breisig.
A number of underpasses under the railroad (and later again under a highway) lead from the old town towards the mountains and vinyards. There stands Arenfels Palace amid the grapes, with a good view of the town and landscape.
A path above the castle led into the forest, and I followed it, past two lonely homes, meadows, a gravel pit...
...and continued farther and farther away from the Rhine, and away from there I wanted to go, so I saw that I was on the wrong track and turned back around.
A fork in the road led back to Arenfels Palace. It's open on weekends, but there was a wedding today, so I could not get inside.
Arenfels Palace was originally the site of a medieval castle. It was turned into a residential palace during the Renaissance, and given its current Gothic Revival form during the 19th century.
A narrower path, secured with a metal railing, winds up the mountain and put me on the right track this time. It winds back around at the top for a last good view of Arenfels and Bad Hönningn before continuing north.
The path is mostly forest with scarce glimpses of the valley, usually outfitted with a bench to enjoy the view.
The cross says: "Wanderer, remember Him who created all this for you."
The road leads to the little village of Ariendorf. It's small and separated from the Rhine by a highway, but it sports a number of lovely half-timbered houses.
There's a Gothic Revival "castle", also going back to an older building, which has today been divided into apartments.
An underpass led to the Rhine. I followed the path, expecting it to lead to a promenade of some sort and down to Linz.
Unfortunately it didn't, and instead of turning back, I ended up trudging along the gravel beaches for perhaps a few kilometres. With a busy road running parallel to the river, you couldn't simply climb up the riverbank, either. Maybe I should carry a map.
You can only climb back up from the river at Leubsdorf. It's very small, but has a beautiful church and a few nice buildings in the centre. However, I didn't stay for long in the midday sun.
The lower road to Linz was boring and not very scenic, but the shortest and most direct.
I hurried to catch the ferry and crossed back over the Rhine.