Rudesheim Rally


9th - 22nd August 2009


The rally began with 15 caravans and a motorhome being sited in a big circle. There were 4 gazebos set up in the centre to be our social area. Monday morning started with a wonderful full English breakfast cooked and served by all the marshals and a few helpers. We had the choice of tea, coffee, orange juice or Bucks Fizz – no choice really, the Bucks Fizz went down very well. The marshals then escorted us to the local supermarkets and Getranke (beer and wine shop). Later in the afternoon we were shown around the town with some of the more important areas being pointed out; the cellars where we were to have our wine tasting afternoon, the town square where the wine fest was to take place, the restaurants where we were to have some meals, Oh! and the bank!

As a holiday should be, we were completely free to do exactly as we pleased, but Dave and Vonnie, Sharon and Steve had arranged several trips for us which began with a lovely traditional meal at the Ratstube restaurant. On Thursday we went on a boat trip to St Goar to see the largest free hanging hand carved cuckoo-clock in the world. Friday morning we had a guided tour of the music museum which was much more fun and interesting than I had expected, with the tour guide insisting we ‘Mind The Step’. We had an afternoon of wine tasting at the George Breuer cellars in the town, and learnt how to hold a wine glass, using all our senses to appreciate the wine. We then all staggered walked back through the town, some of us stopping at a wonderful ice cream café.

Rudesheim is a beautiful town with a lot of character, some superb restaurants, lots of gift shops and even a christmas shop. The town only has 11,000 inhabitants but during the year can expect 3 million visitors, many passing through on the various hotel boats which moor up on the riverside.

During our holiday we took the cable car up to the top of the hill overlooking the town. The cable cars were small, carrying 2 people each, and travelled over the vineyards. The view was fantastic and it was so quiet and peaceful. At the top, 250m above the Rhine, is the Niederwald monument which commemorates the foundation of the German Empire, after the end of Franco-Prussian War. We then walked for a few miles through the woods, stopping at different viewpoints. After a break, to have a drink at a hotel, we got a chairlift down into the town of Assmannshausen where we caught a riverboat which took us back to Rudesheim.

The wine fest took place over 4 days in the middle of our stay in Rudesheim. Crowds of people gathered in the town square where tables and benches had been set up amongst wooden huts, each occupied by a different wine producer. We paid a deposit on a wine glass then tried the wines, buying a full glass if we liked it. We could keep the glasses or take them back and get the deposit back. I now have a cupboard full of different wine glasses! Mentioning no names but a Mr A from a motorhome struggled to find a wine he liked so just tried everything on the list and then wasn’t sure so he started from the top again.

After having a little rain during the first few days the weather picked up and was then extremely warm and gloriously sunny, but fortunately the last day was much cooler whilst we were clearing up. The weather was so warm that Rachel and Aaron enjoyed water fights and a few days in the open air pool next door to the site. Our youngest rallier, Daniel, was able to crawl around under the gazebos in nothing but a nappy and shorts.

On the last Thursday evening (the hottest evening of the holiday) we all walked into town to Breuers Rudesheimer Schloss in the Drosselgasse where Sharon and Steve, Dave and Vonnie had arranged for a ‘Fairytale Meal’. The fairytale was the ‘Golden Goose’ narrated by a man in a suit and top hat. We started the meal with bread and water but then the water turned to wine which flowed freely in very large wine glasses. A certain Mr Field was given the most enormous wine glass. Between courses some of the ralliers were given parts in the story, we ended up doing the conga around the restaurant with some of us playing musical instruments, carrying the goose, Hedley in the lead with a magic key which opened a box and he got a bottle of wine. We then took turns to drink a shot of something quite nice from a length of baton with five shot glasses attached to it. Great fun when everyone is a different height, I made sure I didn’t spill a drop! We finished with the local Rudesheimer coffee mmmhhh!!!! Then there was an incident with some cream!! and we all danced the night away. I don’t remember much about getting home but a lot of us sat under the gazebos until about 3 in the morning.

Thankyou, Dave and Vonnie, Sharon and Steve for a super holiday. We had a really great group of fellow ralliers, some we knew well and some were fairly new or even very new to the SOC. We hope to get to see our new friends out on the rally field soon.  

Sarah Crossley

Here is a 'small' sample of pics from the 1118 submitted by several anonymous ralliers. Thank you all.
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