Newly transplanted Floridian. Blogger. Travel Agent. Former Expat. Perpetual Traveler. Come say hi!
Aug 13, 2013
Rhein In Flammen 2013
First of all, I need to invest in a tripod. Taking great photos of fireworks is pretty impossible without one, I've decided. Secondly, is there anything in the world more fun than watching a beautiful firework show? Before Saturday night, I would have answered no. There's nothing more fun. But pair an epic firework show with a castle view and twinkle light adorned boats sailing down the Rhine River in Germany...and you've got yourself the Rhine in Flammen (Rhine Aflame) experience. 100 times more fun than your average run of the mill fireworks display. Guys, I've been living in Germany for over 2 years now and JUST NOW got my butt to one of these events. I'd heard about the Rhein in Flammen, saw friends' photos from the festival, and even looked it up on the internet once, but never really had the desire to go see it myself. Boy, was that a dumb idea. So glad some divine thought came into my head and made me start researching where to go to get the best Rhine Aflame experience this weekend. Lucky for you, I'm going to share all about it right here.
Every year, 5 stretches of the Rhine River go up in flames. No, you're not in danger if you go, but you will see a river-illuminating firework show that is nothing short of spectacular. Accompanied by wine and folk festivals on the shore, Rhein in Flammen brings in thousands of visitors to the Rhine & Mosel Rivers to witness a tradition that's been carrying on since the 1930's. The best spot to experience the show? On one of the 70+ illuminated boats that parade down the river. From there, you'll be able to watch fireworks coming from all directions as you sail past numerous riverfront towns and castles (that are lit up with Bengal lights) to the festival's ending location. Second best place to be for the show? On the banks of the river with a bottle of wine and a picnic basket. That's exactly where we were for Saturday's Spay to Koblenz Rhine Aflame show.
At 10:00pm starting from the town of Spay, opening fireworks signaled the start of the boat parade up the Rhine. We decided to set up shop in the town of Lahnstein, a few towns up the river a bit. As the boat parade sailed by various towns along its course, fireworks went off above castles, from harbors, and along the riverside, virtually filling the night sky with blasts of color and fire. It's honestly like nothing I've ever seen before. You experience a bit of sensory overload as you're trying to watch the fireworks explode above a glowing red castle across the river while simultaneously trying to see the fireworks behind you in the harbor...and the boats all lit up sailing down the river. I never knew where to look first (as you can see from the video above)! For an entire 30 minutes, it felt as if we were right in the heart of the firework show. And the the Rhein River...it definitely was in flames! As the boats began to dissipate from our area of the Rhein, they continued on to Koblenz, where the big finale firework display occurred...thus ending our Rhein in Flammen experience for the year. Friends, if you ever find yourself in Germany during the summer months, make sure to plan your trip to include Germany's largest and oldest firework show. I've said it once and I'm sure I'll say it a million more times before I leave this beautiful country, but Germany REALLY knows how to throw a party. Don't miss this one!