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Day 4.......Bullay to Moselkern ......51 km ....(total....220km)

A climatically more amendable day to be on a bike cycling alongside the Mosel that is for sure. Still a cold wind, however at least it was dry and the sun did its best impersonation of wanting to break free from the boundaries of the scattered cloud. 

It’s Mother’s Day in Australia today and for that reason I send my mother a collection of Mosel riverside flowers with a German Castle as a backdrop. My mother is a pretty amazing woman, as all mothers are, and she has achieved more in her life than I could ever hope to equal. From the humble beginnings of being a school teacher in country Victoria (state of Australia) to signing off on multi hundreds of million dollar educational loans to 3rd world countries on behalf of the World Bank , she has just about done it all. Fortunately, recognised for her work in progressing education in 3rd world countries she was awarded the highest civilian award in Australia 2 years ago. An Order of Australia Medal.

I rang her at midnight local time (8am Australia time) to wish her a happy mother’s day and the response I got? “You’re obviously writing these blogs post dinner and some wine because your spelling has gone down the drain “ . 

Forever the educationalist. 

However I couldn’t have wished for a better mother and to all the mums out there I am sorry mine is better than you but happy Mother’s Day anyway !

To Mum. Some flowers and the castle at Cochem. 

You pass a lot of these on the Mosel. Behemoths of the boating world they get as long as 444 feet. Quite a few cruised upstream today and despite partially sunny conditions most of the residents we saw were inside the opulent dining rooms gorging themselves on strudel and coffee. 

In this part of the world the threat of floods is omnipresent. 1985 and 2003 in particular were not great years to be riverside landowners in Nehren, or anywhere else on the Mosel I suspect. There are plenty of flood markers like this at most establishments along the Mosel. 

With the terrain as steep as it is, yet still given over to viticulture , there is the problem of accessing the vines you’ve planted. Easily overcome with the installation of a mono rail type contraption that takes the owner and land workers up the hill and brings the produce down. 

Sourcing accommodation as a cyclist in Germany is easier with this app and a helpful tool it is indeed. Most of the time any such establishment will provide secure and dry parking for your bike. 

Like I said above, they love to keep track of flood levels. 

Eltz Castle. A mere 15 mins taxi ride up and out of Moselkern, its well worth a visit should you ever find yourself in the area. Built over a thousand years ago it was home to the Eltz family (33 generations later they still own it) who sought control of the trade route bewteen the fertile Maiifield Plateau and the Moselle River . Due to their political shiftiness and ability to work both sides of any war the castle was never destroyed in any conflict and despite a 5 year siege in 1331-36 has remained unscathed but for the ravages of time. 

Now here’s the thing. Whilst their Scandinavian neighbours move quickly to a cashless society, most of the establishments in this part of Germany we have eaten and slept at still only take cash, with no other means of payment accepted. Slightly frustrating, and moreso when there are banks in towns you cycle through with  no ATM’s. Yup, you read right. A bank without an ATM. Who would’ve thought. 

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