Part two: Middle Moselle to Berlin (via the Rhein)
At the end of part one of our road trip diary, we’d just checked out of Mosel Chalets. We were on our way west, along the Moselle to the town of Zeltingen-Rachtig, where we were going to stay at Winehouse 1897.
As reluctant as we were to leave Mosel Chalets, we were excited to continue exploring this beautiful corner of the country.
We drove along the river from Pommern to the next town of Cochem, a pretty, historic town located on one of the Moselle’s impressive curves. We parked at the waterfront, so we could admire the rows of pastel-coloured buildings, before venturing through the tangle of narrow alleyways (grabbing a coffee from Cochemer Kaffeerösterei as we went) that wind up to the 11th century Reichsburg Cochem, which is a castle that has panoramic views over the valley from its position atop a dramatic rock formation.
Next stop: Germany’s longest suspension bridge, Hängeseilbrücke Geierlay, which stretches 360m - at a height of 100m above the ground - across a forested valley between mountain tops in Hunsrück.
Sadly it was closed due to the pandemic, but we were still able to view it from the surrounding hills. We parked in Mörsdorf and walked through the trees until we found a steep drop from where we could see this impressive construction (I wondered about how exactly they’d installed it: a helicopter? Piece by piece?).
Fun fact: the bridge was designed by Swiss Engineer Hans Pfaffen, who crafted the bridge based on Nepalese suspension bridges.
Back on the road again, and on to the town of Bremm. This is where you find the Calmont, the steepest section of vineyard in the Moselle, which can only be tended to by hand. From the top of the Calmont, you get an amazing view of one of the Moselle river’s tightest curves (hike to the Moselschleife bei Bremm).
After a full day out and about, I was ready for a hot bath and another glass of wine, which was lucky because that is exactly what was waiting for us at Winehouse 1897.
Winehouse 1897 is a complete contrast to Mosel Chalets' minimalism, as rooms are colourful and full of intricate decor. Each of the four apartments comes with a different persona of the people who “own and styled” them; for instance, we stayed in Lucy und Moritz von Breitenfeld. Lucy’s favourite colour is green, and thus the whole apartment is a deep forest green colour (a colour, we’re told, that stimulates rest, relaxation and balance, as well as the appetite!). Her partner Moritz is an amateur botanist, and there are numerous plant posters and nature books dotted through the apartment.
The idea, developed by owners Bettina and Markus, is to give guests an Airbnb-style experience, in which you are living in someone's home that is full of love and personality, while also having high-end interiors and decor.
One of the highlights of the property is the bright terrace that has its own BBQ and mini-bar. On the terrace is a door that leads into a luscious garden with views over the vineyards. We could have happily sat there for hours, sipping the wine that comes from Winehouse 1897’s own vineyard (delicious!), but the green of the room must have made us hungry so we retreated to cook dinner (him) before having a lengthy soak in the tub (me).
Time flies, they say, when you’re having fun, and we found ourselves enjoying our final breakfast of the trip in the Winehouse 1897 garden.
Reluctantly we slung out belongings into the car, waved goodbye to Bettina and Markus, and set off eastwards.
We decided to take the scenic route home, and drove up to Koblenz so we could drive along the northern Rhine, following the river-side road to Frankfurt.
We passed through so many villages that looked as if they were taken straight from a postcard, and the steep banks of the Rhine were covered in vines and topped with crumbling castles. If only we’d had more time to stop and explore… we did, however, stop at the Lorelei, a steep slate rock in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
The Lorelei (or murmuring rock) is famous in German folklore, and has inspired many stories. Most famous is the 1801 ballad by Clemens Brentano, which tells the story of an enchanting woman, Lore Lay, who is accused of bewitching men and causing their death. She is sentenced to life in a nunnery, and on her way there, she climbs the Lorelei rock to view the Rhine but falls to her death. The rock then retained an echo of her name afterwards. She’s a pretty famous woman, with a statue in New York and references in songs by Paul McCartney and Roxy Music.
We didn’t hear Lore Lay murmur, but we did check out the impressive statue of her before climbing to the top of the Lorelei to gaze out across the Rhine.
We took a short pitstop in Frankfurt to visit a friend, and then hit the road for the final 5-hour stretch back to Berlin. We sat in comfortable silence, listening to our favourite albums (see below) and occasionally commenting on the landscapes we passed through.
We arrived back in Berlin tired but refreshed, commenting that we’d have to take another road trip again very soon. Where do you think we should go?
#1: Mosel Radweg
Next time we’re in the Moselle, we’re bringing our bikes! The Mosel Radweg runs from France to Burg Eltz (the beautiful castle we talked about in part one) and goes through Rhineland-Palatinate. A highlight on the route is the well-known wine-growing town of Traben-Trarbach.
#2: Alken and Burg Thurant
Alken is one of Moselle's oldest villages, tracing its roots to Celtic and Roman times. It’s also said to be one of the prettiest in the region thanks to its half-timbered houses, Medieval walls and impressive castle.
#3: Lower Moselle and Trier
The Moselle is broken into three sections - Upper, Middle and Lower - all of which have different landscapes. Lower Moselle is where Germany's oldest city Trier is located. It’s a Roman town and therefore full of ancient structures.
#1: Mr Jukes | God First
#2: Rhye | Woman
#3: Polo & Pan | Caravelle
The Staycation Collection was provided with a car from Hertz Germany from the My Hertz Weekend range for this trip; this is not an advert or paid partnership, just a recommendation as we were very happy with the service and quality of the car provided.