Friday, June 16, 2017

Auf Wiedersehen, Mosel

Our last day on the Moselle was weird and wonderful in many ways. In the early going, much of the cycle path was alongside the road, which made it a little less nice than being separate from the traffic. On the plus side, the path was uber-smooth. At one point, a detour occasioned by repairs to the path took us unexpectedly uphill, into the vineyards, before we rocketed down into the next town to pick up the path again.

But the Moselle is nothing if not ever picturesque, and we are now very much in castle country. There were several in ruins along the way, but quite a number in good repair too. We look forward to seeing more of these as we head up the Rhine tomorrow.

Burg Thurant overlooking the Moselle and the town of Alken.
The vineyards also never cease to amaze. Undoubtedly, over the some 2000 years that "civilized" people have lived in this region (presumably growing grapes for much of that time), they have surely attempted to grow grapes on just about every possible patch of land. Meaning that if you don't see a vineyard somewhere, that likely means it's because vines just don't grow (or produce good grapes) there. But gosh, some of the places they have planted seem inaccessible except by mountain goats.
Impossible vineyards
Rose bushes planted at the ends of rows (and a very high bridge!)
As we pedalled closer to Koblenz, we encountered more and more cyclists on the path, presumably people on day-trips from the city. As morning turned into early afternoon, we could feel that the land was becoming increasingly urbanized and industrial. But we did run into a lovely little rest stop that some young people had built some years ago.

Time for a mid-morning snack.
Koblenz is a bit of a disappointment, I must say. After a week in the rural Moselle countryside, the industrial city is a bit of a shock. We went into the Alt Stadt to look around, but unfortunately, it lacks much of the charm exuded by many of the old towns we have seen elsewhere in Europe. I gather that much of it was bombed by the Allies in WWII, so a large proportion of the buildings are relatively new.

I was somewhat expecting this. On our last trip, we very much preferred to be cycling through the countryside and staying in smaller towns. Hopefully, tomorrow, we will return to that, as we head south, up the Rhine to Sankt Goar tomorrow night and Mainz on Sunday. The schedule after that is a work in progress and has been changing daily thus far.

To be continued...

No comments: