Tuesday, 11 December Bernkastel-Kues to Cochem.
B-K was our shortest stay. Today we moved on to Cochem, also on the Mosel. Going straight there would have been a short drive, so we followed the river and went via Zell and Beilstein. Both are small villages and the latter is recommended in the Rick Steves book. But now, in mid-December everything is “geshlossen April 2019″… closed until April. So we wandered and moved on. It poured rain while walking in Zell but was nice while we were in Beilstein.
Zell is the home of “Zeller Schwarze Katz” wine (Zell Black Cat). Depictions of the cat were everywhere, including this Advent Wreath around a sculpture.
Interesting market square in Beilstein but… every place was closed.
Wednesday, 12 December Cochem
This hotel room is one of the most comfortable of the trip, only bested by Agneshof in Nurnberg and that was twice the cost! We’re in Weinhaus Grafen.
I went out after breakfast for the first walk through the Christmas market and to sketch. The market is quite small and not very interesting. I walked through the old town on this side of the river and took a lot of photos.
The Mosel is an active waterway, used by barges transporting goods, tour boats and luxury cruise ships, such as this one.
Unlike in the USA, Nativity scenes are in public areas of every city and town. While there is no State religion (as in England and Sweden) the majority denominations are Catholic (mostly in Bavaria) and the Evangelical Church.
Then I started to look for the view of the castle I wanted to sketch. I found it it very close to the river, looking up. I sat on a step that is probably part of a small dock or tie up location for boat(s). It was so cold, I only got part of it done before my fingers were frozen. I’d forgotten my fingerless gloves/mittens at home and haven’t found a pair I like here.
Back to the hotel to warm up and then went out again in the afternoon to finish. This is one of my favorite sketches of the trip.
When we lived in Germany in the 1980’s, our SCA group (Drachenwald) held 12th Night in this castle! It was a magical event. My records are not that good, but I think this is a (bad) scan of a photo from that event in January 1986 (Investiture of Wulfbrand and Lucilla Drachenwald) The man bending over on the left with a glint of gold on his head is Viscount “Himself”. I am up in the choir loft taking the photo.
Thursday, 13 December, Cochem
There isn’t much to do here in the winter. The castle tours are closed for the season as is the shuttle up to the castle. I did another sketch, this of a city gate from 1352.