I’m not even sure how to start this blog post after being silent for so long. I decided to do things differently this year. It was somewhat forced because my parents’ wifi was so bad but I don’t regret it. I didn’t have to spend hours on the computer. I will just weave in some of our trips now that I’m back. Maybe one today and Friday and a decorating post on Monday again followed by another trip. Lets see…but I can’t wait to get back to decorating and projects. I needed the break and feel like I’m ready to roll up my sleeves again to get some things done.
Today I want to talk about the trip we took with my dad to the Mosel river. My dad turned 80 this year and we never got to celebrate with him. He did have a party for his neighbors and friends when we were visiting which was so nice but we also enjoyed taking this little trip to celebrate and spend some time.
Things didn’t start off as planned though because we ended up being completely stuck in traffic for 3 hours before having to drive another 3 three hours to get there.
My dad was all stressed out and we ended up having ridiculous toilet emergencies. I was somewhat lucky to have been stranded close to a bathroom but ended up having a sore throat from gagging. It was so bad. My daughter couldn’t get over the stench and after trying 4 times finally succeeded with urinating in public on the autobahn. There was all kinds of tears and drama involved. It was like giving birth…well almost. One thing my mother taught me early on was how to pee anywhere, it’s not easy for a woman but comes in handy 😉
By the way, my kids thought it was somewhat cool to be able to walk around the “Autobahn” and I had “Walking Dead” scenarios in my head. Not kidding, I really couldn’t get zombies out of my head (I am addicted to that show by the way).
The reason for the traffic jam was a tragic horse trailer accident and I’m so glad they had cleaned it up by the time we were finally moving again. A 200-thousand Euro competition horse lost his life that day and reading about it later really made me sad.
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Enough odd stories because we finally reached out destination very late…
We approached the Mosel river over the beautiful forested hills and this is the view we had:
From there we drove along the river to…
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We had planned on seeing the Reichsburg Cochem that day but because of the three hour delay we didn’t have enough time since the tours were ending in the early evening. We had a beautiful sunny view though from the town of Cochem below.
Even my dad was stunned to see how much of a touristy place this small town was. There were loads of busses and ships filled with tourists and the reason is certainly because it is beautiful.
We did enjoy the tiny streets and “Gassen” even though my poor dad’s feet were hurting.
Pink and grey never looked as good as it does on this house, am I right?
My kids trying to pose and being generous with their fighting abilities. Gosh they drove me nuts. How many things can you possibly fight about? In the below photo they were arguing about who gets to pose. Seriously?!?!
Can we talk about the above cobble stone pattern instead?
This following house made my day because they were clearly not using a level when they built it and it’s lovingly called “Schiefes Haus” (crooked house) where you can taste some of the fabulous local wines. This photo HERE has the perfect side view to show you how crooked it actually is.
Our hotel was a couple of villages down from Cochem. You can see the name of the village on the wine glasses below called Ellenz-Poltersdorf. We ended up going to a small village wine fest that night and our daughter loved seeing her first wine queen who get elected to represent the local wines. Fun job for a very young girl right? 😉
The next day we headed out early to see the castle but the weather wasn’t as nice anymore and we ended up having a rainy day which actually has it’s own charm in an area like this.
Isn’t it beautiful?
The “Reichsburg Cochem” originates around the year 1000 (you can read more about it HERE) but was completely destroyed by the French on May 19th of 1689 and remained in ruins until 1868 the way you can see below.
It was all rebuilt. What interests me so much is the story behind the reproduction and well yes it certainly looks stunning.
My kids never get sick of seeing castles. There is something magical about them.
Love this photo of our son.
The castle ruins were bought by a business man named Louis Ravené in 1868 who bought the grounds at an equivalent to $500. He then started the reconstruction. It is so interesting.
He used the castle as a vacation residence for his family. The below painting is of him, his wife and children.
The story takes an unexpected sad turn when the tour guide told us that he ended up getting cancer and his wife leaving him for a house guest she fell in love with named Gustav Simon who was 20 years younger than him and whom she had 8 more children with.
They separated in 1874 and Louis Ravené died in 1879. This was all a huge scandal during those times and inspired the book “L’Adultera” by Theodor Fontane.
The castle reconstruction turned out stunning and
The wall paintings and designs are incredible!
This beautiful castle is dark like all the others which makes it hard to take photos inside. You can see better interior shots on their website by clicking HERE.
I was able to take some ok interior photos with my cellphone.
This below painting made my daughter happy because she was pleasantly surprised to finally see a pretty girl on a painting. She’s always creeped out by the faces on all the paintings in castle museums.
I learned something new and funny too:
The following lock design has a purpose! Can you guess what that might be?
Well we were told that it was designed that way so even a drunk person could still slip the key into the lock. The guide demonstrated it for us. The raised design guides the key towards the lock and if you check out a lot of the other doors I photographed then you can notice that they have similar designs.
I also learned that a nun was rationed 3 liters of wine per day and a monk got 5 liters of wine, so can you imagine how much wine probably a rich nobleman drank? Fact is the wine wasn’t as strong as it is now but still… drinking that much wine had an effect on people. Water was dirty back then and made people sick which is the reason they drank wine and beer.
We also got to step on a castle balcony to take in the incredible views.
It is certainly a trip worth taking and I’m sure we won’t forget it.
I hope you enjoy this little story about one of our trips. We went to another castle after this which I will post about soon too.