These are two maps I recently bought which I can recommend. Both are German but that is not a huge deal as they are very clear, the keys are self explanatory, they are truly pocket sized and are made of some kind of glossy paper than is wipe clean and very durable. Continue reading
We still have this little foam flop out sofa bed which is surplus to our requirements. It is not really big enough to accommodate adults, but it is perfect for a kids’ room.
It is in good condition and if anyone wants to come and take it (sorry we cannot deliver), please send me message using the form below. It is located in Zell and the collection date / time will need to be by mutual arrangement as we are not always there. It should fit into most estate cars or maybe even into a larger hatchback.
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.
In Britain, we all complain about the National Health Service (NHS), but having myself lived in several countries that do not have one, I think it is pretty darn good.
Of course, Germany is also highly regarded for its health care, but I must admit I do find it considerably more complicated to navigate than the British system. For example, when you start working in Germany, you must actually choose a provider as the government effectively contracts it out. And if you earn above a certain salary, you can opt to go private and your and your employer’s contributions get fed into that. Things get even more complicated if you are unemployed, self employed or a student.
Therefore, I was pleased to find a page on the “How To Germany” website which gives a good overview of how it is all structured and some of the rules and regulations which govern it all. Click here to go directly to that page.
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.
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.
With 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.
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.
Just a quick posting to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas whether you will be celebrating it on the 24th as the Germans do, or on 25th as we Brits do. I myself am spending it in Essen with my partner and our Christmas lunch will be a rather untraditional but incredibly tasty roast leg of lamb supplied by my brother back in England who runs traditional butcher shop in England and can claim Jamie Oliver as a customer.
Whilst I am here, I also want to apologise for the lack of posts over the last few months. Work problems, studying and more recently a family bereavement amongst other things have taken their toll but hopefully I will be able to start 2017 with a fresh outlook and provide you with lots more interesting stuff on life in both the Moseltal and Germany in general.
Take care everyone and enjoy the festive season no matter what nationally or religious denomination you are.
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.