One morning we decided it would be the perfect day to explore a castle.
For those of you who are long time readers of me will enjoy this! It is an entirely new place for me! So, new pictures and new stories for a change!
We headed out bright and early towards Cochem and it’s castle. It is known as the pearl of the Mosel.
We topped a ridge and suddenly the valley spread below our feet. What a view!
Awesome isn’t it?
After looking our fill at this castle from above we continued our drive down into the valley to see it from below!
We strolled along the Mosel river for about a mile. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day for it!
Blue skies, gentle breeze, balmy temperatures, and the gentle lapping of water…
The town spreads out on both sides of the river and the waters are full of swans!
The town is charming… full of unexpected turns and tight squeezes.
We walked into the heart of the town and were instantly charmed… Doesn’t it just look like something out of a story book?
We followed some sings and ended up climbing a steep staircase.
At the top I popped into this wine store to ask directions…
I was hoping that she would point me DOWN this street…
But alas, it was UP this street we were to go.
We had to stop for a rest, it was such a steep climb!
Just when we thought we could go no further there was a charming Imbiss. We sat down to have a light lunch and catch our breath.
Then we set out to concur the last bit of our climb.
The view from the top was stunning…
Can you imagine living here?
Seeing this every day?
Hey look! Speaking of a view… there’s where we had lunch!
We then turned our sights upward.
On to the castle!
We could see a long way up and down river from the top deck.
One of the original cannons still stand sentinel atop the wall…
As do the statues of lions wearing armor and the coat of arms that have stood there for ages, never changing, watching as the world moves on.
Wanting to see more of this place, we went up to the castle and bought our tickets for the tour.
And in we went!
We spent a moment in the outer courtyard waiting for the tour to assemble.
It was to be given in German so we were handed papers with the basic tour material in English. We ended up having a GREAT guide though, that translated almost all of it for us anyway.
After a short introduction and history of the castle we headed in. Right from the first staircase it was amazing!
Something to see in every corner…
We headed into the dining hall.
The walls were painted and the windows were stained glass…
The ceilings were awesome. This is called pokerwork. The take a hot poker and burn the patterns into the wood, let it cool, and then paint it.
Aunt Betty sat down for a rest while the guide told us all about the customs of the day.
I don’t know enough Germany for my interest to be completely caught so I snuck a few pictures. What else?
Then a moment of suspense. He talked about a room so guarded that we couldn’t even enter it. He told us we could look in, even take pictures, but he could not allow us to enter the room. Breathless suspense filled the room and he flung the door wide to reveal…
The false door was added to give the room symmetry.
The royal Delft ware.
This is the ceiling of the Gothic room…
And the ceiling of the Romanesque room… both small but famous for their ceilings.
This is the mermaid lamp. It hangs in a corridor leading out to the courtyard. The legend is that the soldiers reached up and touched it on it’s stomach on the way out the door. For it gave them strength and luck in battle.
We then entered into the Hunters’ room. It is covered with trophies. Also those huge beerstiens on the table? They are 5 liter beerstiens. They were for the Monks that lived in the castle at one time. That was the amount of wine allotted to each monk per day. 5 liters!!!
This boars’ also hung on the wall there. It was the largest boar ever recorded in this part of the world. It weighed over 600 kilograms! That’s a big boar!
Next was the Knights’ Hall. It is the biggest room in the castle.
And has some of the best preserved pieces.
Look at the plaster ceilings!
Next up was the weapons room. This chest is the most expensive piece of furniture in the castle…
This armor was made for a giant in Austria! Check out the normal sized armor on it’s left! Holy smokes!
Then we walked out onto the balcony for a view of the Mosel.
Could you imagine this being the view from your porch?
After a wonderful tour of the inside we headed back out to the courtyard.
In the fall these vines turn blood red…
We headed over to check out the well.
It’s over 150 feet deep, which is quite an achievement in those times. Luckily they hit a natural spring at 150 feet because the Mosel river is over 600 feet below the castle!
Only one stop left on our tour…
The witches tower!
This tower is said to be the oldest part of the castle. Surviving all the bombing and destruction.
That ended our tour of the castle.
We set out on the long trek back down…
This time we took a back way.
Amazing how quickly the castle could shrink from view!
The back way was well worth it…
Just look at that view!
Boy was it steep though…
We were just up there?
And then, suddenly, we were back strolling along the river on this perfect day…
And I got out my telephoto lens!
Every once in a while you get a picture you just know is spectacular… this is it for me!
Visiting and exploring Cochem and the Reichsburg castle was a great adventure! By far, one of my favorite things I’ve done here in Europe… so far!