The cheap diesel of Luxembourg would have to wait as we took a detour in order to tick off another one of the Germany Top 100. As we’d not seen one for a while, we were ready to go Castle spotting again! Too much of a good thing can be bad, as we all know, and castles are no different. We did go through a spell earlier in the trip when we seemed to see one every 10 minutes. But this one looked a good one, especially as its never been damaged or destroyed throughout the ages. Set in Eltz forest, the castle sits perched on a hilltop a mile from the main road (which can’t have been there many years) and we read that it has been in the same family for over 30 generations/850years!
Thankfully, we got to see some of the inside areas for free. Regular readers of this blog will know that food, diesel and beer are further up the pecking order to entrance fees. Luckily, it wasn’t too busy and we were able to see what we needed to without being trampled upon. It is a bit strange as most of the places we have visited in Germany so far seem to have been half empty, as if out of season. Not that we’re complaining!
The Castle is sat on the Moselle River which is an off shoot of the mighty Rhine. After we’d seen what we needed to at the castle, we had lunch in the carpark and then set off again, following the river through the Moselle valley. Wow, what a beautiful place! Vineyards sit either side of the river so the scene is mile upon mile of neat greenry. As in Spain, it seems every inch of usable land is planted, with vines sat halfway up the steep sided hills and monorail tracks weaving along the planting lines, ready to carry the ripened grapes in picking season.
Town after town we snaked along the river until we happened upon a place called Cochem. We’d seen that the campsites dotted around that area looked full to bursting and wondered why. Then we saw the sign, Wine festival!!!
Funnily enough, not long after we had found our camping spot, we were back in Cochem. This part of Germany continued its fine form of camping options and we had chosen a place at the side of the river which would only cost us €6 for the night. A quick set down and clothing change and we were on the bus for the 8 or so mile journey back to the wine festival.
In addition to the existing bars and restaurants, stalls had been erected which were selling lots of local wines and food. The town centre had also been transformed, with a stage hosting a swing band. Our first bottle of Reisling was supposed to be a dry white. Something must have gotten lost in translation as we ended up with a very sweet tipple. Mini glasses were sold to each customer at 1euro each. A nice momento from our evening. Although at 0.1 of a litre, it meant a continuous top up was in order!
Music played and the wine flowed in to the evening. With lights from the stalls starting to twinkle, it felt almost Christmassy!! Sorry to use that word in August. It was such a good night and we got to the point where we either needed to catch the last bus home or stay and walk back. Sense prevailed (Sarah) and we headed to the bus station for our ride home.
Our evening was almost spoiled by a group of teenagers in the park besides our van. It sounded as if they’d also been to the wine festival, with high pitch screaming belting out every other minute. Although, after a bottle of wine apiece we both slept like a log.
Prost!! (Cheers) xx