Hello again. This part of the world is so beautiful! We are having such a lovely time along the banks of the Rhine and Mosel rivers in Germany, with all the autumn splendor of the trees. As we left Tubingen we went back in to Stuttgart to visit the Mercedes-Benz museum. It was so cleverly done and amazing. We both loved it. Seven stories high and a lift takes you to the top then you wind your way down the corkscrew type building. They also had the world development timeline alongside – so you could learn about the relative motor engineering feats in line with the world politics and developments. Great! Here are some photos……
From there to Worms – what a name! We just had to stay here. And it was a lovely town – with the most amazing Cathedral. It was so tall (how did they build them so big back then!) and we were privileged to have the organ player playing while we were there. Brought goose bumps to the skin!
Then up the Rhine and passing through a few villages and towns…………. An amazing amounts of vin yards…….. and so beautiful all zig zagged up the hill sides!!!!!!!!! We stopped at Rudesheim for lunch. Oh la la – a most amazing spot, perfect weather and at an amazing hotel built in the 1600’s……….. the food was great too.
Then to a town called Boppard. Peter thinks he wants to go and live there. It was amazingly beautiful and very friendly people. We had to get a car ferry to cross over the Rhine to get there. A mere 4.50 euro it cost for us two and the car. It did only take about 5 minutes of course……..
We stayed 6km out of town on a golf course (not that we played golf) but we swam in their indoor pool, enjoyed the green pastures and the hospitality of the staff.
We were still so lucky with the weather at this point. Cool autumnal evenings and lovely 18 degree days. On the second day we went in to town and I struck my first “Christmas Shop” in Germany. Peter was overjoyed – not …….. hee hee hee. There were some lovely decorations, just a small number that I hadn’t seen at home, although most of it was the same, which was interesting to see. It turns out the couple who own the shop are thinking of taking a trip to NZ next year and that actual day there was a travel agent in town doing a presentation on NZ in the Boppard Town Hall. What a hoot!
After that Peter informed me there was a castle on the hill nearby and to get to it we had to go up on a chairlift. Gulp! Not too fond of heights, I am not. But I agreed to go as it didn’t look too far, not that I could see the castle from the ground. Uh oh – halfway up I realised I could only see ONE THIRD of the total chair lift wires from the ground – it was nearly 2 kms long.
A few deep breaths………. Then up at the top. Oh the views. Oh yes, and the fact that it turns out (a) no castle and (b) you can actually DRIVE up! But having chairlifted up, it was the chair lift down. The views were stunning but oh boy, was I thrilled to get my feet on that solid ground. Oh yes, and I have mentioned to Peter a few times about the option that we could have driven
See how high the chairlift is above teh ground!!
We had a drink that evening in the club house at the gold course – “posh-ist” club house I have ever seen. The bar maid was Malay and we had a lovely time talking with her. The next day we took the ferry back over to the other side of the Rhine and off to Koblenz we went. Koblenz is the only town that is on the Rhine and the Mosel rivers. It is where the two rivers meet. A huge statue stands at that point, called the German Quarter.
It was a short drive and still very pretty. After checking in at the hotel we went off to visit Marksburg – a castle from the 1600’s. We did a guided tour and it was most interesting. Seeing the way they lived, the armour, kitchen,. Cannons etc .
And what about the toilet for the grand hall. It was a “long drop” hanging high over cliffs, that for the flush you had to wait for the next rain. Not to mention, it was literally right by the dining table!
We really enjoyed our time there. That night we asked the hotel for a restaurant recommendation and went to a local pub. The waiter was great and suggested some local mushrooms that are a specialty and only grow for a few weeks in autumn. Ohhhhhhhhhhh they were so good. Over pork. We have been very surprised at the amount of pork on the menus here. And no wonder – at the super market today I see pork was 2.40 euro a kilo. So cheap! Anyway, back to the mushrooms – they were small long ceps and tasted like no other mushroom I have had.
The next day we had a bit of a catch up admin day and as I had developed a cold, it was good to have a quiet day. Later we walked in to the old town, which was lovely but a little more commercial than some of the others we have seen. And I found a second Christmas shop! Imagine – a combined Christmas and kitchenware shop – I was in heaven. Peter left me there and went sightseeing!
The next day it was off to Cochem, via visiting a castle down a valley called Burg Eltz.
Cochem is the highlight town of the river trip for us. I shall let the photos tell that story.
The hotel there was lovely and we had a view of the castle and some of the river. Also on our bedroom door when we arrived a heart plaque welcoming Family Esplin. I liked that of course.
It was topped off by at the restaurant table a table plaque named “Esplin Family Zimmer (room) 30” and it was our exclusive table for dinners, breakfast etc for our time at the hotel. A nice touch.
Once again very friendly people here. Oh we are having such a lovely time. We spent the next day walking and enjoying the sun, looking at the shops and then enjoying a glass of wine in the sun watching the boats going up and down the Mosel River.
Later back at our restaurant bar I tried a local drink made of herbs – tasted suspiciously like cough medicine to me! We left Cocham to go to Wittlich to meet up with Peter’s cousin, Sean, who is living in Luxembourg. There was a beer festival on in Wittlich that the plan was to go to. Oh, it is getting quite cold now and we have not seen the sun for a couple of days. From Cocham, so very beautiful, to Wittlich – so NOT very beautiful at all!
But we had a nice time exploring and then a good night at the beer fest.
There was no safe in the room at the hotel, so I had cunningly left the passports zipped inside Peters coat in the wardrobe, so they didn’t come to the beer fest with us. Well, that was a good idea, except when we left we forgot to check and left the coat behind. Gulp! A few butterflies as we toured Trier with Sean and then drove back to get the coat. And the passports weren’t there!!!!!!!!! After a few butterflies turned bats, it transpired the boss had found the passports and put them in his safe, for safe keeping. But he hadn’t told the receptionist! Phew! I bet that is a once and only time we’ll do that!
Trier is also a very lovely town and we enjoyed wandering the squares and seeing the huge church. Once again we lucked on the organ player playing. Ahhhhhhhh.
So now we are in Luxembourg at Sean’s flat, for two nights.
For those who haven’t caught up with the homeward bound news, we will be back in NZ for Christmas. No date confirmed yet but around the week of Christmas sometime. We’ll go via Istanbul and see Cherie for a few nights on the way back too.
Hope all is well at your end. Lots of love, Jo and Peter