our germany adventures: cochem

Last night (in Freiburg) we barely slept. There was a huge music festival going on and apparently most of the crowd used the alley underneath our window to go home. We ended up closing the window, but woke up in the early morning unbearably hot.

We were glad to get up this morning, grab breakfast at a local bakery and start the drive north. On our way we stopped in Kehl (for my friend, Ashley). Our route also took us through the Alsace-Lorraine region of France (where my mom’s relatives are from). And we stopped in Puttlingen near the border of France and Germany to see the town hall and church. Matt’s grandfather was one of the troops that liberated this town during WWII. He still has the Nazi flag he took off the town hall.

That evening we arrived in Cochem on the Mosel River a little after 6pm. Frau Pellny met us in the parking lot near her Gasthause Andreas (at the top of a wickedly steep and narrow street). She was very nice! And our room was cozy & clean – two floors up.

We went to Zom Stuffje for dinner. I got weinersnitzel and Matt got smoked salmon. Then we went on a search through the narrow streets for apfelstrudel. We found some at Gaststatte Noss on the MoselPromenade and afterwards we walked across the bridge to see a church on the opposite side of the river.

We are glad to have a few days in one place, to settle in a little and relax. Our first morning Frau Pellny laid a beautiful breakfast in her breakfast room across the street: all the normal fare plus eggs, chocolate cake & champagne.

On the agenda: driving to Moselkern (18k up the Mosel) to hike up to Burg Eltz. It was cool and cloudy. We decided it’s better than hot and sunny. Matt filled the backpack with water, apples, our picnic blanket, the camera and our Rick Steve’s book.

The drive was easy. Finding the parking lot was a little trickier. We finally did and started our hike. It’s an easy 45 minutes through the forest – damp, cool, beautiful. The trees are so tall. The undergrowth is thick and lush. The river is lovely as it follows its course. Matt let out a “Wow!” as Burg Eltz appeared through a clearing in the trees.

And it is a “wow.” Just what you picture a castle on a hill to look like. We sign up for the German tour since they leave more often and Matt can translate for me. It’s about an hour long and we see 8 rooms – just about a 10th of the actual number of rooms in the castle. The castle is still owned by the original Eltz family. It is 700 years old and was never destroyed; it survived one 5-year siege.

We hiked up to the siege tower and then headed back to the parking lot. The hike back seemed much quicker, but we are glad to reach the car. My legs were so tired!

So tired in fact, when we got back to the room, I took a two-hour nap. We got ready and headed out. That evening we decide on Italian. There are a lot of Italian immigrants in Cochem, so there are a few restaurants to choose from. We eat at Pomodoro and have a magharita pizza and caprese salad. They hit the spot…topped off with a scoop of gelato and a stroll along the Mosel. It was a lovely day.

The next day, our last full day in Cochem, it rained. So, we spent our time cafe’ hopping, taking advantage of the WiFi at IO Cafe, having some kuchen (cake) at another cafe on the promenade, finishing with another caprese salad because it sounded good and then retiring to our room early to read and watch TV. It was a relaxing end to our two day/three night stay on the Mosel River.

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