Germany was not somewhere that I had high expectations for and if I am honest, it was not somewhere that was top on my list, but when we came across return flights to Cologne at a bargain, we said ‘why not.’ And it did not disappoint!
We flew into Cologne, rented a car at the airport and headed for Cochem, which was an hour drive, and that was where we decided to base ourselves for the two nights we were in Germany. Cochem is a small village along the Mosel river that is built up of many half-timbered houses and store fronts. Above these beautiful buildings lie a castle on the valley and to be looking at such a sight, you would think that you are looking at a postcard.
Cochem is a hidden gem, to say the least. As I mentioned earlier, we did intend on road tripping while in Germany, so we did not spend too much time in Cochem. We did, however, wander around the streets in the town one morning and had lunch before hitting the road. (If you are in Germany you have to try ‘Flammkuchen,’ it’s a German-style pizza with crème fraiche as opposed to tomato and cheese but it is gorgeous)
Leaving Cochem, we aimed for the Gieirlay Suspension Bridge in the town of Gieirlay. With our car rental, we also rented a Wi-Fi Hotspot meaning we had internet access at all times. Google maps is a life-saver when on a road trip! We headed for Gieirlay, and on the way, we took in the scenic views we had along the route. At one point, we turned a corner; we were taken back by the extraordinary number of windmills that were sprinkled along the valley in front of us and how close they were.
We came across a dirt track and decided to make a slight detour and headed in the direction of the windmills, the dirt track leading us right to the base of one of them. It took our breath away standing below the giant mechanism staring upwards and feeling the gusts of wind as the windmill did its work. That moment was when we realised the perks of renting a car and the freedom that it gives you.
We did not stay long and hit the road again in the direction of Gieirlay. You will never be bored while driving in the Moselle Valley, trust me. We arrived in Gieirlay and parked the car in the town and started walking in the direction of the bridge. (Don’t worry, it is very well sign posted) It was nearly a 30-minute walk to the bridge. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we reached it; it was stunning. We were lucky in the time of year we travelled (early March), there were not many tourists around, and it led to amazing photo opportunities.
It is one for adventure seekers. The bridge is Germany’s longest suspension bridge, and at nearly 1,200 metres high it is not one for the faint-hearted. We spent around 45 minutes here, we walked across it twice, stopping along the way to capture the jaw-dropping scenes around us. If you are travelling during tourist season, I would recommend that you arrive at the bridge as early as possible as a local told us that in the Summer months the bridge can be full of tourists.
Ever dreamt of going where Fairy tales are made? Enchanted Castles hidden in the forest sound appealing? Well take a trip to Germany’s Moselle Valley and go off the beaten track to some of the most picturesque places in the world
We decided to hit the road again to what was the highlight of the trip for me, Burg Eltz. I had seen pictures of this castle before on Social Media platforms like Instagram and thought each time ‘Wow just imagine,’ and when you do reach the castle, it still has that Wow factor. You cannot drive directly to the castle; you must park in the car park, roughly 1km from the castle. In the Summer months, there is a shuttle bus that will transport you from the car park down to the castle, but as we went in early March, this was not available. This was a benefit however because we had the castle to ourselves, definitely worth the walk!
We walked 20 minutes through Eltz Forest until we turned a corner and the castle was there below us in the forest. It is the most enchanting sight I have ever seen; I felt like I was in a Disney movie. Photographers will be in their element. Seeking out this gem in the month of March had a downfall as the inside of the castle was not open to the public as it is in the Summer, but something tells me it would not have been as magical as it was if there were swarms of tourists around.
We did not have too much time in Germany, and we will find time to come back, but our two-day road trip through the Moselle Valley truly was like something out of a fairy-tale, from picturesque villages to enchanted castles. It will require you to go off the beaten track, but this is where the magic lies!