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September 18, 2008

On to the Rhine and the Mosel

Filed under: Germany 2007, Travel — anotherheader @ 2:06 am

Rhineland House in Bacharach

Rhineland House in Bacharach

Aside from eating German food with no veggies (unless you count potatoes) and drinking large quantities of superb German beer, we’ve spent our evenings learning German by watching German TV (our TV doesn’t have any English speaking channels).Not that that was our intent.There aren’t too many channels that we can understand without understanding the language.Maybe the sports channels, but then we don’t always understand the game.

There is this one show that appears near constantly, which we call “Automarken mit A” (Automaker with an A in the name).Basically it is a show/scam, where a scantily clad host (more men during the day, more women in the evening) implores the viewers to call in a “guess” for the name of the automaker on the board with an A in its name.A successful guess will result in a large euro prize.We believe that the calls cost the caller some money (we

A carousel of wines from the Rhine region

A carousel of wines from the Rhine region

didn’t learn that much German!).After a couple of easy picks like Toyota and Audi, the hapless callers have no luck and the prize goes up as the host removes more clothes.In the end, they never get past the two early picks and the unbelievably obscure automakers are revealed and the game is over.But at least we learn out numbers as they repeat the telephone numbers and prizes over and over!

If that doesn’t work, “Girls Who Get Their Cars Stuck” appears next as an ad for phone sex and other such things (our German really isn’t that good).This show features scantily clad American women getting their cars stuck in different ways.I guess this is some sort of German fantasy thing.Of course all the ads repeat the telephone numbers repeatedly with text below low, so learning the numbers is easy.At least we know “sex” is a number!

From the above, it should be clear that we needed to get out of town.Becky’s class was over for the weekend and we fired up the BMW for a trip up to the Rhine and Mosel for the weekend.

We headed north on the autobahn using the “Never Lost” GPS guidance system in the car to show us the way.The system actually works pretty

Steeply sloped vineyards

Steeply sloped vineyards

well through the web of German highways, though the lady does seem to get stroppy when her instructions are not being followed correctly.Eventually, we reached the Rhine and worked our way up the west bank of the Mittelrhein region with stops for castle viewing and food and wine along the way.Notable stops included the town of Bacharach and Burg Stahleck (where the French once again blew up the most phallic of structures, the towers), Oberwesel and St. Martin Church, and the ruins of Burg Rheinfels in St. Goar.At this point,

we let the Ever Lost system direct us through the complicated roads over the hill to our hotel in Treis-Karden on the Mosel River.This worked fine, though Becky was so locked into following the instructions that she almost drove through the large metal barrier completely blocking off one of the roads that the GPS system told us to use.Furthermore, after she stopped on the first attempt when the human guidance system in the right seat injected instructions, she stopped and made a second run at the barrier before the human guidance system again intervened.I can see only two explanations for this behavior.The first possible explanation was that Becky was so broken by the system

Hum, not sure we want to go there!

Hum, not sure we want to go there!

yelling at her to turn that she totally gave in and listened to everything it said.The second possible explanation is that she had learned to do the exact opposite of anything suggested by the human guidance system in the right seat offered.It is left to the reader to determine which explanation is operative.In any event, we eventually were redirected and had a nice drive to the pleasant and quiet twin towns of Treis-Karden.



  1. […] geography of this niche of Portuguese wine country reminds us of the Rhine and Mosel appellations in Germany.  In both Germany and Portugal vineyards line the sides of deep river […]

    Pingback by Portugal: Alto Douro « Another Header — December 23, 2012 @ 1:20 am

  2. […] Middle Rhine Valley (revisit […]

    Pingback by The List | Another Header — October 26, 2018 @ 8:55 am

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