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Published: November 4th 2013
Mosel River Valley 1 November 2013
We bought an excellent walking map of the Mosel (Moselle) Valley which gave us a lot of information on the Valley, Koblenz and the more southerly valley in Germany, the Saar Valley. After finding a ‘cash point’ (ATM) and baker and also finding that it was a public holiday (All Saints Day) we had to give the shopping a miss and headed out of Koblenz. This was after we watched a river cruise boat start its journey down the Mosel River.
At the junction of the rivers, we noticed that the Mosel River water was markedly browner than the Rheine River. It reminded us of the scene we saw in the joining of the black and white Amazon River, but of course it wasn’t so distinct and it didn’t last the length that distinct line of the Amazon.
One of the longest tributaries of the Rheine, the Mosel River winds through 545 picturesque kilometers, and three countries. It also firms the border between Luxembourg and Germany.
The River snakes between 2 steep hillsides on either side of the river. The hillsides were covered with vineyards which were still displaying their autumn
toning but showing signs of winter. The precipitous cliffs rise up from the water alternating with villages sprinkled along the river bank. The Mosel Valley was one of the most scenic river we had seen, particularly with the autumn colours. We are little disappointed in the photos as the day was overcast and hence the colours did not come out as we saw them. The area between Cochem and Bernkastel-Kues was particularly beautiful as the vineyards were more extensive rather that squashed between the river and the hills, and there were more castles towering over the river and villages. There were many bridges over the river so we crossed it quite a few times.
We stopped at Cochem and walked through its back streets and pedestrian malls. As you can imagine, there was many wine outlets offering wine tasting and displaying the valley’s produce. We stopped at one outlet, tasted and bought some wine. We dodged the sweet moselle which of course is their main wine. They had some lovely dry wines as well, both white and rose.
We saw many buildings that were half wood and half stone. We hardly saw any single story houses. The little
shops are so interesting as well.
It had been trying to rain all day but it wasn’t until later in the afternoon that it finally started to rain. By this time, we were on the motorway rather than the road next to the river so again, we were lucky.
We saw many, many castles because this was one of the Roman’s strong-hold. They were of course always on the top of hills. The River was very busy with transport barges and tourist cruise boats floating up and down the river. Roads were excellent.
Once we arrived at Trier we decided to join the motorway. Just after Trier is a little village called Konz which is where the Saar River joins the Mosel.
We stopped at Trier to walk around as this is the oldest town in Germany. It was founded by the Emperor Augustus in 16BC. I think he was the guy who had something to do with organizing the Bible in its present format – must look that up. Did he formulate Christianity?
Back to Trier – its monumental Roman gateway, the Porta Nigra, was built in the 3rd
century AD. Among the city’s
other Roman relics is the Aula Palatina which served as the throne hall of Roman emperors and also as a church. It is the basilica in the city which was built for Emperor Constantine around AD 305. The city displays a very cleaver and sensitive mixture of the very old and the very new.
At about 4.30pm we crossed the border into Luxembourg and it was raining and nearly dark. With our trusty GPS, we got on the ring route around the city of Luxembourg and found a camp site about 14 km from the city. We couldn’t find the owner of the camp site initially, but parked, hooked up to power, nearly got bogged then went back to the bar/restaurant/reception and found ‘Martin” the owner. He took our money (16 Euro for the night) and offered us a beer – which we accepted. He was a real character who ‘escaped from Holland for peace and quiet’. He told us that is we can’t get out from the boggy ground, he has a tractor!!!!
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