We had an early start in Rothenburg because today was a travel day with a lot of driving.
Rothenburg to our next stop was a 3.5 hour drive. Once we were on the highway, the kids could obviously hear us debating the appropriate highway speeds. It was super cool that our car always had a digital display letting us know when the speed had changed and what our maximum speed should be. It was only when that maximum speed was a blank icon with an X through it that I got a little nervous.
Our first stop was Burg Eltz, is a favorite medieval castle because it has been owned by one branch of the same family since the 12th century. It sits just off the Mosel River. Unlike many of the castles we had seen previously and would see later, this one was never destroyed. Therefore, it is open to visitors, and you can walk through and see not only the castle walls, but furniture, paintings, weapons, decoration, and other things that would have been in the castle when it was lived in. Apparently, the family that owns the castle has several apartments somewhere in the castle, and I assume these are quite modern; however, it was fun to take the English tour and see part of the castle and its contents on display.
One interesting note about this castle is that it has a central courtyard with entrances to what are essentially three different castles. Three brothers built the castle and wanted separate quarters for each of the families. While there is a common meeting room for decision making, there are not interior hallways to access each section. Instead, each family had to use the central courtyard and the door designating another family/part of the castle in order to visit other family members.
Burg Eltz gives several English tours each day, and we were lucky enough to be on time to join this walk through the castle. Photos were not allowed on the tour itself, but we could later walk through some of the courtyards and the museum.
The castle had a small cafe, and we bought some lunch and hung out on the terrace overlooking the small river (obviously a feeder — not the Mosel) before we caught the tram back to our car.
We drove another 40 minutes and dropped our car in Koblenz. After a taxi to the train station, we backtracked a little to Boppard, a small town along the Rhine. Our bed & breakfast, Mittelrhein Pension, was just a few blocks from the train station, so we had time to check in and run down to Rewe for groceries. We had sandwiches and fruit for dinner before calling it a night.