Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Mosel v. the Rhein

7 comments
We spent the next day, Sunday, on the Mosel, and the following day, Monday, on the middle Rhein. Damon and I (and his mom) had already spent some time on the middle Rhein previously, but we had never seen the Mosel before. Damon and I had heard a lot of great things about it so we were really looking forward to going!
Bernkastel-Kues & More Sep 07

The Mosel starts in France somewhere, forms part of the border between Germany and Luxembourg, then goes past Trier up to Koblenz, where it meets the Rhein. Wine is grown all along the river, sometimes on ridiculously steep banks that require it be harvested by hand. In some places there are also rails going down the hills through the vineyards - I don't know what these are exactly - maybe to hoist the harvest up and down? Some of the steep vineyards, especially nearing Koblenz, are truly amazing. The valley has a lot of tourists - mostly German ones - but doesn't come close to the Rhein in terms of tourism overload.
Kroev Sep 07

We started at our pension in Bekond and stopped in a few towns along the way - see the photos to learn more about the individual places where we stopped! Our first longer stop was in Kroev, where they were having a wine festival. It wasn't like the one in Freinsheim - it was contained in a small courtyard and community center. The whole town appeared to be there, drinking and listening to a sort of horrible band. We drank, looked around the town, and grabbed lunch there.
Marienburg & More Sep 07

A bit after lunch, we made another stop, this time high up at the top of the valley at a old convent, which now has a large cafe. Damon's dad took a nap in the parking lot while we climbed up to the cafe and enjoyed the view.
Cochem Sep 07

We were starting to get pretty burned out by the time we stopped in Cochem for some photos of the picturesque (but not very old) castle and ice cream. This town was so packed with tourists (all holding cameras, so easily identifiable as such - but all Germans) that Damon's parents asked us if they were having a festival too. I would guess it was the good weather!
Kobern-Gondorf and Niederfell Oct 07

We were all tired so we settled for the evening in the town where we would be staying, Niederfell, and had some wine and cheese before dinner. (At our hotel's restaurant - which was amazing - Kastanienhof.) We did miss one of the major sites on the Mosel, Burg Eltz. I suppose we could use it as an excuse to return to the area, but I don't really need an excuse. I'm pretty much ready to move to Koblenz at the first opportunity, just so I can go to the Mosel Valley any time. I used to say I wanted to move to Koblenz because of the Rhein! The Mosel is an even better reason.
Boppard Oct 07

Our day on the Rhein was slightly less eventful. Damon's mom was more interested in a boat cruise than almost anything else as her main desire on her trip to Germany. For a while, it was up for debate what river it would be. We thought the Rhein was a good choice because we've already seen it, whereas staying on land is a nice idea if you want to be able to stop in towns, as we did on the Mosel. So, the Rhein it was - plus there are just more options there as Rhein boat cruises are quite popular. We stopped in Boppard and picked up a tour boat there.
Rhein Cruise Oct 07

We rode to Oberwesel and back, being tortured both ways by an unfortunate choral recording of "The Loreley" while riding past the big rock. I think we were the youngest people on the entire boat by a fairly large margin, with the exception of a couple of small children. It was pleasant, though it wasn't particularly informative. They had only a couple of announcements about things we passed, but most places weren't mentioned at all.
Bacharach Okt 07

We then drove from Boppard south along the Rhein, stopping in Bacharach for a look around, since we had heard good things about it. We had only a hurried look at it, but it was very pretty, though it didn't seem to have as much pedestrianized area as it needed. There were cars everywhere!
We ended the day in Bingen, which hasn't gotten any more exciting since we were there in April ;) We did find a nice place to eat dinner, though, and had another drink at a Weinstube next door afterward. Our waitress there horrified Damon's dad by reporting that she couldn't come out right away when we wanted to pay for a take-home bottle because she had been "on the toilet". Hehehe.

Over the final glasses of wine, Damon's dad had everyone write down their top 5 things from the trips we took, ranking them. Then we pooled the results, with each person's top choice getting 5 points, 2nd choice getting 4, and so on. Freinsheim won, with Esch-sur-Sure, Burg Lichtenberg, and lunch on the roadside near St Gallen all scoring very high marks. And the Mosel completely crushed the Rhein.

7 comments:

  1. I hoped you waved to me as you went through :)

    More after I've had some sleep.

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  2. Sorry for the delay in replying.

    First of all, I live in Koblenz and can tell you that it's an incredibly boring place and a lot of the people are extremely small minded. Sure, it's nice for a day, but that's it.

    As far as the Mosel vs the Rhein goes, the Rhein is my choice. Granted, the wine might be better on the Mosel (I'm not much of a wine drinker), but the villages along the Rhein are more interesting. The Middle Rhein (Koblenz to Bingen) is a Unesco World Heritage region and there's a reason for that. The castles, the history, the splendor (ok, the last is my opinion) make it one of the nicest areas (if not THE nicest) in Germany. Don't get me wrong, I like the Mosel but it's definitely not the Rhein.

    To me, someone who lives at the corner of and has explored both, the Rhein has a romantic and mysterious side that the Mosel doesn't.

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  3. I did a search for the words on the unidentified picture. I think it's the beginning of a hymnn or chant. http://books.google.com/books?id=OU4PAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=martyrum+dena+millia&source=web&ots=WQe3BQWJcV&sig=YQTob2-ioDv055asWLvn7riUoDQ

    Some dictionary searching combined with guessing makes me think it means something like "A thousand martyrs is how heaven lifts up noble allies".

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  4. J: I appreciate your insights! The middle Rhein is quite solidly above all other river valleys for me - except the Mosel :D It is true that there are so many more historical and cultural notes when it comes to the Rhein, making it very interesting.

    Sara: You're doing better than I am with yours!

    Mary: Sorry, I'm in photo hell (at this point I still am not interested in picking up a camera again, I really overdid it on that last trip)...which photo is it?

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  5. It's the picture that is the album cover for Boppard.

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