Europe 2012: Day 92, Strasbourg to Cochem


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Cochem sits on the bank of the Mosel River.  The Cochem Castle is a neo-gothic building that sits 330 ft above the river

Thursday, 9/06/12

Wake at 7:30am.   It is sunny and cool!   I  head out for another expresso at my favorite café!    I come back to the room and work on my blog as my DH takes a shower.   Today we are catching the 9:45am train to Cochem.   It will take us about 5 hours (and three train transfers) to get there.    Cochem sits on the Mosel River.   We will be traveling north along the Rhine River to get there.

Actually, Mosel is one of 13 German wine regions where  quality Germain wines (mostly Riesling) are grown.  The region takes its name  from the Mosel River, the river of which Cochem quietly sits next to.

The train ride is uneventful.   The trains are not too full (although there is never enough room for all the luggage we travelers haul around) and we make all our connections without drama.    As we travel up the Rhine, we notice that the vineyards  seem to crawl up the stone hills like a carpet lies in a room — every available inch is covered!  While in France we heard about the glut of wine in Europe, now we know why that is!   It is almost shameless how they pack grape vines  into these hills!

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On the train to Cochem, Germany.

We arrived in Cochem around 3:30pm.   The walk from the train station to the hotel, La Baia, was easy and quick.   Our hotel is situated in the middle of town where there are lots of  tourists hanging out at the fountain and eating ice cream in the shop under our hotel — nice!

We find the hotel elevator (located between the ice shops) and press the button.   Nothing happens.  We do it again.  Nothing happens.   We finally noticed the etching on the hotel windows that says they are closed until 5:30pm, the time when the adjoining Pizzeria opens.   DRAT!  All was going so well….

I asked a waitress working at the café how to enter the hotel.   She points me to a door around the corner.  We walk around the corner and find the door to the hotel – it is locked with the same message on the door.   My DH is stressed out and  I don’t like this place very much either at this moment.   We don’t have a cell phone but we did notice the Tourist Information office just a bit down the street; maybe someone there can make a call for us?   As we dragged our luggage over the stones, they make a terrible noise – clop-clop-clop-clop!

Yes, the nice lady at the office can help us!  She makes a few phone calls and is able to scare up the hotel staff.  We clop-clop-clop-clop our way back to the hotel and we are in our room in a matter of minutes!

The afternoon is still young so we decide to catch a boat ride down the Mosel.  Boy, we needed this!  Could the weather be any better?  Here are some pictures:

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Cochem sits on the banks of the Mosel River.

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Going to the boat for a cruise on the Mosel.

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Ah, the river is wide…

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… and peaceful…

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…and laced with small towns and vineyards…

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…and still more vineyards…

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…and the wine was excellent!

Around 6pm, we decide to have dinner at the Hotel Noss, as recommended by Rick Steves.

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Looking for the Hotel Noss for dinner. It is on this street somewhere…

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…here it is!

I am hungry, so I order the Pig Knuckle with Sauerkraut and Mashed Potatoes.   My DH orders the Pan-seared Pike (fish) with Potatoes.  We shared a beer.  The food was good and the restaurant cozy and friendly.  Frankly, I could have eaten cardboard and been happy.

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I had the Pig Knuckle with Mashed Potatoes and Sauerkraut — very German and very good!

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DH had the fish with boiled potatoes — very tasty!

After dinner, we decide to walk around town.  Much of the town is closed down except for some restaurants.   We look at the windows and watch the tourists get ice cream.  It has gotten cooler and windy so we make an early night of it and head back to the hotel.

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The street right outside our hotel.

Since WiFi was not available in our room, we take our Kindle and laptop down to the bar to view emails and check train schedules to tomorrow.   Tomorrow will be an early day.   We will take the train to the small scenic town of Bacharach.  Later we will catch the boat and cruise up the Rhine to another small scenic town: St. Goar is see a castle.

Quote of the day:   “Boom, Boom, Slat!” –  My DH’s assessment of our arrival to Cochem.

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