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This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers.
Cochem is a town at the river Mosel. Above the town, you can find an old castle: Reichsburg Cochem.
The term Reichsburg (empire castle) is from the medieval Holy Roman Empire, a time, where the imperator has had to move around in his empire constantly to control and to govern it.
This castle was founded in the late 12th or early 13th century and reconstructed in the mid 17th century. Thus it is a good example for the neo-gothic architecture style.
This is one of the loops of river Mosel in Germany. The river has many of these loops.
This is my photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.
In my last post I told you a bit about the Mosel region and the options you have for your visit.
Today, I want to show you some details of the vineyards covering every possible side of the hills. The source of the wine.
As you can see in the photos, the twigs of the grapevines don’t have their leaves yet. But, it’s quite early in the year. But, the advantage is, you can also see the ground and how the soil is covered by small plants or by slate pieces. The whole hills consist of slate. This brings a very distinct microclimate to the vineyards.
Slate is also traditionally used for covering roofs or facades of houses to keep the walls dry.
As I wrote on Monday, I was at the Mosel last weekend. That region is well-known for their white wine. The winery tradition was founded by the ancient Romans, when they lived in that region, about 2000 years ago. You can still find several roman remains, like cemeteries, buildings, temples and fundaments.
The river Mosel is not the only one. Here, beside the river Rhine you can find several winery regions next to many tributary streams of river Rhine and the river Rhine itself. Every few kilometers you can find a village. Small hotels, guesthouses and apartments are waiting for tourists. You can also find a room at a winery or a farmhouse. Paved farm roads crossing the steep vineyards. These farm roads make it quite easy, to walk around. This area is also crossed by a long distance hiking trail, called Moselsteig.
There are several of these long distance hiking trails in Germany. They have in common, that they are quite challenging. But, all of them are crossing interesting landscapes. The Moselsteig is one of the youngest of these trails. Printed guides are available to make such a trails handy. They cut the whole track in pieces, each cope able in one day. They are well-marked along the trail and the guide gives some additional information about the region and the sights, landmarks and tourist features along the trail. So, you can easily make your room reservation in advance. You can even book organized tours, where the organizer cares for your luggage and transports it to the next destination, while you were hiking.
Beside restaurants, you can also find in these areas mentioned above wineries offering simple food and own made white wine. While each village has many wineries, not all of them offering food. And, not every winery is open each day. But, finding them is quite easy. They have a bunch of flowers or green twigs decorated with colorful bands at the house or in front of it, or a sign plate near the entrance. They are called Straußwirtschaft (= bouquet inn / pub) or Weinkeller (= wine cellar). You can also buy wine at the wineries, straight from the producer.
Sometimes the villages organize wine festivals. For these events several (many) wineries set up a booth next to each other, so that you can taste many different wines quite easy. Each wine has a different taste, depending of the age, weather during the year while growing the grapes, the winemaker, the producing style, the soil in the specific vineyard, the kind of grape and so on. Thus, tasting different wines is a good idea, for finding the one, you like most 🙂 You can also visit a winemaker for a tasting, when you want to buy, but have no idea which one.
Enjoy, but pay attention to the amount of alcohol enclosed in wine!
Spring is the season of flowers, in my opinion. Colorful blossoms are everywhere. So many colorful spots in different shapes on trees, bushes and on the ground. Don’t get me wrong. I know, there are also many flowers blooming during summer or fall. But, I guess, this feeling comes from the lack of these color-spots during winter. The eye gets attracted by all the fresh color after a long, cold and primarily gray-white-black winter.
Although the vineyards are men-made, you can find many wild herbs beside the paths.
Here we have among others wisteria, genister, chestnut, some apple (? – only the fruits will tell, because I’m not a botanist) trees and wild strawberries. The other ones I’m not familiar with 😦
At this season, you can also find herbs like anemones below beech trees, because the beech tree leaves are still small, so that some light is able to reach the ground. Thus, these plants only in this time have a chance to grow and bloom.
I’d love to get hints, if someone knows some of the plants.
Enjoy your spring!
May 1st is here in Germany, as in many other countries too, a public holiday. May 2nd was the first Saturday in May, our regular photographers meeting. Having an extended free week-end, we used the opportunity for a short trip.
We went to the river Mosel, a well-known wine-producing area. Here you can find the sheer rock walls covered with wine yards. These are supposed as the steepest wine yards on the world.
I was up very early, as you can see. All three photos are taken right after sunrise.