Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Mosel

Click on photos to see larger images.

Last weekend we drove up to Bernkastel-Kues for a special event on the Mosel River. One Sunday each year, the roads on both sides of the river are closed to vehicle traffic. There are 140 kilometers of some of the most scenic roads in Germany open only to folks on bikes, skates or foot. 19 June was the road closure day this year, which is called Happy Mosel. Along the route, many of the local vintners set up a tent where you can sample their wines and, of course, get some brats and pommes frites. Jeff and I hauled our bikes along to meet some friends on Sunday but we went up a day earlier, Saturday, to enjoy some extra Bernkastel.

We checked into our hotel, Moselblumchen, a wonderful place in old town Bernkastel. The hotel actually occupies a couple of different buildings and to get to our room we had to cross over through this pretty, ornate bridge.

After dropping off our things, we walked up to one of the higher points in Bernkastel, which turned out to be a cemetery but, still, awesome views.

Pretty half-timbered hotel in Bernkastel.

Main square in Bernkastel. All these buildings were built in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds.

After our walk-about we needed some refreshment and we found the perfect spot on a corner of the main square in Bernkastel. The name of the place describes the experience perfectly, Bitchen!! I couldn't get that lady sitting next to me to say a word.

After Bitchen and a great Italian meal we walked along the Mosel River. Beautiful!

By now the sun was setting and the Mosel looked even more magnificent.

Sunday morning we were ready for Happy Mosel. Here I am looking out of our hotel room.

Here’s looking back at Jeff on the Bridge to our room.

This golden rooster is on top of the bridge and just outside our hotel window.

After a great German breakfast at the Moselblumchen, it’s 1000 and we're on the B-53, the southside road along the Mosel. As this picture shows the road has been closed for an hour. From 0900-1900, no cars, trucks or buses.

While we wait to meet our friends, Jeff’s getting tuned up for the bike ride. A nice Mosel Riesling trocken (dry) white wine.

Once our friends showed up we hopped on the bikes. After crossing the bridge at Bernkastel, we road along the northside road to the west. Our first stop was the wine village of Lieser.

Lieserer (from Lieser) Riesling.

Jeff and I trying the local Riesling in Lieser.

On the right here is Cassius, part of our group. On the left is a Spangdahlem acquaintance. He has a Coors Light. SAY REASON!?!?!

Bike path signs on the Mosel River.

Back on the bikes we crossed the Mosel again to the south and stopped in Mülheim at the Weisser Bär (White Bear). Lots of bikes and in the background you can see the barfing bear water fountain.

Our group resting with some Weisser Bär Riesling. DUH!

Weisser Bär Riesling Kabinett.

Our biker gang. Along with Jeff and I are the Cassius and Donk families.

Action shot of Jeff.

Video of part of our ride on the way back to Bernkastel.

The last village, Andel, before we arrive back in Bernkastel. Just another 500-600 year old village.

Of course, someone had to take a spill and that someone was me. My right palm and elbow took the brunt of the impact but I think the wine helped to soften the blow. Luckily, Cassius had done the same thing last year so he was prepared with bandages. Jeff said that this was a good place for the picture because of the incredible recuperative powers of amber nectar. I think his point was that the Bitburger sign might help. Sometimes he doesn't make any sense.

Happy Mosel is very well organized with bike repair stops and first aid stations too. Once we got back to Bernkastel I stopped by the Rotes Kreuz (Red Cross) tent for some professional attention. I love guys in uniform. They did a nice job of a pressure bandage.

What a wonderful day!! We did a good job of dodging the rain and sampled some really fine wines. We had a great German meal Sunday night with our friends and drove home Monday morning. Just another typical weekend in Deutschland.


  1. i don't think i would have made it past the first wine sampling station . . . "see you on the return leg!"

  2. Your hotel looks so cute and I love the little bridge. I loved seeing the pictures from Bernkastel-Kues and how it looks not covered in snow. The graveyard pictures are great! You have a picture along the Mosel river of some trees. You need to look in my FB album. We have a picture before the snow and after the snowfall. They have a bunch of leaves on now in your picture. They look so different.

    I LOVE the videos. Of course, with Mom out in front. Also, Dad's commentary is priceless.

    I have ONE big question for you...WHERE ARE YOUR HELMETS?!?!