Moselle River

Family Bike Ride

Another perfect weather weekend calls for another family outing.  A short drive from our current house lies the Moselle river, and what we found to be the perfect length biking loop.

Being along the river the route is mostly flat and paved, an easy ride that the whole family is able to enjoy.  Located among the towns of Bernkastel and Kues is a 10 mile loop that traverses down either side of the river.

This easy ride afforded us lots of opportunities to venture into the towns and explore a little further off of the beaten path.  It is also an excellent trail for any of those wine lovers out there as the mountains on either side of the river are covered in vineyards.  Riding down one side of the river we pass a new winery every few hundred yards it seems. 

On the Kues side of the river we are even able to ride our bikes directly up to the front doors of Schloss Lieser, Schloss is similar to our word for mansion.  This enormous mansion and accompanying winery and restaurant has a very gothic look to it.  Built in the 19th century, this historic castle has been fully restored and renovated into a luxury hotel.

After exploring Kues a little bit, we continue our loop down the river and cross over to the Bernkastel side, pedaling back up the river is a much more relaxed path.  While the Kues side ran along between the river and the town, the Bernkastel side ran between the river and vineyards.  Traffic is lighter, both car and bike, and the pace is relaxed.

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Returning to our starting point, we lock our bikes back up to our bike rack and take a walk through the town.  The old cobblestone streets and timber built houses never seem to get old.  We stop at a corner pizza shop where we can sit in the window and people watch while we enjoy an early dinner, followed up by some ice cream at an outdoor cafe with live music.

Tired from the day’s ride, but happy for the change of scenery we head home.  Another day out and about, well spent.

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Rhine River – Ring Ticket

Still staying within the confines of the Covid lock down, we have managed a few day trips for a change of scenery.

We are lucky enough to live within driving distance of the Rhine river here in Germany and a lot of the touristy attractions have begun to open up.  One of which caught our eye is the Rhine River Ring Ticket.  An afternoon tour that runs through three towns located on the coast of the Rhine river; Bingen; Assmannshausen and Rudesheim.

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Joined by some friends of ours, we started our day tour in the town of Bingen with a short walk on the bank of the river to the boat dock.  Medium sized cruise boats make continuous loops between the three towns that I listed and all you have to do is catch one of them at your port.

We took our first cruise boat from Bingen to Assmannshausen, a short 20 to 30 minute ride at an interior deck table, enjoying the views from the river.  The upper, open air deck was full due to only half the seating being open in order to maintain social distancing standards.

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Hopping off the boat, we explored the small town of Assmannshausen and wandered the old country cobbled streets and took photos of the timber built houses lining our way.  Stopping at an outdoor cafe, we enjoyed a quick, relaxing, delicious lunch before following signs to the next leg of our tour.

In order to climb to the top of the hills lining the riverbanks we boarded a sesselbahn, a ski-lift as we would call it.  At the top of the hill we followed a nature path with incredible views to the Niederwalddenkmal, an enormous monument constructed to commemorate the founding of the German Empire in 1871.  The kids enjoyed the view, posed for pictures and climbed on the foundation a little bit.  Continuing down the trail we stopped at another conveniently placed cafe with a view for some refreshments and ice cream.

At the end of the nature trail was a kabinen-seilbahn, an enclosed gondola, that we rode down the hill into the town of Rudesheim.  The lift leads us right into the Altstadt, or old city section of Rudesheim where we are surrounded by some more timber built and “Harry Potter-esqe” cobbled streets.  Here we find some more sweet snacks as we wander along winding our way through the streets towards the port.

At the port we find our boat waiting and this time we are able to find seats on the top deck.  There we are served some drinks as we soak in the beautiful afternoon, the castles along the riverbank and rest our legs.  The boat pulls into port right back where we started.

As we walk a little further down the coast in Bingen we arrive at a biergarten, and decide to have an early dinner before heading back home.

All in all, a relaxing day out and about and a well needed change of scenery with good friends.

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Burg Eltz, Germany

A Hygge-lism Day tripper

So where do you go when all the borders are closed and large gatherings are frowned upon due to a spreading virus pandemic?

A beautiful castle in the German countryside on the off-season of course.  I present to you Burg Eltz (under construction).

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Spring has sprung and the last thing that we want to be is shuttered up inside our house because of a flu running rampant.  We want to be outside, enjoying nature and getting some fresh virus free air. Burg Eltz is just under a 2 hour drive from our house and a lazy Sunday combined with mass hysteria leads to light traffic on an unrestricted roadway.  This combination allows us to cut about 20 minutes off the estimated arrival time both to and from our trip.

Just before arriving, we leave the highway and enjoy some beautiful country side back roads driving as we head up to the parking area for Burg Eltz.  The lot is at the end of a nice forest walk about one and a half kilometers from the actual castle. Winding through the woods, you never even have a hint as to how close you are to the castle.  Suddenly after rounding one last bend it reveals itself. A massive structure surrounded on all sides by a winding river, only accessible by a single stone bridge…amazing.

You approach the castle from an elevated vantage point and can enjoy the panoramic views for a good while as you descend to the bridge.  Being the off-season we are not able to enter and tour the grounds, but we new that ahead of time and are not disappointed.

We circled around the castle and explored just a few of the many nature trails all around Burg Eltz, each giving you a different unique view.  Stopping at one of the river banks we sit and have some of the lunch we brought with us. Just imagine, hundreds of years ago there was a very possibility that the residents of Burg Eltz sat by this river, ate and enjoyed the Spring weather just as we were doing today.

For more photos visit – @vaca_with_katie on Instagram

After mulling around for a bit, we headed back towards the car, taking a different path than the one that we followed on the way in. 

Burg Pyrmont

On the way home, we drove by another Burg, Burg Pyrmont.  Castles are rampant in Germany, you can practically see the next one before you’re out of sight of the first one.

We stop down the hill from Burg Pyrmont at a little guest house that we notice is open and serving food and drinks…also somewhat rare on a Sunday.  We sit between a waterfall and a view of the castle and enjoy some coffee and beer while the boys have ice cream, relaxed and carefree.  

At this moment, it is hard to believe that the world is in the midst of losing its mind.

For more and better photos of Burg Eltz and everywhere else, visit my wife’s Instagram by clicking —–>@vaca_with_katie

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