We were lucky and had gorgeous weather on this day, which helped highlight the beauty of this region. We drove along the Mosel River most of the way. This took longer, but was definitely worth it for the views of the river and many quaint towns along the way.
We ran into unexpected road construction in an area that seemed to offer no other routes, but somehow, we weaved through enough back roads and managed to find our way. Solving problems like this is always a bit more challenging when the road signs are in a foreign language. On-the-spot translations and decision making are tough at 90 kph. Thank goodness for Google Translate and Google Maps!
The Mosel Valley is wine country. All along the route we saw vineyards and grapevines. The area is also known for its abundance of castle ruins. Out of nowhere, every once in a while, you’d see ruins dotting the hills. It felt like we were playing a game of Seek & Find, always looking for the next one to appear. The river itself is picturesque, twisting and turning through the valley, providing fresh views around every bend.
We passed through so many small towns with classic German architecture. Many seemed equipped to accommodate tourists who are in the region to appreciate the wine, cycling, and beautiful scenery, but not at all in a touristy or over-the-top way. Any one of these towns in this region would be a lovely spot for a relaxing getaway.
We stopped in the town of Kinheim for a lunch break. We grabbed sandwiches from a small sandwich shop (regretfully, I forgot to make note of the name) and ate them on a bench overlooking the river. Right there, on the banks of the river, a flea market was running, so we walked through it before getting back on the road.
Not long after leaving Kinheim, we made another quick stop in Kröv, this time for a potty break. As luck would have it, the first public WC we could find was in the Weinbrunnenhalle Kröver Nacktarsch, where an antique market was taking place. I love treasure hunting in flea markets and antique sales, but we didn’t have any great finds that day.
Moving on, our last stop of the day was at Burg Eltz, a nearly thousand-year-old castle in Wierschem. This beautiful castle is actually still lived in and owned by descendants of the original owners. It is split into three sections for the families. Tours are available through one section, taking you through an armory, treasury, and living quarters. Tours are offered in German and English. Photos are not allowed on the tours, so you’ll have to go to see the inside for yourself (or visit their website)!
My husband remembers visiting Burg Eltz when he was in Germany as a child, so it was fun for him to retrace those steps and show it to our son. Our son really seemed to enjoy it, especially since we finished the tour with a popsicle at the café and the purchase of a wooden sword at the gift shop.
One important note on Burg Eltz is that, if arriving by auto, you park in their car park and either walk 1.3 km on a footpath, or ride their shuttle bus to get to the castle. Walking will give you lovely views of the castle, but know that the path is on a steep descent, and thus the walk back to the car park is a steep ascent! The Burg Eltz website has all the details you need to know.
From Burg Eltz, we finished our drive to Koblenz for our next German city stay.