For those who have been following this blog a while you know that back in March we were in Berlin. And while we were there is started to snow. In fact, it was 2 straight weeks of sub-zero temperatures and snow. When I got home people would comment to me about how disappointing that must have been. Well, guess again. I dislike the heat. Immensely. It doesn’t take much for me to overheat and feel as if I am going to collapse, and so hot, humid summer days are not my friend (unless I’m in Osoyoos and there is a lake at my feet and I can just float around keeping myself cool). Because of this problem with the heat, it was easy to enjoy the morning, and the evening, and the part in the middle…well…it wasn’t my favourite.
This morning, after indulging on one of our favourite German experiences, Frühstuck, we headed into “town.” Given that all of Cochem can be seen by foot, this didn’t take too long. We crossed the Bridge and started towards the sesselbahn – or chairlift. This lift took us up to the top of the “mountain” in town, and from there you can hike 10 minutes to Pinnerkreuz, a giant cross overlooking the city. Once we made it there we got to enjoy a glorious view of the town before ascending back to the top.
Once back at the top there are 3 choices. Pay to take the lift back down, hike back down, or hike down the other side of the mountain. According to the sign this is a 25 minute walk down through a beautiful vineyard. I had read online this would take us to Weingut Rademacher – a great place to go for a wine tasting. So we went for it. This is where i get to make a few notes. The 25 minutes was really about 45 minutes. The trail was really a narrow path, frequently taken over by growing blackberry bushes, with a really steep hill on one side, such that if you tripped or misplaced your foot, you may tumble down part of this mountain. This is not my normal terrain. The entire path was a slow moving and cautious attempt at not falling as we moved down the mountain. The vineyard that was advertised showed up eventually, with its nice compact gravel, but only during the last 5 minutes of the path. While hiking down there was a point where my knees started to buckle. Walking down a steep steep hill while trying not to fall isn’t as easy as I would have imagined. But I’m glad to say I did it.
And the path was as advertised – it ended up at one of the areas MANY MANY wineries. This area of the Mosel is known for the Riesling. This winery had over 40 varities….of riesling….to choose from. €2,90 gets you 4 tastings, and each of my glasses was decently full. I’m not really a drinker, but I felt as if I owed it to the region to see if maybe HERE in the heart of wine country, I might learn to love wine. Answer is still no. And of course what every non-drinker needs after a 1 hour of hiking, with an empty stomach and no water (being that, it seems, German’s hate water and do not sell bottled water anywhere), is 4 glasses of wine. Right?
After our break at the winery, we wandered through the downtown area, and stopped for some Schwartzwälder Kirchetorte. This is the sixth city in Germany that I have ordered this favourite and I am ready to make a bold declaration. Germans to not make very good Black Forest Cake. They SHOULD, but they don’t. You know who does? My mother-in-law. It needed to be said.
By this point in the day – about 2:00pm, it was HOT. As in TOO hot. I was dehydrated and could only find mineral water for sale (yuck…) so I settled on a Fanta and lying down as still as possible in our non-air conditioned hotel room (a booking mistake I will not make again during summer travels…). A nap helped pass time during the heat of the day. At 4:00pm we went on a tour of a historic mustard mill – one of 7 left in Europe that still makes cold pressed mustard (to preserve the oils), the way it has been done since 1500. The demonstration was all in German, and in a hot room, with no breeze, for 30 minutes minutes, full of really strong mustard…so it may not have been the “best” choice for afternoon outings. But after the demo Ray got to taste all the mustards – and that made him pretty happy. He bought 3. These cold-pressed mustards are stored in clay pots and are not allowed in the fridge. Apparently it’s good stuff….if you like mustard.
My near pass out during our short time in mustard land led me to seek refuge. I sought out more water, without success, and settled for walking through the shallow part of the river to cool my down (while little children were taunting the beautiful swans – so many swans here! really beautiful, though not sure the locals feel the same). This led to second round of napping, sans movement, to help pass time. By 8:00pm it finally cooled enough for me to move (or at least Ray insisted that I take him to eat food). Being that I am officially schnitzeled out – we decided on an AMAZING Italian restaurant. Combined with a stroll across the bridge and some night shots of the city, it was the perfect ending to this incredibly warm summer day.
So I’m going to go back to praying for snow. Doesn’t hurt to ask, right?