"Blue River" II

Trip Start May 25, 2013
Trip End Jun 23, 2013

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Flag of Germany  , Rhineland-Palatinate,
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Overnight, the flood waters have stretched out to the very edge of the wide promenade beside our mooring. People gingerly tip-toe along the garden bed wall. On the footpaths leading off from the promenade, there is evidence of debris that has been washed further inland, so the level seems to have peaked overnight and receded back about a foot.

The stressed staff have managed to organise buses and tour guides for us for an excursion today to Cochem, about a one hour drive into the Mosel valley. With a departure after lunch, Walter and I take the chance to ride the gondola up to Koblenz's fortress.

It is a great vantage point to see the muddied Rhine waters still pouring downstream and the calmer, cleaner Mosel River being sucked into it's edges.

The afternoon bus ride passes through a valley with impossibly steep vineyards... up to 65° we are told, and all worked by hand. However, we do see a helicopter darting around, doing some aerial spraying.

Cochem's main attractions are it's castle and it's wine. Cochem castle dates from 1051, was captured by Louis XIV in 1688, destroyed a year later and subsequently rebuilt by a wealthy entrepeneur. Today it is owned by the city of Cochem.

The castle sits on a hilltop (of course!) and is a romantic jumble of towers and turrets of all shapes and sizes. The rooms are elaborately decorated in various styles include little treats such as secret doors. Our guide with the nicest accent and a twirled moustache to match gives a fine tour before leading us through the town itself.

We see the oldest house in town and glean some architectural tips and local customs. The diehards are then lead off for a wine tasting session while Gisela and myself commence the quest for a fine schwarzwälderkirsche torte (Black Forest Cake.) Cakes and desserts we have eaten or seen so far have all had far too much cream. This one is not much better, but sitting in the town square with a coffee watching the locals go by is delightful.

This evening, having been outwitted in the quiz in the lounge, we inaugurate my new playing cards and settle in for a game of 500. Competition is fierce...
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