Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Mosel & Rhine Vacation: Mayen & Beilstein

Hiking in Beilstein
The town of Mayen
The second day of our German holiday was spent exploring parts of the Mosel and some neighboring villages and towns. We got some travel advice from our lovely hotel owners at Haus Schwarzenberg

A quick note about our hotel. I highly recommend staying here if anybody is ever traveling in this area. It's in a small town called Ernst, only 3 kilometers from touristy Cochem. (I would completely skip seeing Cochem altogether). The hotel owners are a young couple who were very friendly and helped us plan our second day around the area. They gave us ideas of things to do and places to see. And their breakfast was very delicious. :)

So, under the recommendation of our hotel we drove to the town of Mayen to walk around town and visit the Eifelmuseum. It's a museum that exhibits the history, culture, geography, and folklore of the Eifel region of Germany. 

Below is a picture of us touring the mining section of the museum, which describes the mining and slate industry of the Eifel area. How many of you know exactly how slate roofs are made...well, we do! LOL. 

Isn't Jaap cute in this hard hat? We had to wear them to tour this portion of the museum.
The best thing about the museum were rooftop views of Mayen.

Afterwards we drove to a nearby castle, Schloss Bürresheim. It was pretty desolate and we didn't see any visitors, but it was still open. We decided to just take some pictures and continue on to another town. 
Inside the courtyard of Schloss Bürresheim
Our hosts at the hotel also recommended seeing Monreal. It's a small town near Mayen and not far from Mayen. We took pictures of the castle in ruins and did a quick stroll.
I wanted to end the day at Beilstein, which was very close to where we were staying and only about 10 kilometers from Cochem.
Driving past Cochem Castle

Beilstein is a very quaint village on the Mosel that's only a few kilometers away from Cochem. There's pretty much nothing there except wine cellars, hotels, a church, and a castle in ruins. It's very charming. We didn't just end up there by accident.  I gotta give some credit to Rick Steve's for another great travel suggestion. 
View of another village across the Mosel
Beilstein has to be one of the 'cutest' places I have ever seen. Tiny streets, small restaurants and hotels, a castle in ruins, and lots of place to taste delicious wine. Lekker!

I kept saying to Jaap, "It's so cute, it looks fake. I feel like we're in Disneyworld." I guess in my mind this is what a very typical German town looks like.
One of the things we were looking forward to the most on the Mosel was the white wine. This region is favorite for Riesling and we found the perfect place to do a tasting. A very old wine cellar lit by candles that was almost completely empty. A nice relaxing and quiet time for Jaap and I to enjoy each other's company and sample a delicious variety of wines.
Everything we tasted was delicious, so we had to make a few purchases. This was my souvenir for the trip. It was the perfect ending to our day of sightseeing! 
Loving life at this moment
View of vines in Beilstein

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