Thursday, May 12, 2011

Easter Holiday: Day 6: Beer/Wine & Chocolate tour: Tuesday March 29, 2011—Cochem, Germany

This morning we woke at 7:30 packed up and left. Breakfast was at the train station and then we began to long ride to Cochem. The first leg was to Brussels Midi, then another change at Köln, next was a change at Koblenz. From Koblenz we followed the Rhine river. The ride to Cochem was only about 30 minutes, most of which was spent talking to two men. One of them knew English really well, and it turned out he had done research at Duke.

Here's some sights we saw on the train:

When we were getting ready to get off near the doors, at the stop before Cochem Drew helped an elderly women get her bag up the five stairs to were the ‘handicap’ seats were. She wanted to talk to us in German, and she tried really, really hard to make us understand but we just couldn’t. She gave up and I felt sort of bad, but what could we do?

So, we get to Cochem and walk the 100 meters to the winery where we’re staying and there’s a sign on the door—in German—that says “Closed Today. For room rentals call [phone number].” We had reservations, they knew we were coming, where were they? We tried my phone but it was all out of minutes and the thing about Vodaphone is that you (I learned) can only top up in the country that you buy the phone in and if you try to top up on the phone using credit card it asks for the first two numbers of your zip code where the card is registered…long story short it won’t take the card because it won’t take US zip codes. Anyway, we finally spot a guy up in the field (which is on the side of a mountain) and Drew, our German Speaker, goes to ask him about it. He says that his boss is gone and we should wait. So we wait. And we wait. And we wait. And we wait. About an hour later the same guy comes down from the fields and starts talking to Drew, he didn’t know any English but Drew knows enough German to tell him we have reservations and my phone isn’t working. The man doesn’t have a phone but he’s nice enough to go get another one of the guys (a man from Holland) to use his phone to call for us. The Holland guy was very nice, and he was able to get a hold of the lady who came immedienatly to let us in. We were grateful. …Upon arrival the lady was shocked that we’d been waiting there for an hour plus.

But the winery was so cute, take a look:

We walked down to the river and around town and started looking for dinner, but many places were closed or closing. It was maybe 6:00-ish. We were hungry so this was a problem. Finally, we settled on an Italian place close to our hotel that actually said “open” (in German). We walked in and the guy came towards us. We said, “Three.”  And he said, “Three what? What do you want to do? Eat?” They had guest rooms upstairs as well. But we sat, we ordered, Drew  had a Heferweizen (sp?) and Kat and I had the best local “mosel wine”. We also had great pizza. While we were there we saw the owner get a delivery of tomatoes so we knew the ingredients were fresh, and that somehow made the pizza taste even better.    

After dinner we did a bit more wondering around and got some Gelato. After the Gelato we called it an early night. 

Here are some of the sights of Cochem, Germany:
Even their street signs have swagger!!


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