Holiday Apartments And Italian Restaurant In Zell

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I have not stayed in these apartments but they come highly recommended by a good friend, and judging by the website (link on my Useful Addresses page) they look very stylish and comfortable indeed. Sadly the website is only in German but the young owners do speak several languages including German, Italian and English.

I have tried their Italian restaurant and the food was extremely good, being cooked by Giovanni, a native Italian, himself. Booking is advised as it can get quite busy.

Get Germanized

I recently discovered a very interesting and useful YouTube channel called “Get Germanized”.

It is hosted by a young German lad with bags of enthusiasm who is clearly very keen to help us foreigners living in Germany. The channel has a great deal of content covering a wide range of interesting topics including things such as job hunting, his Grandfather’s World War II stories and typical German stereotypes. He even has some basic German language lessons which are pretty good for total beginners:

Please go take a look at his channel and give him a few thumbs up or nice comments as he really is trying to help make our lives here easier.

Hanging Around The Hunsrück

A year ago we ventured just a few miles out of the valley to the “Geierlay Hängseilbrücke” at Mörsdorf in the Hunsrück, and wow, what a bridge that is!


Opened just a little over two years ago, at 360 meters in length this is the longest rope (or in this case, cable) suspension bridge in Germany. It sits about 100 metres at its highest point and whilst it is not for the faint hearted, the views from the bridge itself are very impressive.

The bridge is actually part of the network of walking and hiking trails that criss cross the area. It is about a kilometer by foot from the village of Mörsdorf where parking is available (sadly not free, although access to the bridge is) along with a visitor centre and a couple of cafes.

By the way, please excuse my finger blurring the bottom left of the picture!

German Property Searches

In response to a growing number of messages I am receiving asking about how to go about finding properties in the area, I can recommend the following web search engines:

Unfortunately, they are in German but it is easy enough to find your way around them using a dictionary, or for those who really cannot be bothered, by running them through an online translator such as the one available on Google Chrome.

I am working on doing a full article which will include common terminology and other bits of advice on finding property. I will publish that as soon as I can.

I Could Lie Here All Day…

IMG_20170331_001521_761With that view, I could lie here 24/7 and watch the ever-changing landscape of the valley.

This picture was taken yesterday on the road from Reil towards Bengel and Wittlich. In the distance is Pünderich with Marionburg beyond.

I love how the shadows from the clouds darken the land below creating such a dramatic effect. I don’t know about you, but I find such scenery almost humbling.

Germany And Vegetarianism?

One thing that struck me when I first came to Germany was that it is not exactly a safe haven for vegetarians. Pork features in so many dishes including the humble fried potato, and non-meat eaters are not exactly spoiled for choice as menus rarely offer anything which does not comprise a huge slab of animal fried in fat from another. So I had to laugh when I read this article in The Local – given what is illustrated in that, I am now really grateful I am a meat eater!

English Speaking Doctors, Dentists And Opticians

All of us who choose to live in Germany find one of the most daunting aspects is what to do when medical problems occur. Indeed, one of the most common questions I am asked is how to go about finding an English-speaking doctor, dentist or optician. Whilst I plan on doing a full article on this subject in the near future, I just want to share my experiences gained over the couple of years or so that I have spent here. Continue reading

Keeping Your Head Above Water

For those of you with property in the immediate vicinity of the river, flooding is always going to be in the back of your mind particularly with the current rainfalls being experienced across Europe. However, don’t despair too much as there are two very useful websites where you can monitor river levels from anywhere in the world allowing you to better decide when to either phone a neighbour and ask them nicely to clear out your ground floor or to make sure your insurance covers flood risk.

The first site is “Mosel Webcams“. As the name suggests, from there you can get real time video images streamed to your computer or smartphone from selected locations in several of the larger towns along the Mosel. The cameras are on all 24/7 and after the storms we have recently experienced the footage can be quite dramatic.

The website was started by two couples – Harald and Bernadette Mohr and Rüdiger and Heidi Mitscher – originally just to show off their home town of Traben-Trarbach, but the idea proved so popular that they added eleven more cameras in other locations and I am jolly grateful they did. Please do make use of the site and click on their sponsors from time to time so that they can continue to provide this excellent service. The site is in German only but is very easy to use even if you don’t speak the language.

The other website I find really useful if a little scary at times is the official “Hochwassermeldedienst” or “Flood Reporting Service” which covers all the major rivers and tributaries in the state of Rhineland Palatinate. Although it is also in German, much of it is pictorial and self-explanatory. For example, clicking on “Mosel” then “Karte” (which means maps) takes you to a simple map showing the monitoring points on the river, each identified by a coloured point representing the current river level status with green being less than the 2 year high water level (or in laymans terms, flood that occurs about once every 2 years in the statistical average) all the way up to purple which is the highest level i.e. greater than the fifty year flood level. It all depends where your property is located which colour is the one you need to watch out for. My house was last caught by the hundred year flood back in 1993, so I only need to start panicking when the alert hits purple.

Clicking on “Hochwasserfrühwarnung” or “High water early warning” reveals a simple map of the region similarly colour coded – green means all is okay, purple means inflate that dinghy and batten down the hatches. Although the map shows no place names, hovering your mouse over each section of the map will identify the municipality and you can click on those to get a bit more detail.

This site also offers graphs showing the current level of the main rivers (“Hauptpegel) as well as the tributaries (“Nebenpegel”) for each of the main rivers in the state.