DAY 07: Stommeln to Wierchem, somewhere near the Eltz forest.
We broke the rule again and slept under a tree. I’m not quite sure why I have a track record in parking Doris under trees but there is something quite comforting and reassuring about a nice big bit of wood. You know what I mean? Anyway, finally we slept under a tree and had a decent nights sleep.
The weather dictated today for us. Not like it to be raining at all this week, eh? We’d initially planned to cycle the 12/13 miles in Koln/Cologne, mooch around and then cycle back. However, with intermittent rain and free parking on Sundays it was too good of an opportunity not to take Doris for a trip to her first German city, Cologne.
Cologne, like most European places, is motorhome friendly and welcomed Doris with open arms. What we couldn’t believe is that there are motorhomes older than Doris?! I know. We’d had a little guessing game at what those old ladies would be called but we couldn’t come up with anything decent enough.
Cologne is a beautiful city. Even when it absolutely pours down for half an hour or so. After some shop front shelter the rain eased and we were treated to some beautiful blue skies. Bringing out all the beauty Cologne has to offer.
It’s main attraction is the cathedral that stands tall with its twin spires. Impressive enough as it is, during the second world war it was stuck by 14 aerial bombs and still remained standing. What a beast. It’s been around since 1248 so it’s built in the same era as Doris, which will mean she’s a tough old girl.
Infront of the cathedral is a huge and very impressive bridge. During the second world war it was completely destroyed and had to be fully rebuilt. It’s now just a rail and pedestrian bridge, but I’m not sure how much longer it’ll stand judging by the additional weight of about 42,643,678 padlocks with loved ones names engraved. Must be a little weighty!
After a couple of hours walking around and dodging the rain we headed back to Doris and planned to go further south towards the Burg Eltz. About an hour or so away from Cologne, it was easy work for Doris. Although, since moving into Germany there have been quite a few more hills compared to their neighbours, The Netherlands. But Doris? Eats them up. At 60KMPH. In 4th. What a girl.
My first section of twitchy bum roads as we got into some tiny villages and through the countryside. But we successfully made it to a beautiful camp spot for the evening and a great starting point for our 5 hour hike in and around the Eltz forest.
Dinner was pizza! Pizza in OUR oven, IN Doris. How good does that sound? Thankfully no fires were needed for tonights entertainment, just a few good old meaty slices of pizza.
I wanted to head to Burg Eltz this evening and Nat suggested we cycled as it was only about 3KM away. With a beautiful sunset on its way and not a person in sight we decided to get off our bums, get our bikes out and head out into the beautiful evening.
I’ll be totally honest here, I’ve seen lots of castles. I’m from Wales, we have loads of them. Big ones, small ones, tall ones, broken ones, you name it we’ve probably got it. However, the feeling I got after the downhill cycle through lush green woodland and forest, when I first saw the castle peeping through the thick woodland it was incredible.
There it stands nestled in the valley. Surrounded by thick woodland and forest and by god is it beautiful. We couldn’t contain our excitement that we had this WHOLE place to our selves, so brace yourself, here’s the beautiful Burg Eltz.
Burg Eltz started its construction around 1157 and it’s still owned by the same family today as when construction started. That means its been in the family for 33 generations. It is surrounded on 3 sides by the moselle river and stands 230ft tall on a rock spur. It is quite possibly one of the most magnificent buildings I have ever seen.
Better yet? When we got to the gates of this magical place we had it all to ourselves. It really does pay to visit these places last thing of an evening or first thing of a morning. I can’t and don’t want to see this place with absolute hoards of people. It was beautiful. It was peaceful and it was a great way to round off week one of our tour.
Week one done and dusted. Can you believe that? We’ve been on the road for 7 days, covered over 1000km, driven through 4 countries, ate many dutch pastries and created a wonderful bank of memories. I’m not entirely sure I’ll do this weekly, but would a breakdown of costs be beneficial? Or shall I save that for monthly, the entire trip? Let me know what you think.
All our posts and a quick summary can be found here.
Tomorrow we’re getting up early and we’re heading for a hike around this beautiful forest and to see that magical castle once more.
Tonights camping location: Wierschem, Rheinland-Pflaz (CamperContact: 52575)