Bacharach, Germany: Castles and Cozy Beds

The historic village of Bacharach is a popular stop on Rick Steves tours that visit Germany's Rhine Valley. The creaky Hotel Kranenturm sprouts from the town's medieval "crane tower," where river boats were serviced for hundreds of years. A walking tour of Bacharach with a local guide is a highlight — especially if the jovial Rolf Jung is your guide. Long the headmaster of the town's school, today Herr Jung's students are visiting Americans. After a harrowing childhood under Hitler and through World War II, he tells amazing stories that vividly bring that chapter of tumultuous German history down to a very personal level. Gathering together under the medieval arcade of our hotel in Bacharach with the half-timbered town on one side and the churning Rhine River on the other, Herr Jung likes to kick off the morning with a song. If it's sunny, we all sing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning!" If it's rainy, it's "Singing in the Rain." (3½ min)