Finally summer holidays, yesssshhh! This summer was very tough for me, I had many exams and much to study; I passed every exam except for one so I am quite satisfied for being my first year of university. My last exam was on 20th and I had already booked a trip to Germany on 22nd in order to meet my boyfriend that was studying there. I was very happy to finally start my deserved summer break and explore deeper Germany.
Where I Went And How
This time my trip to Germany will be much longer than the one I had in April (just three days). It will, indeed, last two weeks and it will include: a trip to Bernkastel-Kues, a town along the Mosel, a very fast stop in Würzburg, the end of Romantische Strasse, Rothenburg ob der tauber, that many of you might know for its perfectly-kept medieval houses and to finish, Berlin, the capital of Germany. From Trier, we reached Würzburg via Frankfurt using the flibco bus that connect Frankfurt Hahn to Frankfurt City centre. In this way we saved up much money as the total trip was just 20 euros and after that an ICE to Würzburg. Then, from Rothenburg we took an ICE to Berlin, passing through the whole Germany. One of the best train trips of my life, despite the long time we had to spent on the train. The comforts the train offered were great and allowed us to enjoy our time there. Then, once in Berlin, we took the ryanair plane to Bologna.
First Destination: Bernkastel-Kues
I already expressed my totally love towards the Mosel region; even though I am not a fan of wine, the landscapes and the culture it offers fascinated me from the beginning: this could be called “love at first sight”. Therefore, when I got back to Trier, I did not lose the chance to visit another pretty town along the Mosel called Bernkastel-Kues. The name points out that the are two different places: Bernkastel and Kues and, I guess, later, they were put together as an only entity. The historic centre is in Bernkastel and is awesome ?
How to Reach
In Germany public transportation is very well developed, making every place be reachable even if you do not own a car. To reach Bernkastel-Kues, we took the train until a super small village called Wittlich and there, got on a bus. The ride on the bus was beautiful because it passed through the most rural villages of the area and allowed us to have a glimpse over the many vineyards that are scattered around in this area. For the ticket, like in my previous article about germany, I advise you to buy the one day ticket so you can use it for multiple places and spend less than a round trip.
Some Information About Bernkastel-Kues
As already said, it is located near the river Mosel allowing the town to have many vineyards and produce the wine called Riesling. The town had roman origins but, after the fall of the roman empire, the King of Germany took over this place and built various castles. Bernkastel is also known in Germany for having given birth to one of the most important German polymath, Nikolaus von Kues. The name, as I found out reading a plate near a fountain in Bernkastel, comes from the word Bär, meaning bear in german, explaining why on the town’s coat of arms a bear is depicted.
Bernkastel is not a metropolis, is quite a small but is a cute town and has some of the loveliest streets and Fachwerkhäuser I have ever seen. These are my suggestions about what to do here:
Crossing the Bridge Enjoying The Cool Breeze
An authentic Mosel village always has a bridge that offers a great view over the river and the surrounding vineyards, this is a Must! I loved crossing bridges, I think it became an addiction xD Damn Mosel!
Relaxing At Cusanusstift
Cusanusstift is the first gothic building you might come across when you visit Bernkastel: located on the left bank of the river offers a very nice view over the other part of the town. It is a complex that features a medieval library, which gathered many handwritten books, among them some belongs to Nikolaus von Kues, a chapel and a Weingut (Winery) with a 500 years long story. It was founded in the 15th century as hospital for the poor people and now changed into a retirement house. The place is very peaceful and well-kept, for those who are interested in the wine, they can come here and have a taste of Riesling, the local wine. A stroll here, before leaving, is highly advised as the place is part of the history of the small town and allows you to rest after a long walk.
Enjoying the Lovely Street
The tight alleyways and streets that make up the town of Bernkastel are superb, I totally fell in love. They are surrounded by german style houses of various colours and adorned with cute flowers and plants. There are many souvenir shops and hidden restaurants awaiting to be discovered so what are you waiting for?! Immerse yourself and start wandering aimlessly ?
Sitting Down On The Main Square
This square is famous for the lovely Weihnachtsmarkt that takes place during the Christmas period but unfortunately, when I came here, it was summer or should I say luckily?! At least it was not cold to make me freeze to death as I really cannot stand low temperatures xD although there weren’t any kinds of markets, there was a nice collective ball going on there; it was very nice to see how people were happy to dance all together like that! The square is adorned by beautiful and colourful german style houses and a fountain, where we sat down to rest our aching bodies (even if we are 20 years old, we are a,ready quite old inside ahah). On a hidden side of the square, there was a very weird house I fell in love with (from the photo, you will figure out why); I guess it is quite clear that I have a thing for German houses ahah xD
Enjoying the Sight Of Vineyards On The Top Of A Hill
As always, we went off the beaten track and we found the best scenic spot in the whole Bernkastel! We ventured into the “outskirts” (call them outskirts, it is just a town) where we decided to go up this steep staircase that passes through the myriad vineyards located on the surrounding hills. You do not need to reach the top, like we did, because already halfway you can enjoy a beautiful view but if you reach the top, you will awarded with even a better landscape and you can recharge yourself at the restaurant you will find. There, the river was curving, giving us an unusual view over the Mosel.