Monday, June 10, 2013

Germany: Go Find A River

     We woke up to warm temperatures and beautiful, sunny skies on Friday.  In the thirty minutes or so that I saw Dear Husband that morning before work, he must have said this phrase, "Go find a river" about ten times.   I really did not understand the meaning of the phrase or why it was  being directed at me.  However as he walked down the driveway, he mentioned it one more time but this time added, "And take Dear Daughter with you."

     With only a week left of school, of course I did not go find a river.  I had to get to work and DD had to get to school.  I am not one of those that can just take the day off at the spur of the moment...I have commitments and plus, I had not planned for it.  I am just not that spontaneous.  Which river would I visit?  What would I do?  Should I bring a picnic?  Oh no, this takes planning.  So, off to work I went.

     I have to have activities planned for the weekend.  Even if it is something as simple as going out to lunch or completing chores...there must be a plan.  There was no plan for Saturday except for a badly needed hair appointment.   What would we do after?  The day was going to be beautiful and we have to be outside soaking up those wonderful rays of sunshine that have alluded us most of the Spring.  I tried to get the family involved in planning the day but was not given many ideas.

    So, we found a river, the Mosel to be exact.  With no plan, I packed a picnic (of course) and we headed in the direction of the Mosel, about one hour from our house.  We had no particular destination in mind and there were a few times when we really did not know where we were but then, there it was.  The first town was called Trittenheim and it provided a lovely park on the banks of the river.  As we ate, we stared at the vineyards climbing up the steep cliffs, watched bikers peddling along the flat countryside, and noticed the riverboats cruising upriver with boats filled with tourists.  There was something mesmorizing about the experience, the slow pace of just watching the world go (or float) by.  Dear Husband was right...go find a river.



     Sunday was the Wachenheim Wine Festival.  Wachenheim is a small village nestled along the Deutsche Weinstrasse.  Each year for two weekends in June, the village celebrates the local wine.  Riesling is king here but the wineries in Wachenhiem also specialize in Sekt, a German sparkling wine.  The wonderful aspect of this fest is that it not only celebrates the wine but food and music are also showcased here.  While the festival goes on late into the night on Friday and Saturday, on Sunday it caters to the older generation and that suits us just fine.  There are no raucous crowds, no loud over-the-top music.  It is genteel and refined.

     We arrive by noon, having skipped breakfast in order to sample the wonderful food.  While the festival opened at 11:00 a.m., it is still quiet with only a few visitors strolling around the quaint town.  The festival is situated in three different areas of the village each with a wine tent, food stations and a small stage.  The main area of town hosts typical fest food (bratwurst, fries and ice cream).  A short but strenuous uphill walk brought us to the second venue, the old castle.  From this location, we gazed miles and miles of countryside, while sipping a Weinschorle (a combination of Rose wine mixed with a bit of sparkling water).  It was surprisingly refreshing.  But the majority of the afternoon was spent sipping Sekt and listening to a wonderful jazz quartet in the courtyard of the Schloss Wachenheim Winery, a major Sekt producer in the area. There was no river but the afternoon slowly crept by as we, once again, just absorbed the surroundings.  And while there were no bumper cars, even DD admitted to having a good time.

Schloss Wachenheim Winery
     School ends this week and we leave on Saturday for a ten day adventure to Portugal!  After that, our adventure continues this summer with a surprise...we are moving to Belgium in mid-July.  More to follow on that tidbit...


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