Monday, December 10, 2012

Cal’s birthday! Traveling Germany! - Ruhdesheim, Speyer

Our time in Bernkastle was as always - memorable.  The morning began with a little snow shower. Everything had melted from the day before so the fresh snow was again magical.  As we climbed out of the Mosel Valley south and east toward the Rhine Valley, we were again driving in falling snow.  It was another beautiful drive among the pine trees.  The road followed along the top of the ridge, so the views of winter white snowy fields and peaceful villages below was delightful.    

As we were leaving the valley we were reminiscing - 39 years ago friends from Des Moines came to see us while we were living in Holland.  We brought them to Bernkastel and the Mosel River, however it was October Fest and we underestimated the crowds.  We could not find accommodations for the night in the valley, so we crossed the ridge to a village outside of the valley, where we found beds. It was an eventful night and weekend.  Life is made up of people & experiences, so it was wonderful thinking about them as we were driving.

Our first destination was Rudesheim along the Rhine.  However it was on the other side of the Rhine from where we were! Bridges are not frequent so we crossed the river at Weisbaden.  The drive along the Rhine was lovely.  It was amazing how much river traffic was moving up and down the river hauling everything from junk to sea-going containers.  Rudesheim had a nice Christmas market and it was a nice town.  The Christmas stands wound in and out of the streets, all around the village.

Entering a Cafe
Inside the Cafe

 Later in the afternoon we drove south on the Germany Wine Road (Deutsche Weinstrasse).  If we thought we had seen a lot of grapes along the Mosel and Rhine, we saw as many in fields along this road.  Field after field of vineyards!  They are planted on good land, that at one time produce crops, now it is grapes for wine.  It was raining during much of the afternoon, therefore we were not able to take any photos.

Large House-Barn Farm Complex

We continued south, stopping Newstadt, but ended in Speyer for the night.  After some searching we found Guesthouse (Gasthaus) right by the Dom.  Speyer has a nice Christmas market, and it was not crowded, as the markets were over the weekend.    We decided we would eat in a restaurant tonight, instead of at the markets, as today is Cal’s birthday!    After walking around for a while we found a Mexican restaurant!  It was very good!  And a good switch after 2 weeks!
Speyer Christmas Market



Near the Christmas market in Speyer was a church which had its door open.  We went into the church and found an interior that was very different.  There are two balconies that run down each side of the church, one above the other, except on the side where the pulpit is located.  They were decorating for Christmas. 

Interior of Catholic Church in Speyer

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