Friday, September 9, 2011

WEDNESDAY 31st AUGUST 2011 (On the road to Cochem)

You'd think we'd learn from yesterday that long, funny breakfasts with John & Pat are not conducive to making our way down the road!

But we did finally get on our way just after midday. The day was glorious
and it was nice to be back on the move.

We made our way to KOBLENZ, a city we visited in 1986. We wanted to re-visit the Fort which has fabulous views over the Rhein & Mosel Rivers.

Back then we were able to ride in to the courtyard and there were only about five people present, including our friends Lindy & Joanne from New Zealand. This time, however, proved completely the opposite with five hundred zillion people, cars and coaches in attendance. So many you had to park and catch a shuttle bus to the gate and then pay 20 Euro’s each to get in. We decided we didn’t want to see it that much and, disappointed with progress, we made our way down the hill and continued on beside the Mosel River to COCHEM. We would rather remember the Fort how we saw it in 1986, not what it is today.

We made our way alongside the MOSEL River which is absolutely glorious. Again, another favourite place to re-visit. The banks on either side were covered in grapes, not surprising as this area is world famous for its white wines.

The river itself is very busy with many barges moving cargo and tourist cruises going up and down the river.
There is a series of locks enabling vessels to move through the different levels of the river.

It's still holiday season here and the campgrounds are reasonably full. The weather is superb and hundreds of cyclists are making the most of the flat cycling paths along the river-banks.

The sheer numbers of motorcycles surprised us - hundreds of them on the road and in parking areas everywhere.
Mainly powerful sports bikes and lots of big touring Harley's and cruisers.

But one fellow stuck out. We used the excuse of admiring his bike but truth is we couldn't believe what he was wearing and I guess his desire to be noticed was working. We couldn't stop staring!
Not sure that lycra pants and platform studded boots will take off in Australia, but who knows, maybe this fellow is ahead of his time...!!!

For such a busy little town it was easy for us to find accommodation close to the centre of town. We unpacked, freshened up and walked down the street to enjoy the evening sights. A pleasant walk along the river banks dodging the white swans and seeing the REICHSBURG Castle which sits high on a hill overlooking the village were highlights.

It was wonderful to be back in Cochem and find it similar to what it was 25 years ago.

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