We had cycled up the Mosel River some years ago so had very fond memories of the river, the vineyards, and the beautiful villages; so instead of heading home after our stay in the Black Forest, we headed west to Koblenz which is where the Rhine meets the Mosel. We stayed in an enormous campsite that had 300 sites, 100 of them right on the river. We spent three days camped on the river, looking across at the village of Braubach with the tall spire reaching up from the stone church and the Marksburg castle perched on the hill above it. We were excited to take a picture of the first castle we saw only to find out that there were castles on every just about bend of the river. We kept pinching ourselves to think we could be staying in this place, watching the cruise ships, tour boats and barges carrying freight sailing by right in front of us in the narrow river. The downside was the very busy rail lines on both sides of the river, right behind us and right across the river from us. We often woke in the night thinking, "What the heck was THAT?" as yet another freight train zoomed by behind us or a throaty freight barge chugged by in front of us!
The cycling was delightful as there was a separate lane off the highway, alongside the vineyards snaking up the steep hillside on one side and the river on the other, to get to Boppard, about 8 km away. We spent a day there doing a self walking tour of the old city, threading our way through the throngs of tourists coming off the cruise ships, buses or tour boats for the day. Again, once we were off the main square and the shopping streets, we seemed to be alone. We stopped on one of the side streets and had a Flammenkuchen (a thin crust pizza with something like ricotta, cheese, onions and smoked salmon) and an icy cold beer. We have not decided whether the Danes or the Germans make the best beer.
The next day we cycled in the other direction to Koblenz that is about 20 km up the highway. However, this trip was even better as the bike path took us off the highway and along the river through several small villages, community gardens, and parks. Unfortunately it was really hot, and humid, something we have not experienced since we arrived in Germany. We rode to the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers, took a photo and got back on our bikes and rode back to the campsite - for a cold shower and cold beer!
We were so blessed to have hot, sunny weather for the two weeks we were in Southern Germany, given the dreary, rainy weather up North. Will two weeks of Summer be enough for us?