This was a day-long trip to a castle by the banks of river Rhein in west Germany. I was living in the suburbs of Köln at a place named Wahnheide. One fine morning, I went to have a look around the scenic places of Bonn. This one attracted me when I went to Bonn on an official trip and visited a small city by the banks of river Rhein, called "Linz am Rhein."
I got introduced to the old German culture, beautiful city architecture of half-timbered houses, unusual X-shaped cross in a very old church, native signs of illegal organizations before the world war and of course - the local German brewery to Prost! And how can one forget Rhein, as the German song hymns, "Warum ist es am Rhein so schön"? (In English: why the banks of Rhein so pretty?).
While returning by the cruise, the castle atop a hill attracted me. I found out later that it's the dragon mountain with some mythical story attached to it. The route was fairly easy to reach from Köln, and it took only two regional trains to change at Troisdorf (an in between station) to arrive at Königswinter, the destination station by the banks of Rhein. From here, a small monorail takes people up to the top and I believe, hiking up is much more fascinating than taking the train, while the hiking trail goes up via the woods. From atop, the views along North Rhein Westfalen region as well as along Hessen region were spectacular. The vineyards, small islands, sudden bends of Rhein, cold breeze and the prehistoric ruins of the old castle made every moment worthy in itself.
After spending some time up above the hill, I went to the castle and looked at a few stunning sculptures. Later, I walked via the lush green meadows back to the station. This is actually a short, cheap and enjoyable destination for a group, but I enjoyed the moment in totality. I also walked along the next hill to explore the woods a little more. The trains were frequent (I think every 20 minutes or so there was a train to Bonn) & I came back around the evening. Another destination I went on another day in NRW was "Eifel national park", which is also nice in summer to bike around or roam in weekends. I haven't taken much pictures, but I believe it could be a good outing, if you're stuck at Germany with no where to go during the weekends & you like mostly nature rather than cities. I went to many cities e.g. Aachen, Brühl, Mainz, Koblenz, Düsseldorf, Köln but I prefer nature more than cities. Happy travelling in West Germany!