Distance: 24 Miles
I was happy that this day was going to be a bit shorter mileage than the last couple of days. I was moving slow that morning. My cold was taking over. After breakfast, we usually had about 30 minutes until the morning briefing. Our daily routine was to use that time to change into our biking clothes and pack up what we needed for the day. This time, I went back to the room and laid back down on the bed thinking I’d rest for a moment or two. I fell asleep! I sent Mike to the briefing without me. The briefing usually took about 15-20 minutes, so I got a bit of extra rest before we had to get out there and ride.
With me moving as slow as a sloth, we were the last to leave that morning. Only the tour guide was still standing there when we hopped on our bikes. (He did ride the route every day. I think he left last so that he could make sure everyone was getting down the river OK.)We figured we’d eventually catch up to most of the group because quite a few of them stop more than we tend to.
There was a mist over the river as we left.
As we passed along the outskirts of Zell, this amazing house perked up my day.
It had this detail on the front, facing the river that I’m absolutely in love with.
We rode along the river for about three more miles, watching for the bridge we needed to take to cross over the river. It was a cool old metal bridge.
The day mainly consisted of sticking close to the river and passing a small town or village every couple of miles. We didn’t see much of the villages/towns because the bike trail mostly ran directly next to the river, passing through river front parks –or campgrounds. There are a LOT of campgrounds along this river.
We came upon a lock and dam and used it as an excuse to take a break. A boat was being locked through and we got there in time to see it’s upper deck even with the edges of the lock. It made a strange picture.
At Briedern, we were supposed to see the steepest vineyard along the Mosel. I kept looking and thinking… is that it? Click…
No, wait! That’s definitely IT over there! Click! …only to see yet another one shortly down the path that simply had to be it! Click!All with Mike grumbling – “You have it already. Let’s GO!” (I’m kidding – he’s been pretty patient with the photos). I have no idea if any of these are the right one but, as you can see, any one of them could be!
We were in the process of riding around the outside of a large horseshoe bend in the river (as shown on the map at the top of the page) when I caught a glimpse of an old ruin on the other side. I tried to catch a good picture of it from different spots as we circled around it from one side to the other (following the bend), but with it disappearing behind trees or me not having a good angle it was a challenge. We were almost at the other end of the bend and getting beyond it before I got an OK picture. This is the ruins of the Abbey Kloster Stuben, which was a convent build in 1137. What a beautiful location they picked for it.
Over the next few miles, I just took some random photos along the way.
Mike kindly posed on one of the chaise benches we’d been seeing in parks along the river.
As we rounded yet another bend in the river, we spotted a ruined castle up on the hill ahead. This was the Castle Metternich, which was built in the 1100’s and destroyed by the French in 1689. The castle overlooks the village of Beilstein, famous for being known as the “Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle”.
We took a break in Beilstein. The village’s history is similar to many of the towns and villages along the river: settled in Roman times, “history”, more “history”, its fate decided at the Congress of Vienna, “history”, more”history”, and ultimately becoming part of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Beilstein is unique, though, because due to a variety of reasons, the town hasn’t been modernized much over the years. Most of the buildings date back to the 1700’s (some older. There are still remnants of the original city wall, dating back to the 1300’s. Google tells me there are about 160 residents in Beilstein.
We enjoyed walking around and looking at the historical building along the narrow streets and alleys.
It was very charming. If it were located in Michigan there’d be 10 fudge shops per square foot, surrounded by souvenir shops. Beilstein seemed to have more hotels with their own restaurants than anything else. I only saw a few shops that looked possibly touristy. No cars are allowed in the central area of the village, which is just as well since they wouldn’t fit through there anyway.
After a cold drink and a snack, it was time to get back to the bikes. We didn’t have much further to ride, which was nice.
Before long we were rolling into Cochem. As we came around the last curve in the river, we saw a fantastic castle up on the hill on the other side of the river. (Caution: 1,000 castle pictures coming up!) The castle was built in the 1100’s, destroyed by the French in 1689, purchased and restored in the late 1800’s by a German businessman, and since 1978 has been owned and operated by the town of Cochem. This website has a nice drone shot of the castle and the river valley below on its front page: https://reichsburg-cochem.de/
The Patria wasn’t docked yet, so we located a grocery store a couple of miles away and took the opportunity to bike there and stock up on things we needed. I got Kleenex (which was desperately needed) and cough drops. While I was at it, I bought some chocolate too –I was feeling sorry for myself!
By the time we returned to the landing spot, the Patria was there and guests were allowed to board. We finished our day of riding like we did every day -with nice hot showers.
The Patria was moored alongside a narrow riverfront park across the river from the castle and Cochem. It was sort of like we were parked in the suburbs. There was nothing to go do or see within walking distance, so in the afternoon we spent some time relaxing up on the outdoor deck and, as usual, called it a night after dinner.
Categories: Destination: Cochem