Transit to Germany and Enkirch
Yesterday was not a lot of fun. Most things worked perfectly – we got up at 5am for breakfast at 5:45, and then headed out of the ship, expecting there to be a huge wait on taxis for so many passengers. We were delighted to be able to load straight into a maxi taxi, and be painlessly whisked away to the airport. Copenhagen almost feels like an old friend now; we passed our old apartment on route. Our efficiency meant that we had a long wait at the airport for our flight, but at least we were there with no stress! We sadly bid goodbye to Tim who was heading for Melbourne, and then flew to Paris to pick up our hire car. That is where the day took a turn for the worst! We had trusted Google that our drive to Enkirch, Germany, would take 4.5 hours, but later realised that Google must have decided that we would have been traveling at the speed limit of 130kms per hour. We also had not really thought about the fact that our flight did not land until 3:30pm, and by the time we organised a hire car it was 5pm. It took us 7.5 hours to get to our town, and we arrived at 12:30am, having encountered numerous roadworks and got lost several times trying to exit Paris airport. A first for me – I helped drive our way through Luxembourg and into Germany! Without an accident! Overall, it was not a great day. At least the home we had booked in Enkirch was straightforward to find and get into (although tricky for Mum as it involved negotiating narrow medieval streets).
We awoke to a picturesque and very quiet little village on the banks of the Mosel that has been inhabited since the Stone Age. There are homes here dating from the 13th century. We’re not sure how old ours is, but it’s a cute and comfortable home on 5 stories with a sauna! As usual, there are games and toys around for the kids, plus a wii and lots of DVDs and books. I love going in to an Airbnb place and discovering what it holds!
Our home is surrounded by quaint old houses, and we have the occasional tourist group wandering past. We had a very low key day, as everyone was still tired. The manager of the house, Anne-Marie, arrived at 9am when we were still all in our pyjamas. She was astonished that we were there, as she had been expecting us next week. It seems that the rental communication is a bit lacking! Anne-Marie is Dutch, and we had an interesting conversation with her about the house. Apparently, it was bought a few years ago, and the locals were amazed at how much it sold for – the owner paid 130,000 euros for it (with nothing to renovate or fix). This was considered outrageously expensive. Anne-Marie’s own home (bought 4 years ago) was 17,000 euro, however it needed renovation. How cheap are houses in this part of Germany!
Our investigation of the town took us to the local award winning butcher (whose delicious sausages we sampled tonight), the bakery (where Josh introduced us to his favourite German rolls), and a number of wineries. There are masses of vineyards covering the hills surrounding us. It seems that we have gone from a top French wine producing region to a top German one – Enkirch is known for its Riesling. The unbelievably cute houses lead down to the Mosel, where the boys found a soccer field and playground to their delight. We enjoyed a cup of tea gazing at the Mosel with the vineyards in the background. It reminded me strongly of our time camped at St Goar next to the Rhine on our first European adventure, which is hardly surprising since it is only 45 mins away. Dad was also rapt to find that this weekend Enkirch is hosting a wine and music festival. He wandered down tonight to have a look. Autumn is a great time to be here – all the vines and deciduous trees are beautiful oranges and reds, and it was lovely and warm today. We hope that the great weather that we have had holds for one more week! Our afternoon passed uneventfully but peacefully with mundane things such as washing and shopping. We barely need to leave our village (preferable after our long journey yesterday) to find things to do. What Anne-Marie claims as the ‘longest walk in Europe’ runs literally past our front door and up into the hills behind us. We can catch a boat to cruise along the Mosel from this town, or ride bikes along the banks (there are 4 in the garage here for our use). Tomorrow we must travel a bit further afield however, as we have organised to meet Maike and her family at Koblenz, about an hour away.