Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mosel Valley

After Berg Etz we traveled deeper into Germany's Mosel Valley. This region has been on my travel wish list all year and it was the perfect time to visit during peak season when the grapes were ripe and ready for harvest. And ready those grapes were!We traveled first to Beilstein, the quaintest of all Mosel towns. Cozy Beilstein is Cinderella-land - touristy but tranquil, except for its territorial swans. Indeed the swans were pretty aggressive. Luckily Connor was able to hold her own with them!
And the vineyards were absolutely everywhere. I have never seen such vertical grape vines. They just popped right up into the air, leafy and tall and beautiful!
The Mosel River Valley was deeper and wider than the Loire Valley in France. There was something very settling and right with the place. We met the swans, basked on the riverbanks and listened to the oom-pah band in Beilstein.
Beilstein was simply adorable. And a great stop to 'drink in' all the glory and celebration of Mosel Valley wine season.
Reislings are my favorite wines. I am a sweet wine kind of gal! So I was in wine wonderland in this home of Reisling.
Next we traveled downstream a few miles to the town of Cochem. I thought Cochem's castle loomed mysterious above the river. The barges and river cruises passed with regular frequency.
Mom, this big flat boat was named "Aqua Linda!" It definitely made us miss you!
Cochem was a busy tourist town, bigger than Beilstein but with lots of character and lively activity. We had a yummy German dinner right beside the mighty Mosel. The waitress went to pieces over Connor and somehow managed to shower her with little toys to play with and keep as her own. It was an all around great outdoor meal.
We drove from Cochem to the town of Traben-Trarbach where we were staying for the night following a VERY busy day. All the rooms in Cochem had booked due to the high season, but no matter because we loved Traben-Trarbach even more than we expected we would! And the drive at sunset with the steep vineyard hills squeezing around us was unlike anything I have ever seen.
Fall was in the air in Traben-Trarbach. Red leaves are wonderful. Makes you want to grab a sweater and eat something with pumpkin, right?
We awoke to a misty magical morning on the Mosel in Traben-Trarbach. The fog was lifting rapidly, but I had just enough time to snap these photos before the sun took over.
The grapes were honestly growing everywhere our eyes could see. Even right through the town center and between the buildings.
Germany's Mosel Valley is not to be missed. I am actually surprised I have not heard of more travels to this place. It is a marvelous blend of action and peace, tourist activities while not being over the top. I will never again drink a Reisling and not think of this region of the world.
On the drive home we stopped along the Luxembourg stretch of the Mosel just to compare to Germany. We went to a couple vineyard stores to sample. While Germany's Mosel seemed the better place to settle in and stay, Luxembourg was very picturesque also.
This may be one of my all time favorite family photos. Kirk managed to self time the camera at a perfect angle to capture the setting. It looks surreal, but there we were right with the acres and acres of grapes.

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