I had big expectations for my drive along the aptly-named "Romantic Rhine", and I was not let down. It was a perfect summer day in August with temperatures in the low 30s celcius (approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit). My goal: see some castles along the Rhine. I don't need to go into any more detail as there are plenty of guide books, historical books, etc... that desdcribe the general experience.
For my experience, I decided that I could take in roughly 3 or so castles and a stop at Loreley for lunch. So I set out early out of the parking area from underneath the main station (hauptbahnhof) - convenient parking for an expected daily price. It was easy to follow the signs (and my GPS) to B9. It was a fun drive for a normal driver going around corners and through the villages of Boppard, Bacharach, and St Goar in the morning shade. I even dared to admire the scenery as there was little traffic (*gasp* bad American driver, no!).
The first castle I saw was Rheinstein just passed Lorch. The road curves to the right and then there it is, a small gravel area squeezed in between the hill on the west side of B9. The drive, the walk up to the small, now neo-gothic castle had already fulfilled every expectation of my goal for the entire day. Gazing eastward toward the rising sun from the parapets rising from the side of the cliff was the icing on the cake. Like the realization that yes, the cherry blossoms do fall like rain in late March.
On my drive back north, I decided to skip out on some of the excellent ruins and castles on the west bank in Bacharach, and took a convenient car ferry over to the east bank. I found my way to the Loreley peninsula where you can find brilliant panorama of the tourist ferries and barges making their way up and down the Rhine. I decided that this was a great spot to eat an early lunch: some bread and cheese that I picked up at Aldi's the night before.
The rest of the story is just some tourist crap with the only amusing note is not realizing that Marksburg is tucked away down some side streets and finding myself winding up and up the valley. I highly recommend getting lost on one of those roads as it gives a great sense of the Rhine. It's really just flat farmland and then suddenly you descend down into the Rhine.
Start driving south from Koblenz following B9 from old town (altstadt) in the morning all the way south along the river. Start looking at things and driving back north. Take a car ferry over to the other side to check out Loreley as you make your way back up to Koblenz.