Heidelberg to Neckarsteinach boat ride on the Neckar River, Germany

When visiting Heidelberg, Germany, one of
the delightful excursions you can take is a boat ride on the Neckar River. Now you can either do the short 40 minute
round-trip ride or take a longer ride as we are going to show you all the way to Neckarsteinach
and see some old crumbling castles. Leaving from the dock near the university
cafeteria you’ll soon get a fine view of the Old Bridge and then the castle looming up
behind it, providing another lovely angle on that iconic symbol of the city. It’s just magnificent to sit on the upper
deck of the boat out in the sunshine and enjoying the fresh air, having some drinks served to
you. There can be no doubt that beer on the boat
is a winning combination. There are scullers, being a university town,
you’ll see that is very popular here. On the edge of the Heidelberg town, the Neckar
River has a lock. There’s a number of locks along the rivers
of Europe of course, to adjust for the different levels of the river as it goes uphill or downhill. The normal 40-minute boat ride does not go
into the lock. It just turns around and heads back towards
Heidelberg, but we wanted to go a little further today, and they sold us a ticket where we
could go for 1/2 an hour out and then turn around, take another boat half an hour back
for a one hour ride, I which gave us a look at the forest-covered hillsides, and a chanced
to see more water activities, like these stand-up paddlers who are having fun and getting a
good workout.. The boat does continue for one more hour all
the way to the village of Neckarsteinach, a historic village with some castle ruins. Coming right up we will show you an old trip
that we took there. This time we got off the boat here at the
Neuberg Abbey, wait five or 10 minutes and catch the next ship coming back towards Heidelberg. However, on an earlier trip some years ago
we did stay on the boat and go all the way to the Neckarsteinach. We are cruising from Heidelberg to Neckarsteinach
on the River Neckar. It’s really an enjoyable ride, takes about
an hour and 1/2 to go from Heidelberg to Neckarsteinach, and then we will get off the boat and walk
around in the village. And you can stay in the village for an hour
or two hours three hours if you wish. So it’s a very pleasant outing. You can either make it half a day or most
of the day, particularly when the weather is nice and bright the way it is today, and
then get back to Heidelberg for the evening. It’s a very nice ride on a medium-size river
ship that holds several hundred people, with comfortable chairs both indoors and out on
the deck and plus there’s a decent snack bar and some ships have a restaurant. Neckarsteinach is known as the Town of Four
Castles, so the main event when you get there is walking along the footpath, which brings
you to these old ruins. The first two castles are actually private. There are still people living in them. Well once you get to the couple ruins you
can clamber all over the abandoned walls and walk up the crumpled stairs to get a nice
view looking down on the river valley. Like many castles along Europe’s waterways,
these were homes to barons who extorted tolls from passing ships, so they needed a good
view perspective to spot their prey. “We’re standing in a castle ruins in the village
of Neckarsteinach. This is a romantic and wonderful place. You can imagine the history that’s taken place
here over the years. The castle was first built in the 12th century. Now is just standing here in ruins. There’s foundation walls, there’s the tower
— the lookout tower. The name of this ruin is Hinterburg. It’s the oldest of the four castles in the
area and the most interesting to explore with the ruined walls, the foundations, the pathways,
the staircases all set in a wild overgrown garden. There is something magical about castles that
appeals to the kid in all of us – even the dog gets excited by the prospects of this
unusual structure, and for the serious adults interested in history, there is a lot to explore
here. The castle was already dilapidated by the
14th century and then experienced phases of extension, renovation and decay until it was
finally destroyed in 1630, during the 30 Years War. You also spot the riverfront village of Neckarsteinach,
which is where were going back to now. It’s an easy walk. It’s mostly downhill. The path is not paved, but that’s part of
the naturalistic charm of this forested route. It will take you about 20 minutes to walk
to Neckarsteinach. Back in the village center you’ll find several
nice restaurants serving typical local foods. You might even catch a brass band performing. (Music plays)
As you’re walking around in Neckarsteinach keep in mind that you’ve got to catch that
boat back to Heidelberg. Each afternoon there are generally four departures. If you miss the boat or want to get back to
Heidelberg faster, you could take the train. In that case you could’ve purchased a one-way
ticket on the boat to begin with, and a one-way ticket on the train. It will come out to about the same price. There’s also a public bus connecting them. Or you could take a taxi, it’s a lot more
expensive, but the boat ride is lovely, and you’ll enjoy it going in both directions. You can see another advantage of the trip
out to Neckarsteinach is the beautiful rural scenery that you’ll be enjoying, including
cows grazing on the hillside. And you might have some fun with the other
passengers on board the ship. Consider it like a mini-cruise. You can kick back, have a beer and enjoy yourself. Returning to town under the bridge with more
nice views of the castle up above, we see there is a solar boat powered by quiet electrical
solar power. And then there’s the long beautiful rivers-edge
park. You’ll see this is very popular with the locals. There’s playgrounds for the kids. There is weeping willow trees, and various
kinds of lush vegetation. There’s flocks of geese. There’s ducks swimming by. It’s a healthy marine habitat because they’ve
done an excellent job keeping the river waters quite clean even though further upstream the
river valley is densely populated and industrialized with companies like Mercedes-Benz operating
factories, but doing it in a clean way. The river is 10th largest in Germany and one
of the main tributaries of the Rhine which it joins 26 km further north. They’ve kept the water so clean that people
can swim in it when the weather is warm enough. And this river park continues and continues
for nearly a mile. The park actually extends out into the water
with various kinds of boating and swimming activities. Here’s some more scullers, as we saw earlier,
rowing on the river. It’s a very vigorous exercise and a competitive
sport. The university has rowing clubs and for many
residents it’s one of their regular activities to help keep in shape. The Neckar River is an ideal place for the
sport. This park is free and easily accessible to
everybody. People can walk here from town very easily,
or drive. There’s plenty of parking nearby, or take
a bus, have a picnic, do some sunbathing, but watching kids play can be a little hazardous. Well we survived the journey just fine – very
relaxing, nice way to spend an hour of your time, or half a day if you went all the way
out to Neckarsteinach and back. Yet another good reason to stay for a couple
of nights here in Heidelberg so that you can properly see everything, as we are showing
you in our series of movies about this fine city. Be sure to look for them in our collection. You could also take a cruise on the Rhine
River going by train from Heidelberg to St. Goar. It’s about an hour and a half then catch the
boat it’s about a three-hour ride to Bingen and then take the train back. It’s pretty much a full day excursion that
goes through the most scenic part of the Rhine Valley with many castles and vineyards and
villages up on the hillsides. But for the easy Heidelberg boat ride try
the Neckar River. We upload a new movie every week so please
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