Considered a step-sister to its famous Rhine and Danube siblings, Cochem, home to the Cochem Castle, served as our base camp while we explored the highlights of the Mosel Valley. A left bank tributary of the Rhine, the Mosel winds its way across Germany, France, and Belgium meandering through its beautiful river valley with castle ruins perched on hilltops with hillsides covered in terraced vineyards. The region is known for its crisp, dry Riesling wine that shares similar characteristics to the French Alsace white wine.

After researching places to stay in Cochem we chose Hotel Zehnthof due to its consistently high ratings, its proximity to the train station, and the comments about the owner’s personalized attention. After rolling our luggage across the Mosel River bridge from the train station we easily located this charming timber-structured hotel. After checking in we climbed up the two flights of steps to our room where we had a view of the Cochem Castle and the Mosel river.

Taking advantage of our central location in Cochem, we caught a river boat heading west (towards France). We had no schedule, no plan. As the boat glided through the water we floated past charming villages and vast vineyards hugging the steep hillsides of the valley. After floating through a lock, we spotted a castle on a hillside at the village of Beilstein and decided to depart from the river boat where we found the pathway to the Metternich Castle. After our 20 minute climb to the top we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the Mosel.

Having satisfied our curiosity, we hiked back down to Beilstein and began to look for a spot for lunch along the river. The grape vine arbor covering the terrace of Hotel Haus Lipmann was the initial draw as it provided a shaded spot overlooking the Mosel from which we could view the ferry activity on the river as well as the bicycles and cars traveling alongside the river. Our outdoor table was the setting for a memorable meal of veal in mushroom sauce and a Mosel valley riesling.

We returned to Cochem later that afternoon on the river boat, once again, gliding past the villages and vineyards of the Mosel River valley.  While others may view the Mosel as a step-sister to the larger Rhine and Danube we found the Mosel to be the more accessible and charming princess of the German rivers.  

Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.

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