Our last day: Geierlay suspension bridge and Cochem

After a lovely peaceful sleep at Bernkastel-Kues, we drove to visit Geirelay suspension bridge. We were both looking forward to this, although I was a bit apprehensive about it. The bridge has a span range of 360 metres (1180 ft) and is up to 100 metres (330 ft) above the ground. We’ve crossed shorter ones in the Alps before and they’ve been very wobbly, so I thought this one might sway a lot!

We parked up in the motorhome parking area in Morsdorf. From here, there was a 6 kilometre circular walk, which the bridge was in the middle of. Most of the walk was through pretty wooded valleys with streams running beside the paths, lined with flowers.

The bridge soon came into view, strung high across a valley. It was very long! We were pleased to be relatively early so there weren’t many other people on it. As well as being able to take our time, this meant it wasn’t bouncing and swaying too much! We really enjoyed walking over it, looking at the views.

After this, we drove to Cochem, another town with a castle and lots of pretty timbered buildings. This was to be the last stop on our trip. The motorhome parking area was very busy but we managed to find a space for Bertie beside the Mosel. Unfortunately, it was also by the main road and railway, which would later lead to a disturbed night!

We found somewhere for lunch, then John picked up a map of the town from the tourist information centre. We tried to follow the route it suggested but kept getting lost and became increasingly frustrated! I think some of the directions must have got lost in the English translation! A beer stop was needed to calm and revive us.

In spite of struggling with the town tour directions, it was lovely wandering through the old streets and along a section of the old town wall. By this time it was late afternoon and we realised we’d better visit the castle before it closed.

We climbed the steep road to the castle, perched on the hillside, with great views of the town and Mosel river. Entry to the castle was only as part of a tour and the tour we ended up on was primarily in German. The guide was very helpful though, giving us a leaflet in English, explaining the key points for us, and answering our questions.

Cochem Castle was built around the year 1000 and it’s original purpose was to collect tolls from passing ships on the Mosel. It has a long and fascinating history and has changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

After being destroyed by the French, the castle was rebuilt in the 19th century. The tour took us through some of the rooms and John and I could see ourselves living there. Unlike some others we’ve visited, it wasn’t too extravagant and opulent. Its probably our favourite of all the castles and palaces we’ve visited on this trip.

I decided I’d earned an ice cream and glass of wine after all that walking so we stopped at a cafe at one of the squares back in town. Then we thought we’d better book somewhere for dinner, intending to return later in the evening. However, while looking at places, we ended up on a first floor restaurant terrace, sitting down for a three course meal straight away… soon after the ice cream! Thankfully dinner was a leisurely affair and the courses weren’t huge, so we fitted it all in! I’ll probably need to lose weight when we get home! We had a lovely last day though, spoiling ourselves.

Today has mostly been spent driving… 6 hours through Germany, Belgium and France to Dunkirk, and probably another 6 hours in England and Wales. It seems to be taking forever just to get past London from Dover!

At Dover we were asked if we minded pulling over to help with sniffer dog training. One of the dog trainers hid a small scented piece of paper just inside Bertie’s passenger door. Then another brought a cute spaniel with a waggy tail to sniff around Bertie. When the dog smelt the paper he lay down and stared at the bottom of the door where the paper was. It was fascinating to watch and the dog seemed to enjoy his work, especially when he was rewarded!

It’s now gone 8 o’clock, the sun’s dropping and we still have 200 miles to go. I’m looking forward to getting home to bed. I’m glad I’ve made the effort to write this blog. It’s been a lovely trip and I’ll enjoy looking back on it in future.

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