[Koblenz—Thursday, 18 August 1859]
Thursday August 18th The morning was cool, the dust laid and air refreshed by a shower. Drove to see the castle of Steinfels [sic, for Stolzenfels], a place of great antiquity, lately repaired by the King of Prussia to receive Queen Victoria in 1846. I mounted the hill on a donkey and then we climbed the highest tower together, sitting upon the very top we watched the morning mist (it was yet early) float away from the Rhine disclosing new beauties hitherto veiled in clouds.
A most decent German woman showed us through the beautiful rooms with their highly polished floors and rich paintings. It was all delightful, not too large for convenience. We soon mounted again to descend the hill. My donkey gave the pedestrians a good run but Jamie did not care and it was almost time for the boat to start. They are busily at work upon the rail-road from Bonn to Bingen and we were stopped going and coming while they blew out the rocks. It is a great labor and wonderful expense for this poor people. At ½ past 12 left dear old Coblentz for Bingen. Such a succession of lovely places as we passed cannot be described or remembered. The Robber-chiefs guarded these heights well but their nests now rifled both by men and time are only picturesque. The noble Rhinefels the finest ruin of them all resisted an attack of 24,000 men at one time. They were French and by them it was finally destroyed. The Lurlei kindly answered when we called to her as if to show she was still at her post hoping for visitors yet, although so continually disappointed by her great enemy, Steam.
It was almost sun-set when we came to Bingen but we were so happy among these old storied beauties and not only observing but tasting the grapes brought us by the peasants that we were only half glad to arrive and feel that we had seen. We longed to keep the day with us with its vineyards, its castles, villages, & hills.