SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2009 – 143/2 – DRIVE FROM COCHEM TO OBERWESEL, GERMANY
This morning, we get down for breakfast a little earlier than yesterday. The buffet is the same with the exception of no croissants. We both eat hearty and then set up the computer in the lounge area to access the internet and try to get some more of this blog posted.
Checkout time is 11:00AM and we meet the deadline. Dick enjoys a visit with Oliver Meyer and they talk about everything from driving in Germany vs. the US to Obama vs. Bush to women’s dislike of motorcycles. Carolyn listens to the conversation with half an ear and continues work on the blog.
We leave Cochem about 11:30AM and make the 70KM drive to Oberwesel by way of back roads over the hills, Boppard, St Goar and no major highways. The first view of the Rhine is not a spectacular as the one of the Mosel at Boppard, but pretty just the same. It is Sunday and the bikers are out in force but everybody is considerate and they allow us to putter along at less than the speed limit while we enjoy the beautiful spring countryside. Once down along the Rhine, we try to stop at Boppard but have to settle for driving through, as there is no parking. It does seem like a nice village though. We do find parking in St. Goar, walk its crowed streets from one end to the other, and back again.Carolyn does a little more Christmas shopping along the way, unfortunately, many shops are closed for the holiday which is really hard to believe with the hoards of people milling around on the streets.
The Rhine River drive is once again very nice and there seems to be more castles,and the villages seem bigger. The GPS leads us to our hotel, Gasthaus Stahl with no problem and Peter Stahl, greets us at the door. The hotel ismall and located in a small hamlet on the ridge line above Oberwesel. Peter is waiting tables as the lunch crowd is still there even though it is 3:30PM. He leads us to our room at the back of the restuarant with a view of the gargen and the vineyards in the distance from the patio, says dinner is from 5:00PM until 9:00PM and leaves us to unpack.About 4:00PM, Dick goes looking for Peter, the owner, but cannot find him. No one in the hotel will admit to speaking any English except one guest who tries. Peter’s mother is very friendly and insists that Dick and the guest who is trying his English on Dick’s German go down to the cellar and taste the wines. Down they go into a brick lined cellar, built in 1859, containing several rooms. One room has twelve casks of wine along with open bottles sitting on top of each cask and a rack of small wine glasses.
The German guest dives right in, hands Dick a glass and starts pouring. All but one of the wines are white and one of the Rieslings is a masterpiece. Its label reads: JOHANN STAHL – 2006 – OBERWESELER – SAINT MARTINSBURG – RIESLING AUSLESE. Another wine that we found to be very good was: JOHANN STAHL – MITTLERHINE 2007. This Restaurant – Hotel is a family operation, farm and vineyard that has been going strong since 1858. By the way all the language problems soon disappear in the wine cellar!
After thirty minutes of nonstop wine tasting with the German pouring half glasses, Dick calls it quits and goes to find the owner. He finally determines that he is gone but will be back at 5:00PM. Sure enough, upon Peter’s return, he provides the access code to complimentary internet access and some ice for our evening libation.
After a peaceful, relaxing evening and deciding that we will spend two nights instead of just one, we head to dinner about 8:30PM. The fare is truly German country home cooking. The size of the servings are fit for a farmer circa 1870! Again it is white asparaguses with sides of potatoes and some kind of meat as the daily special, but there are plenty of other things on the menu to choose from. Dick has the white asparaguses with schnitzel and Carolyn has a chicken dish with a good mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes. We have a bottle of their excellent white wine. It is one of the ones Dick tasted earlier. We are stuffed, too full for dessert so we head back to the room and bed.