Mosel Valley: More than Wine

 

After reading all your questions and posting some nice pictures in my IG account, it is time to explore the German Mosel region also in the blog.

Are you ready for a weekend trip in the picturesque Mosel Valley in western Germany?

The Mosel river valley is one of the most stunning, beautiful landscapes in Germany, including steep slope vineyards, kilometers of hiking trails, fairy tale castles and cute wine villages. As you may know, the Mosel valley creates the ideal conditions for wine culture, therefore its wine is recognized due to its high quality. Did you know that these vineyards were first cultivated by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago?

In fact, the Mosel river begins in France and flows into Germany where it twist sharply for around 250 kilometers. It is along this winding river gorge (see photo above) that we can find Riesling vineyards. Riesling is a floral, aromatic grape – first recorded in Germany in 1435 – with a high level of frost resistance. From this grape variety comes one of the world’s finest white wines in a vast variety of styles.

But did you know that spending a weekend in the Mosel valley is not only a highlight for wine connoisseurs? It’s actually a great opportunity to discover stunning landscapes and fairy tale cities.

Let’s start our trip!

 

Cochem

Pressed against the Mosel by the valley walls you can find Cochem’s charming old town, dated from the 18th century. Under the gaze of the romantic Reichsburg castle you can find ancient, half-timbered houses and stunning medieval gates all around the old town. Do not forget to walk around the medieval Markplatz and to comtemplate the baroque town hall from 1739.

Another emblematic building is the Klosterberg, a capuchin monastery built on top of a mountain around 1630 and used as a monastery until 1802. Nowadays it serves as the city’s cultural center.

Last but not least, do not forget to visit the Enderttor, the largest of Cochem’s three Medieval city gates, which provides the old town with lots of Medieval charm.

Bremm

Strolling through a vineyard with a 60 degree slope can be a great adventure if you like hiking. At the end of the climb you can find Gipfelkreuz, a viewpoint from which you can enjoy a dramatic view from the Mosel valley and, at the same time, savor a glass of fresh Riesling wine.

To climb this path I highly recommend you to wear suitable shoes, since it is a quite dangerous and steep hiking trail.

Briedel

The small town of Briedel is the ideal place to enjoy some peaceful days with your friends and/or relatives. To be honest, this is not the most tourist town of the Mosel valley, however, it is a special one.

If you want to taste wine from the town’s viticulturists while you enjoy a ride in a carriage among the steep vineyards, Briedel is the right place for you.

This is a worthwhile idea to learn more about the production process, the type of grapes cultivated by each producer and to enjoy some stunning views of the valley from the Aussichtsturm Prinzenkopf observation deck.

By the way, if you are lucky enough you may have the chance to taste the grapes directly from the vineyards.

The wine

Today’s vineyards cover around 9,000 hectares of steep hillsides, most facing the south or southwest. Half of the vines grow on steep slopes turning this valley into Germany’s most spectacular wine region.

Some facts about Mosel’s wine:

  • 60% of the vines growing in this area are Riesling, followed by Elbling (produced only in this region) and Müller-Thurgau.
  • Around 90% of Mosel’s wines are white ones.
  • The Calmont vineyard at Bremm with it 68% gradient is the steepest vineyard in Europe.
  • Winemakers mainly produce high quality Riesling.
  • Most winemakers offer tastings at their wine cellars.

Cycling paths

Although Mosel is known for its steep slope vineyards, this region is really well prepared for people who love biking. If you want to enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the river, the small villages and the vineyards, I recommend you to travel the Mosel valley by bicycle.

Luckily, the Mosel area is surrounded by kilometers of cycling paths and, moreover, each village and city in the valley has different guest houses where you can stop, enjoy tasty german food and take a rest.

In our case we spent the night at Korkenzieher guest house, whose owners are a nice young couple who not only manage this “hotel” but also its restaurant and, at the same time, organize tractor-drawn-wagon tours through the vineyards.

 

Your turn

This valley is a beautiful area with a lot to offer. Cycling, discovering incredible hiking paths, enjoying stunning views and visiting dramatic Medieval cities is a unique opportunity you should not miss. This place is dramatic!

Have you ever been to Mosel valley? Is there any other hidden gem you would like to recommend us?

