Walking by the River(Ella Fitzgerald) - A Walk to Bullay for Some Euro Cash - 17th June 2016

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June 17th 2016
Published: June 21st 2016
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We don’t know who won the football game that Germany were playing when we went to bed last night. We had pulled down the shutters (required anyway because it remains light here until after 10.15pm) and that had muffled any noise coming from across the road where people had gathered to watch the game on a large screen in a garage.

The weather is OK this morning and there is only a small chance of rain later in the day.

We don’t plan to do too much that we can’t walk to while we are here so the blogs for the next five days could be a bit light in content(what was that I heard you say ‘thank goodness’!)

However, we do have a need for an ATM to top up our dwindling supply of Euro cash and to be able to pay our host here as they don’t accept cards.

The nearest ATM is at Bullay on the other side of the river about 4.5km away by road.

Gretchen had discovered there was a ferry across the river at Alf which is the next town on this side.

So the plan was to walk to Bullay and cross the river on the combined rail/road bridge just past Alf and then after we had done our business we would take the ferry back from Bullay to Alf and walk home. This would reduce the 9km round trip by probably 2.5km or thereabouts.

We had a leisurely breakfast watching the trains and barges going by. Although we had to sit inside as it was just a bit too cool to be out on the terrace without some sun on us.

There is a sealed path that follows the Moselle River which is used principally by cyclists either on day trips or passing through the area with carriers full of the cyclist’s processions while they do their holidaying on a bicycle. We had watched a good number go by this morning while we had breakfast. There had also been the occasional pedestrian.

We had calculated that we didn’t need a backpack for the round trip walk and therefore we didn’t have our rain jackets as we didn’t think any rain was forecast before the time we should get ourselves back by. And if the worst happened there are regular buses that pass through Saint Aldegund so we guess they would also pass through Bullay too.

Although there is a reasonable fall in the river over the short distance to Bullay it didn’t seem like we were walking uphill on the river path. In fact it seemed so flat that we sped over the distance and made excellent progress and got to the village of Alf before we knew it.

There were a couple of river cruise boats tied up at the small jetty but there was no one around them to ask where the ferry to the other side of the river was.

Looking across to the other side at Bullay didn’t reveal any action there either and we began to doubt that we could catch the ferry to shorten the return journey after we had found the ATM.

Anyway we pressed on and crossed the road/rail bridge and found the ATM and got out the cash we needed.

Travel has become so much easier these days with either a credit card or even better the pre loaded card where you have purchased the foreign currency at an exchange rate that you were happy with earlier. And of course you can do like we are today simply topping up what is in our wallets o our person from the pre loaded card all at a modest cost.

We needed to get a couple of grocery items and sought directions from the woman at the place that doubled as the local tourist office and a travel agency.

Something got lost in translation though as it took us a half hour to find the small supermarket hidden away down a side street.

And as we were doing so the dreaded rain we hoped we would avoid arrived sending us to stand under a leafy tree to try and get some shelter from the steady rain falling.

In the end Gretchen got out the trusty mobile and found we were not too far from our goal. That phone has been a blessing at times!

There didn’t appear to be anything happening at the jetty dock on this side of the river so resigned ourselves to walking all the way back home, not that we felt tired at all.

As we got close to Alf on the return journey we spotted the small ferry boat crossing the river. It didn’t have anyone on it but was coming across to pick up 4 people and their bicycles that were at Alf.

We concluded that the ferry operated on demand and we just hadn’t ‘demanded ‘it when we needed to!

To give our bodies a sugar boost for the last leg from Alf back to the apartment we called into the Gelateria and bought ice creams, chocolate for Gretchen and Nutella for me. Interesting flavour Nutella and after enjoying the ice cream I might even get interested in the spread that grandson #1 Lachie loves on his toast.

We had been the only people walking on the path alongside the river both up and down. However there were plenty of cyclists and by the time we started the last leg we had got used to the tinkle of a bell behind us indicating that a cyclist was fast approaching and to give them room to pass.

We spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing, sitting on the terrace and continuing to watch the world go by on the rail track across the river and the river barges filled with mysterious cargos where they had hatch covers or coal where they didn’t.

It had been a mixed day as far as the weather was concerned and we hope that perhaps it improves to be a bit more reliable especially if we take on the hill and forest walk of 9km tomorrow.

PS: a change of pace with today's video on Youtube to reflect the laid back pace of life on the Moselle River,enjoy

Additional photos below
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21st June 2016

Tow paths of old = cycle paths today
We experienced similar paths when we cycled part of the Danube on our river cruise a few years ago. These were of course original tow paths for the horses or oxen that pulled the engineless barges up river against the current. A great new use for them I modern times as they are relatively flat and close to a scenic river! Also well remember seeing grapes growing on very steep hillsides throughout Germany and wondering how they do the harvest.
21st June 2016

The path was certainly an easy walk in comparison to the mountains of the Dolomites!Watched them spary the vines on near vertical hillside yesterday,amazing.Perhaps they just shake the vines and the grapes simply roll to the bottom of the hill !

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