The best part about spending nights on a river boat is hearing the sound of the water. Our cabin is half above and half below the water line; the advantage (at least to me) of booking in the cheapest category. I wouldn’t want to be upgraded to a higher cabin, because the sound of the water is so relaxing and peaceful.
During the night, we departed the Rhine and entered the Moselle. And, now, as I type this offline, we are going through one of the 12 locks along the Rhine. The scenery has been spectacular, this morning, as we have passed tiny medieval towns dotted along the river. The steep mountains behind these villages are covered in grape vines, leading me to wonder just how the grapes get harvested from such a steep location. It’s a mystery to me!
This afternoon, we arrived in Cochem, a medieval village of 5,100, tucked up against a huge vineyard covered hill. The highlight of Cochem is Reichsburg, a huge castle at the top of the mountain behind the town. Built around 1020, it was destroyed by the French in 1689, and then rebuilt during the 19th century in a more romantic style of architecture.
When we arrived by minibus to the castle, I stepped out and felt like I had just stepped into a scene in a postcard or wall calendar. I remembered as a child looking at the photos of calendars hanging in our home, as well as the postcards my parents sent from Europe and wondering if I would ever grow up and see such a fairy tale scene like that with my own eyes.
After touring the interior of the castle, we enjoyed the breathtaking views, along with a glass of local Moselle wine that was served in a little souvenir glass we were given as a keepsake
Back in town, we happened upon one of the largest wine festivals in Europe. And, what a celebration it was! Bars and cafes were overflowing and the mood was quite… happy. This was the scene:
Of course, a festival is not complete without local food. For 3 Euros, this is what most people were eating at the festival:
More scenes around Cochem:
To call that charming would be an understatement. What good fortune to happen upon a wine festival!