Good news for those of us lucky enough to live in the Mosel region or are coming for a holiday – there is always something wine related going on nearby, not to mention concerts, antique and flea markets, even motorboat racing.
Such events are a great way to sample the regional food and wine whilst rubbing shoulders and supporting the local economy so please do try to visit at least one.
A full list of the upcoming festivals and other events can be found here. The website is in German but most of it is easy enough to follow, or there is always good old Google Translate.
The Germans are remarkably responsible people. I mean, there cannot be many other nations in the world where people stand to attention at a pedestrian crossing waiting for the green Ampelmann to give them the all clear despite the fact there is not a car within a three mile radius and the weather is like a scene from The Tempest. The very same nation that shuns microwave ovens for fear of the damaging effects on the molecular structure of the food being heated. However, that impeccable approach to responsibility does lapse once a year – at New Year in fact when the tradition is to get plastered and lob fireworks (and lots of them) at one another. Continue reading →
Germany is famous for its Christmas markets, and virtually every town has one. The problem is, they can be a bit ‘samey’ if you know what I mean. But there are plenty with an unusual twist, and I think one of the most notable and romantic has to be the Traben-Trarbach”Mosel-Wein-Nachts-Markt” which literally means “Wine Nights Market”, a clever play on “Weihnachtsmarkt”, the German word for Christmas Market.
In keeping with the wine heritage of the town, this event offers markets in some enormous old vaulted cellars which are decked out with stalls offering a big variety of traditional crafts, edible treats and of course local plonk. Also on offer is an ice skating rink (outdoor, not in a cellar!) plus an extensive entertainment programme.
The markets and other activities are open from Friday through Sunday to 18th December, and then daily from 22nd December to 3rd January, although 24th and 25th December are closed for obvious reasons. In general, opening times are 11am to 9pm, but please check the website (links below) for the exact programme.
Traben-Trabach is very accessible, being located right on the Mosel between Koblenz and Trier. A shuttle bus service is available from some of the other towns in the locality, and cheap flights are available from various European cities to Frankfurt Hahn regional airport which is only about 40 minutes away, so why not spend a weekend here and experience the real German Christmas spirit?
You can find out more by clicking here for the website but you may have to run it through Google Translate as it is only in German. Clicking here will give you the brochure which has all of the important information in English, French and Dutch and includes a map of the various attractions, programme for the entertainment and more. Alternatively, the Tourist Information office in the town will be able to help.
Christmas – or “Weihnachts” in German – is fast approaching and that means the famous German Christmas Markets are now well underway. For those of us living in or visiting the Mosel, the unique combination of the magical market atmosphere coupled with picturesque surroundings really is unbeatable.
So put on your woolly scarves and gloves and indulge in a glass or two of the ubiquitous “Glühwein” (warm mulled wine) or “Eierlikor” (eggnog) as you browse a multitude of stalls selling crafts, trinkets, sweets and a whole host of other traditional (an not so traditional) Christmas goods.
Most towns big and small have at least one market, some lasting just for a few days and others for much longer, and you can find a selection of those that take place in and around the valley here, or for a little further afield but still close enough for a day trip click here.
Just outside of the Mosel Valley between Alf and Wittlich is Klostermühle ostrich farm where a farmer’s market is being held this weekend.
I will (when I get round to it) be posting an article on this little place, but it is worth a visit for the wonderful cafe, open countryside and of course the large feathered friends. There is also a Baroque church with a stunning interior just down the road too.
Well, Europe waits in anticipation as Britain goes to what must the most important poll in history – the referendum on whether to stay in Europe or not.
I am not going to go all political here as my opinions in this respect are very personal to me, and besides I am unfortunately (and annoyingly) not allowed to vote as I have not been resident in Britain for a long time.
However, I do urge those who are eligible to vote to make sure they do so, and to use that vote wisely without being swayed by the utter garbage that much of the press and even public figures have been broadcasting lately. Vote with your head, not with your feet…
The “Brexit” referendum is almost upon us and there are loads of polls already gauging public opinion, so I thought it would be interesting to do my own.
This referendum will have far reaching impacts both directly and indirectly on countless people, and nobody can really predict in advance what those impacts will be. I personally am rather angry that as a Brit having lived overseas for a number of years, I am not entitled to cast my vote despite the fact an exit would probably affect me more than most voters who do get the right to participate.
Let’s just hope all those who are eligible to vote do so wisely…
Well, the Christmas countdown has now officially started and that means that the Christmas markets are now underway across Germany.
So now is the time to start doing a bit of Christmas shopping, and while you are at it you may as well have a few glasses of the legendary Glühwein to keep you warm. And if you get a bit peckish, there are always seasonal treats available to accompany the plonk.
There are numerous markets across the region. In the larger towns and cities, they are generally open daily, but in the smaller towns and villages they may only operate for a few days. I myself am not so keen on the larger markets as they tend to be a bit “samey”, whilst the smaller ones can have bags more Christmas spirit about them and I am not necessarily talking about the bottled kind.
To find a list of markets taking place in the area, click here.Given that the towns along the river are all quite small the events will be easy enough to find – just follow the crowd!