Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

August 2014: Germany's Rhineland
from the Mosel to the Neckar
Part 1: Cochem to Boppard


I started this trip within three days of finishing a work contract, as a fairly immediate way of celebrating my new-found freedom. Existing arrangements were in place with Bruce for a weekend in Heidelberg, for which I had deliberately booked only the homeward journey, realising that the opportunity might arise to create something a little more substantial. Once I knew that I was going to be a free man, I took the opportunity to turn that weekend into a six-night tour, with the additional nights spent in Koblenz and Mainz. For the purposes of the trip report - and this is really how I thought of it at the time - I will present my various to-ings and fro-ings as a single, continuous journey, first from Cochem to Koblenz, continuing upriver on the Rhine to Mainz and beyond, and finally along the Neckar valley to Heidelberg.


The voyage begins in the pretty little town of Cochem, which occupies a scenic position on both banks of the Mosel river, with the main centre on the left bank. Home to just over 5,000 people, the town has tourism and winemaking as its main economic activities. Cochem features a castle and lots of traditional, half-timbered houses. Lying on the Koblenz-Trier line, it is easily accessible either by rail or river boat.


Koblenz is roughly equidistant from Cologne and Frankfurt, lying adjacent to the spot (Deutsches Eck, or German Corner) where the Mosel flows into the Rhine. (The name Koblenz is believed to have the same root as the English word 'confluence'.) Supporting a population of nearly 110,000, Koblenz is a substantial town and is a reasonably attractive place in its own right, but perhaps its main virtue lies in being a superb base from which to explore the middle Rhine Valley and the lower Mosel Valley.

Cable car across the Rhine

A modern cable car system connects Koblenz with a hilltop location on the opposite bank of the Rhine, near the Ehrenbreitstein fortress, giving passengers excellent views of Koblenz, the Deutsches Eck and the river itself.


Koblenz to Braubach on DS Goethe

I had the opportunity to make the 10km journey upriver from Koblenz to the pretty right-bank village of Braubach on board the vintage paddle steamer Goethe, built in 1913.


The early-morning mist conveniently cleared to coincide with my arrival, revealing this stunningly preserved village, nestling under Marksburg Castle, in all its glory.


Boppard is a small, left-bank town situated just over 20km south of Koblenz. One-time home of the composer Humperdinck, Boppard lies in a particularly scenic section of the river known as the Rhine Gorge.


Amphibious vehicle rally

Something happened while I was in Cochem that made me wonder whether my breakfast apple juice might have been spiked with a few shots of Schnapps! It turned out that I was caught up in some kind of rally for amphibious vehicles. So it's not just the British who are eccentric, though we were well represented at the event!

Base: Mercure, Koblenz

Linked reports from same trip:

2: St Goar to Mainz

3: Heidelberg & Speyer