In this case feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me via social network. I am alway thrilled to read your adventures and suggestions!

 

 

 

 

 

*Please, note that I am not an English native speaker. Therefore, you may find some spelling mistakes in this post. Feel free to let me know it and help me improve my English level.

Monaco

Monaco

The tour started early in the morning (around 8.30 am) the moment we got off the train at Montecarlo main station.

Once we went out we were welcomed by the sizzling Monegasque weather; the sun was bright and ready to accompany us during our half-day trip to Monaco.

Following the traces

Walking around the steep streets we saw old buildings merged into new neigbourhood, luxury cars, and international renowned stores nearby local ones, until we reached the celebrated Casino of Montecarlo. It was too early to go inside but we took a couple of photos (To be sincere, we were expecting a bigger building)
At that point we were starving (we desperately needed a breakfast) and we were also really excited about having just found the traces that the Formula 1 cars left on the road. We decided to follow them (actually the streets are more perpendicular than it seems on TV) until we arrived to the famous Nikki Beach behind which we saw… A cafeteria in the rooftop of a building! We ran to get a breakfast and what was our surprise when we discovered the magnificent views from the place. We really enjoyed our cookies and coffee.
Then we visited the port of Monaco taking a great delight in watching the impressive yachts docked there.
Monaco

 

A love story

One important fact of Monaco´s history is its royal family and the love story between Rainier and Grace Kelly. Walking uphills we arrived to the royal palace in front of which appear the colourful quarter of Monaco-Ville. This area of the city is surrounded by a viewpoint-promenade from where the visitor can enjoy the best views of Montecarlo.
Not far from the palace it is located the cathedral. A huge part of the history of this city is placed among its huge stained glasses because all the monegasque princes are entombed under it. Also Grace Kelly and Rainier, who are buried together.
The moment we started considering coming downhill the police appear facing the royal palace, we approached to see what was going on (call me curious 😉 ) when we found out that it was changing of the guard time!

You can also fall in love with it

Before leaving Montecarlo we had a walk all around; its football stadium, its industrial part, its malls (all of them dedicated to the monegasque princesses)… It was really warm, therefore we started to look for a beach and suddenly we were in France!! Only a small road separated France from Monaco so, unintentionally, we sunbathed under the French sun.
Falling in love with Monaco is really easy. Its people are really nice, the city of Montecarlo is beautiful and the mediterranean weather helps to provide the place with a special feeling.
Ready to also fall in love with it?

What to visit in Monaco

  • The port: To enjoy the impressive yachts docked there
  • The Prince´s Palace of Monaco: At 12.00 o´clock is the changing of guard time
  • The cathedral: Beautiful, full of stained glasses and works of art. All the princes of Monaco are entombed at the cathedral, including Grace Kelly and Rainier III
  • The oceanographic museum of Monaco
  • Monaco train station 

What about you, have you ever been there? Did you like it? What is your favourite area of the city?

 

 

 

The eastern Netherlands trip

This week we are traveling to… The Netherlands!


Nijmegen

This dutch city is really different to the others in the country due to two important facts:

  • The city without channels: When people think about the Netherlands, they tend to imagine cities full of tulips and channels. Although there are no channels across the city, Nijmegen is located close to the Waal river (a tributary river of our beloved Rhein).
  • There are slopes: Yes, the visitor can go up- and downhill. Furthermore, the visitor can go to the top of the old tower to have a nice view from the whole city.

The old town maintain its charm, although the allied shelled it during the IIWW (it is said they did it accidentally). A good example of its charm is the Grote Markt, where it is easy to find a lot of people having a walk around. I recommend you to get lost in its narrow streets, to enjoy how the fishermen work and to try regional food (highly recommended if you like to eat fish).

Venlo

It is different from other cities I have already visited in the Netherlands. Its old buildings are mixed with new structures providing this place with an special atmosphere.

If you like shopping Venlo is the place to be. The old town is full of stores. Lots of well known brands have their own place here, that is the reason why it is  so common to see germans crossing the border just to go shopping to this town and to its famous outlet (located outside the city). A paradise for shopalcoholics!

I hope you enjoyed the trip!! 

#lifeisanamazingtrip