We drove 67 miles from Bacharach to Neef, on the Moselle. The entrance to the Stellplatz is off the K41 through the riverside Car Park. N 50.092294, E 7.137422.Thanks to Paul M on the outandaboutlive forum for this recommendation and information.
The Neef stellplatz is a large expanse of grass about ¼ mile from the tiny town of Neef and overlooked by the typical Moselle sloping vineyards, extending up the valley side. There are a lot of motorhomes parked here today; we worked out eventually that the good weather and the bank holiday had bought everyone out for the long weekend. There are steps up the valley side from Neef and these make a great early morning walk with the dogs.
There are good views looking down on to the Moselle and you can watch the massive barges entering and leaving the lock over the river from Neef.
After settling in at Neef we got the bikes out and cycled up-river to the small town of Alf. Colin likes to keep his humans together; he ran back to find me after I had dawdled over some photography and fallen behind.
We ate ice-cream at an Italian restaurant in Alf, looking out over this fountain by the town centre.
There is much to photograph hereabouts This is the town of Bullay, over the river from Alf.
The next day we cycled down-river to visit Cochem. After a 16 mile bike ride and one coffee stop we reached this pretty riverside town.
The town is overlooked by the formidable Reichsburg Cochem castle, rebuilt in the late 19th century.
This is Cochem….very busy when we arrived as it was a bank holiday Saturday.
After looking at a display of vintage cars behind the tourist office we headed back a few streets into Cochem for Schnitzel and ice-cream (served separately) with a nice dry Riesling.
We saw the 14th century gatehouse, once part of a fortified wall, next to the Gatekeepers house, now called the Alte Thorschenke.
With a long cycle back we set off early, along the opposite bank of the Moselle. Sections of the cycle track had been hijacked for wine/beer festivals and we passed several collections of cheerful Germans quaffing large quantities of booze on trestle tables and benches set up for the bank holiday.
We passed the ruin of a large brewery set up by an Englishman in 1853, which had been famous in its time. There was a long article about the brewery, (on a board on the cycle path), which had prospered until some catastrophe had occurred…sadly we couldn’t decipher the German any further and were left guessing. Brewer fell into vat? Sabotage by local winemakers? who knows?
The last landmark before we got back to Neef…this is Stuben abbey, a womens seminary, handily placed surrounded by vineyards, established in 1137. We like the local wine, produced from the innumerable vineyards covering the sides of the Moselle valley. The soil around the base of the vines is very stony and apparently the stones act as a storage heater, releasing the sun’s heat all through the night, allowing ripening to be prolonged into Autumn and early Winter.
We got a little lost on the final stretch in to Neef, and with a couple of other detours the journey back turned out to be 21 miles, as opposed to 16 going out in the morning. So we slept well that night, ready to move further up river in the morning.