Saturday 10th September
Another day of wall to wall sunshine. My I-Spy book of Top Ten German Castles lists two good examples just over the hills and in the Mosel valley so we let Stella plan a route and then ignored it and just followed the signs but first a stop at the services.
Can you see what it is yet? €8 will buy you an inner tube for your bike, never seen anything like it before. Something else you see in Germany are cigarette dispensing machines, cigarette advertising bill boards and cigarettes for sale in Lidls and Aldis behind clear plastic covers.
Here is our first look at Burg Eltz after a 15 minute stroll through dense woodland. Built in 1200 and developed over the years, most recently in 1615 it is still in the original family ownership. At one point three branches of the same family lived here in separate buildings but over the years one line died out due to a lack of male heirs and another sold out to the remaining family.
This is the main courtyard and every 5-10 minutes guided tours take you around the rooms. Unfortunately it is verboten to take photos inside the building, I guess they want you to buy their postcards but it is just as impressive inside as out. Many of the rooms are still decorated with the original patterns and it is really a lovely place to visit.
One of the gargoyles.
I think this is my favourite photo, the sun had moved around as we were leaving to take the gentle stroll back unto the car park. The way Lucy was complaining you wold have thought it was a 20 mile hike.
Our next target, and potentially overnight stop is Cochem, further up the Moselle but we forgot it is Saturday, the sun is shining and everyone and his bratwurst is out visiting the Top Ten castles in all of Germany. After stopping and re-planning we settled on a camp site 12 miles up the valley but on the way got diverted by a stellplatz sign and pulled in. In fact there are two stellplatz here, both chock a block but outside the second one is a large parking bay for 6 motorhomes and it is free – that will do nicely.
There is a chance that we will cycle back along the completely flat cycle path and visit Cochem in the morning, depends on how little Miss Achy legs is.