From Luxembourg City, we drove to our next stop: Cochem with a stop along the way at Trier, Germany. It was only 40 minutes to Trier and I added this stop just the night before because I figured our room wouldn’t be ready at Cochem yet. One of the most famous sites at Trier is Porta Nigra, the “Black Gate”, t got its name from its darken colored stone.
There are a few parking lots scattered around the center area and I picked one closest from Google Maps but it turned out not to be a public parking lot. We went to the next one and got a spot. It was €3.70 for 2 hours parking. It was super cold in the morning which Jason wasn’t packed for LOL. Thankfully, there are clothing stores near Porta Nigra and we did some shopping 🙂 Jason bought a sweater jacket and wore it right away!
When we walked back to the gate for photos, a bus tour arrived but they left after a few minutes. Then, it was quiet for photos.
Trier is quite a cute city with a beautiful old town.
There was a flower market and the pumpkin decors looked cool.
The building facades are colorful and filled with sculptures!
The sun came out and it finally got a bit warmer…..warm enough for me to take off my jacket for a photo here and there!
The beautiful water fountain in the middle of the square:
The square was really busy with vans blocking the beautiful buildings to unload stuff and vendors setting up their tents.
Such an artistic wall:
The other famous sites include Trier Saint Peter’s Cathedral:
Like many cathedrals, it was free to go in so we check it out.
I was most surprised by this set of organs hanging down from the wall.
After the cathedral, we walked back to our car and continued on our way to Cochem….it was lunch time so I searched for a restaurant with good views of the Moselle River at Zell (but that restaurant was only open for dinner)….urg wrong info from Google! Scambled to search for another restaurant and luckily there was a Vietnamese restaurant across the other side of the river: Vietnamesiches Restaurant Vink.
The views of the houses, vineyards perched above the hill, and the Moselle River were spectacular!
We drove across the bridge to the other side of the river and packed our car along the riverbank, here’s the view of the other side that we were just at!
River cruise boat:
The Geman menu….thanks to Google Translate, we figured out what to order. Prices here are a lot cheaper and they only take cash.
Jason ordered shrimp fried rice…..for less than €10, you can’t really expect high-quality ingredients but at least the flavor was okay.
I ordered the crispy duck curry with rice, it was flavorful and fulfilled my craving for rice.
After the quick lunch stop, we headed to Bremm for a view of the river where it bends but Google Maps was quite misleading, there’s no road to drive up there! It required a hike that we have no idea where it starts urg! Google Maps got us to a dead-end road where they have an open-air market…by the honest system?
Without further wasting time on figuring out how to get up there, we continued our drive to Cochem…finally Cochem. I don’t know if there’s a festival going on or if it’s just a popular weekend for foliage that most of the hotels are completely booked. We got a last-minute room with a view of the Cochem Castle at Hotel Germania. I was filtering by hotels that offer onsite parking and guess what, when we got there, the public parking lot right in front of the hotel was full and I walked into the hotel to ask where can we park. The hotel receptionist gave me a map to their parking garage and a key, it was such a hassle!!! We managed to find the garage from the crappy map and the rusted box to unlock and open the garage door sigh! Then, it was a 5 minutes walk dragging our luggage to the hotel so we only took what we need for the night, I wasn’t happy about this!
The room was clean and spacious, that’s the good part.
The view from our little balcony was the highlight – Cochem Castle!!!
The foliage was late this year so we were too early 🙁 Otherwise, it would be pretty and fairytale dreamy.
The view in front of our balcony….the river was blocked by the trees.
Sideway was nice with the castle view.
The hotel patio has a view of the castle as well.
Time to explore the town itself!
The main square was lively and busy!
The town is mostly restaurants and pubs, not many souvenir stores. This house at the end of the street is quite interesting that half of it stick out of the road!
Another view of the square. There’s a bus that goes up the castle and through the square, the bus driver must have good driving skills to make those turns through the narrow cobblestone streets!
The main road is right next to the river. We were trying to figure out where is the bus stop for the bus to go up the castle….not on this road!
The view of the other side of the river…I recommend staying at the hotel across the river for the view and less busy!
We kept walking down the road for the view of the other side of the castle, there was blue sky on this side of the castle!
The trees started to turn color but very early 🙁
Walking back toward the center…
Cochem is one of the main stops of the river cruise along the Moselle; there are a lot of cruise companies to choose from!
To get to the visitor center on where to catch the bus to go up the castle, we walked through this stairway to get to the other side of the bridge and it was the cutest stairway ever!
The view on the bridge is one of the best of Cochem and its castle but the angle of the sun in the afternoon made the houses in shadow awww! I wish I know, we should’ve arrived in the morning for the best light for photos 🙁
We turned back instead of walking to the other side of the river, we went to the tourist information office. We found out that the bus that goes up the castle departs right at the bus stop next to the tourist information office but it’s like every hour so not that frequent!
There’s a cute map in the office with all the castles and places of interest nearby!
At this time, the sky cleared up so we decided to drive to Burg Eltz (Eltz Castle) instead of waiting for tomorrow morning.
From Cochem, it is a 37 minutes drive to Eltz Castle, a private castle owned by the Eltz family (I wish my family owns a castle!). This castle was made famous by Instagram! I certainly haven’t heard about this castle when we first visited Germany years ago. The castle is nested in the woods so it’s an awesome spot for foliage photos but we were there early.
Along the way, it doesn’t feel like we are heading to the woods so I was worrying that Google was leading us to the wrong place. Then, just a mile away from the destination, we drove through the woods and parked as close as we can to the start of the private road that only authorized cars can drive further in. As we got there just before the castle is closing, the parking lot was quite empty. I read that it usually is full so either get there early or late like us. Even when the castle is closed, you can park and walk down, that’s how people get sunrise and sunset photos…warning it’s a steep walk down on the paved road!
There it is, the fairytale castle!
It’s amazing on how it’s nested in the woods, what a hidden location to build a castle!
When we got there, I was surprised that we were the only ones there along with another person plus the last group finishing up the last tour of the castle. I thought it’ll be packed with people who had the same idea as us to get here after the castle is closed for photos but no, not one in sight!
We set up our tripod and took photos of us 🙂
We actually waited a bit for a woman to finish taking photos of her dog and our turn again. At this time the last tour group left and the castle door is closed, I forgot to mention that there’s a minibus that takes visitors back and forth between the parking lot and the castle, it was like a Euro or two for the ride. Jason was desperate to take the last shuttle up to the parking lot so he doesn’t need to walk the steep way up LOL! I was thinking to stay for sunset but since Jason was so insisted, we took the last shuttle up and it was picking up the staff. I a surprised that only 5-6 people run this castle!
Eltz Castle was definitely worth a stop for fairytale photos with the castle!
We headed back to Cochem and the sun was setting but not many colors. The cruise ships parked along the river.
We walked across the bridge for the views and it was so pretty!
After the sun has set, we walked back to the town side for dinner. We planned to go Akropolis based on good reviews and it was fully booked urg! We walked across the street to Alt-Cochem and got a table. Alt-Cochem served typical German food (very meat based)…I ordered a chicken dish while Jason ordered a beef dish. Once again, they only have the menu in German.
Both were edible and cost €46.30 plus the water was outrageous for €6.5, I don’t expect they charge so much for water in such a small town and not even an upscale restaurant!!! After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and it was super cold! The colorful and interesting wall on the side of the bridge, we didn’t notice it at daylight!
We took a hot shower and sleep since the next day we’ll need to wake up early, before the sunrise, to make our 4 hours drive to guess where? Hint: we had been there and it is one of my favorite colorful and cute towns that looked like out of a storybook!