|Dernau & More Aug 2007|
The winery is run by two young sisters and their father, who has expanded it greatly in recent years. Due to the expansion, the actual cellars have moved away from the main winery area. The cellar has been converted into a nice, cool, candle-lit dining area, where we tried something like 10 wines, with a short break for Abendbrot (light supper mostly consisting of bread, cheese, and cold cuts). The Ahr Valley is Germany's northernmost wine-growing region! It also seemed rather expensive, at least compared to most wine we've bought in our own area. The most interesting points were the Fruehburgunder and the Merlot. The grapes used for the Fruehburgunder are only grown on 200 out of 100000 grape-growing hectares in Germany! It's pretty good (and really expensive we later discovered at a store in Muenchen). The Merlot, a joint project between this winery and another in South Africa, was notable in that I couldn't stand it and actually had to dump it (after giving it three chances). This is only the second time ever I seriously couldn't stand a wine! (Not picky here, heh...) I had another notable experience - I took a soft cheese at dinner that was completely nasty and had no redeeming qualities. The evening really was lovely and a great time, it just happened to have two interesting personal lows :)
We stayed overnight in Bonn and were up early the next morning to head to Muenster, where we would be having a two-hour tour, free time for lunch, and then hopping back on the bus for Hamburg.
|Muenster Aug 2007|
We got caught in traffic and were late in arriving to Muenster. The only bad effect of this was that we did not arrive to the Dom in time to see its astronomical clock do its little performance at noon. Despite not seeing it, the astronomical clock was still a highlight. They never fail to fascinate me.
Tours were offered to us in both German and English. Less than a quarter of the group chose German, resulting in a very large English tour group. Damon and I resolved to do the German tour the next time.
The tour was interesting - see our photos for some details on the sights we saw! In addition to its interesting history, Muenster is also impressive for its sheer number of bikes. I thought Heidelberg had a lot of them, but it doesn't come close. Very cool! After the tour we only had one hour free and used the whole thing to find some lunch at a bakery - some Flammkuchen, which was a little different than what we call that down in these parts, but still delicious. I had been hoping to go back to the Dom a second time to get a look at the cloisters and maybe see if they had a small book about the clock, but we just didn't have time. (This was to be the nature of most of the trip, as we soon realized!)