Day 2 – Freitag

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We arrived in Frankfurt around 09:30. I received much gratification from seeing them stamp my passport. We were able to easily make our way through the airport and get our rental car, then we headed out of Frankfurt as quickly as we could figure out how. We took a westward direction, choosing to make our way toward the rivers and then hop into a few other countries. We stopped in Koblenz to try to find a bank at which to obtain some Euros. We drove around the town several times trying to figure our way around and find something bank-like that was accessible. We finally succeeded and were with the correct currency. Which was good because we needed that currency in order to park and walk around and view the meeting of the rivers. The point where the Rhine and Mosel meet was very nice. It was marked by a large monument with a very large statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I atop a very large horse. It was quite large indeed. We also drove up to get a look at Schloß Ehrenbreitstein, the first castle (or at least castle ruins) that we have stumbled upon. As we left Koblenz to drive along the Mosel, we saw a sign for Burg Elz, a castle that our row-mate on the plane had made mention of, so we decided to see what it was like. It took a short hike to get to it as it was really very isolated. But the walking was not only welcome after a very, very long day of working, flying, and driving, but it was also well worthwhile. Burg Elz is a beautiful castle. This was the first true, full-glory castle we’ve seen so far and it was gorgeous. We decided to take the tour even though it was in German (last tour of the day). The interior was impressive even if we couldn’t understand all of the narration. We did get a little brochure in English that had some history and descriptions of furnishings in it. The castle has been in the same family for 800 years and is still decorated as it was 500 years ago. The current owner of it is the 33rd generation. The longevity and condition is impressive in a country that has been fraught with so much war. I suppose that’s why they built it in such an isolated location. When we had finished gawking at the castle, we made our way back to the Mosel and then continued to drive along it. An extremely pretty drive. Beautiful river, lovely little towns, expansive vineyards. The vineyards were very pretty. They were not only vast, but quite a bit more vertical than I would have imagined. The vineyards, at least the ones in the Mosel valley, are planted on the mountain sides. They start at the bottom and go all the way to the top, filling in every meter of rocky soil. It was very interesting to see. I really wanted to stop and pick a grape, but alas, spring is only just beginning and there are no grapes to be thieved as of yet. Perhaps they’ll hurry up and pop out before we go home. Around 19:00 we stopped in the wonderfully quaint little river town of Cochem. We obtained a zimmer frei and walked around and even ate dinner at a local restaurant. Unfortunately, the cardboard and horrid water was not a very comforting introduction to German cuisine. But the town is lovely and that’s what counts. The room is lovely and interesting. We are overlooking the Mosel, which is very nice. The bed is two twins (if that) pushed together (someone’s falling in the crack tonight). There is no top sheet, only two separate down comforters. Really just big enough for one, and not a tall or heavy one at that. The bathroom has a small, one person shower and a tiny sink. The small toilet is in a separate tiny room with its own tiny sink. The funny thing is that it’s actually a decent sized room. In any case, while I was in the shower, the 33 hours of wakefulness must have caught up to my poor hubby. Not quite 21:30 and he’s crashed, hanging half off his little twin bed. Time to join him.