Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mosel Valley

Last Easter we took a little trip to the Rhine Valley to see the infamous vineyards and view the considerable amount of castles left in ruin and restore by the locals. THIS year for Easter we visited the Rhine’s little sister the Mosel.
Being granted time for good behavior J. and I were able to take a trip alone for the first time in over three years. This being the case, we were able to stop at any place we fancied, and stay out as late as we wished.
First stop: Deutsche Eck (German Corner) a place in Germany where the Rhine River meets the Mosel; located in Koblenz it is considered the “Alamo” of Germany. Wilhelm I united Germany, and this is a monument to him and of what he accomplished. Not only is this a historic site, but it’s also home to a beer garden or two… lunch in Koblenz was very good!
Recommended by our favorite guide book author Rick Steves’, Burg Eltz is one of the most beautifully preserved castles in Germany today. Untouched by war due to careful planning and smart marriages, Burg Eltz was never attacked and so it remains in excellent condition. Located a few miles off the Mosel, Burg Eltz (Stream Castle) is still owned by the Eltz family. Tours are given in both German and English, so it is a very worthwhile castle to visit… if you’re in the area. http://www.destination360.com/europe/germany/burg-eltz-castle.php
For the evening we found accommodations in the town of Beilstein at Hotel Haus Lipmann: http://www.hotel-haus-lipmann.com/ Our room overlooked the Mosel and to the left and right we could see as far as the scenery would allow. The Mosel is also known for its capacity to produce wines, and being that we were settled for the night, it was time to sample! Most German wine is not expensive, which is good when there are several varieties to choose from. Our hotel was accompanied by their own restaurant and meals were of the traditional German fare. The breakfast that was included the next morning and taken in the knights’ hall did nothing but leave us with views of outstanding service and hospitality as a reward for our stay.
The next morning we headed off to Cochem; a town whose foremost sight is the large Reichsburg castle. Originally built in the 11th century, it was later destroyed by Napoleons’ army. The castle then was rebuilt in the romantic style and furnished in the 19th century. The town of Cochem has a wonderful green way along the river that locals and tourists both indulge in. The town has many cobbled streets and narrow passageways that entice shoppers to peek into the shops that inhabit them. This is a very child- friendly town and with parks on every corner and ice cream on every street, we almost regretted that we were alone…

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