Wednesday 14th September
We arrived in Koblenz at the coach park and shared with another 50 odd motorhomes. There was plenty of space which would explain the number of huge, huge motorhomes there. 100 yards away was a large supermarket and Lidls and Aldis were maybe another 100 yards further on. I managed to work out the pfand machine, I still have all my fingers so I consider it very successful. You find the machine (the important bit) and then start feeding tin cans and plastic bottles in. It starts off by giving the can a spin to read the bar code (i reckon) and if it is an English bottle it spits it back at you. You need to make sure that you didn’t squash your tin so I spent a little time desquashing the worst of them. At the end you just press the finish button and you get a credit note, ours was €5, not bad for just over a week!
Next to our parking spot was a road that led into a cycle path and it was an easy cycle into the city. The first point you get to is Deutsches Eck, German Corner, where the Moselle flows into the Rhine. On the plaza here is a state of Emperor William 1 and contained in the lowers walls are three pieces of the Berlin wall. This monument has been long considered to be a place of German unity and as a result contains the coats of arms of all parts of the former German territories such as Silesia, East Prussia and Pomerania. the original statue was destroyed by American forces in 1945 and it wasn’t replaced until 1993.
Across the rhine, immediately opposite the Moselle is Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. This one was built in 1817 but traces of fortifications from 400bc have been found here. We very nearly decided to visit the fortress using the cable car to get across the Rhine but having visited a castle two days ago we decided to give it a miss and look for coffee and cakes instead. We should have visited the fortress, Koblenz was pretty much flattened during the second world war and other than lots of shops we didn’t see too much of interest.
Except for this little fountain giving the story of Koblenz from Roman times at the bottom, through the middle ages, the French revolution, second world war and up to the rebuilding of the city.
Down the Rhine we drove, trying to keep to the river bank, Stella had other ideas but eventually she allowed us to travel on the D9. To be honest we were expecting to be able to stop anywhere we liked along the road, get out, take photos and move on but it wasn’t quiet like that. The road is a normal, one lane in each direction, type of road, there wasn’t a great deal of traffic, but no stopping places. Lucy tried her best taking photos through the window of some of the castles but she was getting frustrated and I did learn some new words.
No idea of what these places are but think that this one is at Pfalz, it’s a fortification on an island in the middle of the Rhine. As I’ve mentioned before, the Rhine is a major transport route, not just the barges but also the railway lines, either side have a continuous stream of freight trains one side, and passenger trains the other. It’s also one of the reasons that Koblenz was so thoroughly destroyed during the war.
This is The Mouse Tower, another toll and signal tower. We are in Bingen now and have just squeezed Frankies fat arse onto a pitch. When we arrived we were told that they were full up (the Swedish Eura Mobil Owners Club are here) but we found a space and are about to spend our second night here. The first afternoon was spent doing the washing since we’ve seen no launderettes on our travels so far. We’ve also filled up with water, emptied the other tanks, drank the Federweisser and visited Bingen. Federweisser is freshly squeezed fermenting grape juice which sounds and looks uninviting but was very refreshing and only €2.50 per bottle, no wonder they had sold out when I went back for more.
We cycled into Bingen, a very easy ride and managed to arrive in time for lunch. We’ve seen currywurst a couple of times so thought that it might be interesting. The Germans have a very conservative palate when it comes to spicy food so whilst Lucy had the “standard” bratwurst I naturally went for the “Fire demon from Hell” sauce which I would give a 3 out of ten on the chilli spice scale.
A curly curly sculpture at the confluence of the Nahe and Rhine with the Mouse tower in the background.
This is Klopp Castle, the seat of the Municipal Government of the region.