Sep 30 - CochemSeptember 30 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
We are still docked in Koblenz. Our activity for this morning is a visit to the town of Cochem. We drove by bus along the Moselle River, through many pretty little villages. This is the main area for the production of Riesling wines. The river sits in a valley with steep hillsides on either side. Vineyards have been carved out of the forests and look like green patchwork quilts that cling to the hillsides. Reportedly, there is one vineyard on a 65° slope! All harvesting is done by hand - the grape pickers must have incredibly strong legs to cope with the terrain.
We arrived in Cochem, a town that boasts both a beautiful setting and a fabulous castle. This little town of 5,500 people hosts three million visitors annually! Dorothee led us on a walking tour to see half-timbered houses, the lovely main market square, and some of the medieval defences including Balduin’s Gate. Then we travelled by mini-bus up to Reichsbug Castle that is perched high above the river. The castle was built about 1100 by a wealthy family. Then it was loaned to the archbishop of Trier. Louis XIV’s army captured it in 1689. A wealthy man who made his money in iron and steel bought the badly-decayed buildings in 1869 and restored it to be a summer chateaü for his wife (much younger than he) and their three children. Alas, she ran off to marry a man in Berlin with whom she had eight more children. Her former husband, brokenhearted, died at age 56, only two years after the 10-year rebuilding project was completed. As the song says, “Can’t buy me love…..” Today, the castle is owned by the town.
See next post for our afternoon explorations....Read more