We live in the state of Rhineland-Pfalz in the Eifel region. We are very near the Mosel River valley. Get used to these names, you will be reading/hearing them a lot. The Mosel river area along with the Rhein river are similar to Sonoma and Napa valley. They are full of grapes. However, in Germany they grow mostly grapes for Riesling and Gewurztraminer. The grapes are grown on SUPER steep hillsides. Machines cannot be used for the harvest, therefore most of the picking is done by hand. I don't even know how people walk up these super steep hills, let alone carrying a load of grapes.
This time of year is harvest time so we made a little trip to the Mosel and to the town of Traben-Trarbach to enjoy a little wine country. Traben-Trarbach were once two towns straddling the river that have now joined together as one town. Here are the towns from above.
This area is a big tourism area in Germany and we were not the only ones with a giant lens. During this time, the Germans enjoy Federweisser, which is young wine that has some alcohol but is mostly like juice. It is so young that it cannot have a cork in the top because it is fermenting and it would blow off. This is also usually sampled with Zwiebelkuchen, which is a German onion tart/cake.
Here are some little farm roads for the harvesting. Believe it or not, these are actually on the GPS.
Along the way, we saw a guy who travels around the world and collects pumpkin seeds from various countries. He had seeds from Turkey, Morocco, Vietnam, and others. We bought a bag of seeds, and I hope to grow some next spring. Here are the pumpkins he grew. I may have gotten carried away with the pumpkin pictures, but they were sooo cool.
Places around town.
Funny name of a shop.
There were at least a dozen swans in the river. Ethan was curious, until they started hissing at him. Swans are mean!
Wine tasting shop, one of many.
There is a really neat bicycle trail that connects a bunch of these towns. I was jealous of all the cyclists. I wish our bikes were here! These guys on the bench cracked me up.
Pit stop for some apple strudel and hot chocolate.
It was such a nice day. It is very relaxing to stroll around a wine town, grab a drink, and cruise home along the river. We will be checking out more of these towns along the Mosel. They are super fun.
On Sunday, we went to a Walnut festival about 45 minutes away in Vianden, Luxembourg. There is a really cool castle there. It was rebuilt in the 70s but it is still really cool. There were so many types of walnut products: bread, meat/walnut pate, walnut sausage, walnut desserts, walnut brandy, walnut liquor....you get the picture. Here are some pics from the day.
Sacks of nuts.
Brandy for us.
We decided that many of the walnut treats were not really for us. The meat pate with walnut was one such example. Vianden is a really beautiful small town in Luxembourg and we hope to go back again for more exploration.