Last night we looked at several options for a day trip out of Boppard. We narrowed it down to two--the charming town of Linz, or the castle town of Cochem. Both were about an hour from Boppard, but in different directions. After much discussion we settled on Cochem.
We left our hotel about 10:30 and walked to the station. We needed to buy our tickets, which turned out to be a very frustrating experience. The biggest problem was that I couldn't see the screen well, as there was too much sun glare. Finally, between the two of us we figured it out.
It was a very quick 12 minute ride to our first stop, the small town of Koblenz. We had a short wait for our train to Cochem. Wanting to make sure we were on the right platform, I double checked our tickets.
Then I noticed our tickets said Linz-- Oh, no! In my frustration trying to buy from the machine in Boppard, I'd bought tickets to the wrong town! What to do now? We only had about 3 minutes till the train came--so I decided we'd just chance it. In about 90% of our train trips, no one ever checks our tickets--so I felt pretty safe. David, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck! I told him if the ticket checker came by to let me handle it--I'd just play dumb. (Not a stretch for me) What would they do--throw us off the train? He wasn't too happy with me…….
Of course, the ticket checker came by! He told us sternly that our tickets were for Linz, I said no--we were going to Cochem. I smiled. He just sighed, rolled his eyes, then punched the tickets and handed them back to me. Problem solved! I'm sure he gets tired of dumb tourists like us.
After our ticket check we could finally relax and enjoy the scenery along the beautiful Mosel River. We both think it's much prettier than the Rhine--and that's saying a lot! Soon we pulled in to Cochem, and we walked the few blocks into the main part of town.
As we got closer to town we could the Reichsburg Castle up on the hill:
We explored a few of the charming narrow streets in town:
After about an hour of wandering the streets of Cochem, we headed to the bus stop for a ride up the hill to the castle. The bus let us off in a small parking lot, and we had just a short walk up to the castle.
View from the parking lot, over the vineyard up to the castle:
Our lunch? Not so amazing! .
We took our time eating our lunch, we were loving the view!
We could see another castle way across the valley:
(Weird color in this photo--Had camera on the wrong setting)
In fact, we were enjoying the view so much that I had two glasses of Mosel Rose wine--delicious! David had a couple of beers.
After another hour or so I was still not ready to leave, so we ordered dessert to share--a very light and delicious orange sponge cake and a cup of coffee
Here I am, enjoying my time on the terrace! I could just live like this………...
We thought we'd better get on with our day, so we paid our restaurant tab, bought our tickets for the castle tour and walked up the short path to the entrance. One cannot tour the castle without a tour guide and group, and we'd missed the daily English tour. We were in luck, though. A nice lady came along and since we were the only ones waiting, we got a private tour in English! Lucky us!
A little about the castle:
There has been a castle on the hill above Cochem since the 12th century, when it was totally destroyed by the French King Louis XIV's troops in 1689. The castle remained a stone ruin for 180 years, until it was purchase by a wealthy Berlin businessman, Louis Ravene. He wasn't interesting in restoring the castle to it's Romanesque style, instead rebuilding it in a Gothic style. He did, however, save part of the original castle. His family used it as a summer home until 1942 when the family was forced to sell it to the Prussians. Most of the extensive art collection was lost to the Nazis. In 1978 the city of Cochem took control of Reichburg Castle, and it's now run by a private company.
Near the entrance a statue of a helmeted lion guards the castle (looks like a frog to me!)
Entrance gate to the castle:
Our tour guide spoke excellent English, and we really enjoyed our almost one hour private tour! She gave us plant of time to look around and take pictures.
Some scenes and rooms around the castle:
A ladder up to a tiny entrance to the clock tower. Today the castle keeper climbs up once a week to wind the clock:
The hunting room--note the BIG wine tankards:
Nice fireplace, guarded by the same helmeted lions as the entrance gates:
A very ornately carved French table and chair set:
Here we are on the terrace off the salon:
A few more pictures from around the castle grounds:
David at the outer gate of the castle grounds:
One last look up to the castle and the painting of St. Christopher on the stone wall. Our guide said for us to be sure to give one last look and thanks to St. Christopher for our continued safe travels. We did--right after I had a quick word with him about letting us catch that flu bug in Amsterdam! Try to do better, St. Christopher!
Goodbye, Reichsburg Castle--it's been wonderful!
We walked back down to the bus stop and checked the bus schedule for our return ride into town. Darn--we just missed the bus, and the next one wasn't due for an hour! We tried flagging down a passing taxi van--but the driver just shook his head no. So I got out my trusty iPhone and googled taxi in Cochem, and gave them a call. Despite the language barrier, I managed to make myself understood. In just a few minutes we were in a taxi on our way back to Cochem.
We stopped at a small square and enjoyed a cold drink--it's sunny and very warm today. I noticed this lady on a bike with her dog on the back--all safe in a basket with a wire cover. Silly!
Soon it was time to head back to the station for our 5:30 train to Boppard. It was a nice relaxing ride, with a quick change in Koblenz. Again, the scenery was beautiful: