Today it’s time for a virtual cruise down the Moselle, possibly my favourite river in Germany. The reason …

Our dear God did not wish / that fine wine should go to waste. / Thus he gave not just the vine / also the requisite sense of taste.

(Purists won’t like that translation, but I wanted a rhyme! 😁)

However, sightseeing first. We start in Trier, Germany’s oldest city, founded by Celts in the 4th Century BC. 300 years later it was conquered by the Romans. In the 4th century AD Trier was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire, which accounts for its amphitheatre and the Porta Negra, the Roman city gate and the largest surviving Roman gate north of the alps.

After a morning exploring Roman ruins, our itinerary takes go downstream to Bernkastel am Kues for a glass of the aforementioned fine white Moselle. Someone you may recognise has saved us prime seats on the terrace!

From Bernkastel to Cochem, home to an absolute gem of a medieval castle. Settings don’t get more spectacular than this.

In time-honoured fashion your guide remembers nothing from the guided tour in 1983, apart from this. In medieval times there was a Capuchin monastery close by, and each monk had a daily ration of 2 litres of beer. Why remember that? It might come in useful during a game of trivial pursuit …

Final stop Koblenz where the Mosel meets the Rhine at the the German Corner.

The Mosel meets the Rhine on a rather overcast day (view from Ehrenbreitstein, I think)

Koblenz is one of the locations for the annual Rhine in Flames. (Cancelled like so much else in 2020.) It remembers the Napoleonic Wars. The castles along the Rhine are lit as though on fire, as though being ransacked by French troops. There are spectacular firework displays at selected locations along the river. The sight of Ehrenbreitstein fortress in Koblenz “in flames” plus the accompanying firework display is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. (No pictures. I didn’t know how to take those shots at the time. I’ll have to go back to get some. 😀)

Favourite reads from Rhineland-Palatinate

Hmmm – It appears at the time of writing I’ve only read two books by authors born in Rhineland-Palatinate. Although she is these days more associated with East Berlin, Anna Seghers was born in Mainz. Transit is a masterpiece.

Talking of Mainz, it is the home of the first type-set book, the Gutenberg Bible. Not that I’m claiming to have read it, but I have visited the Gutenberg Museum, and that is a trip well worth making,

I will review the other Rhineland-Palatinate novel, I have read, a crime novel by Hans Werner Kettenbach (born Bendorf), tomorrow.

Which writers from Rhineland-Palatinate should be added to my reading list? (No need for them to have been translated into English.)