March 24, 2011


After days of traveling on the Autobahnen I have come to the conclusion that Western Germany looks just like the Willamette Valley.  I'm not kidding.  There are fields surrounded by hills, the trees are very similar this time of year, there are Christmas tree farms and vineyards.  The only thing missing from the Willamette Valley are the castles and church steeples in the middle of towns.

On Monday, March 21st we drove to the Mosel Valley along the Mosel river.  We stopped in the town of Cochem.  Only 6,000 people live there but they draw in more than 2 million  tourists a year.  The town is build on the Mosel river and has steep hills surrounding it, a perfect location for the Cochem (Reichsburg) Castle.  It was originally built in 1000 AD but was destroyed by the French in 1689 by King Louis XIV.  200 years later it was rebuilt and then sold to the Reich in 1942 and today it belongs to the town of Cochem.

 The town of Cochem

 Walking through the town up to the castle

 There were a lot of cute shops with flowers in bloom 

 The castle sits above grape vines

 Entrance to the Cochem castle

 Doug is about to take control of the town with his cannon

 Inside the courtyard of the castle

 This stove is made of ceramics and features ornate scenes from the Bible. In between this wall is a secret passage way for servants to add wood to the stove without being seen.  This was common in most of the castles we visited.

 The witches tower.  It is named this because witches were tried at the castle.  To decide who was a witch and who was innocent they would through them out of the top window.  If they died they were proven innocent.  If they lived, they were said to have been a witch and then killed for their evils.

 A mermaid chandelier with antlers.  If you rub her belly and make a wish it is suppose to come true.

 A knight's suit of armor. There was one on display that was over 7 feet high and belong to an actual person.  It dwarfed every one in the room.

Walking through town we found this underground wine cellar

The wine was stored in large glass containers.  You pick the jar you want you put your wine in and pour it through the funnel.

After the tour we went back through town and ate gelato and continued on to Trier.

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