Exploring: Cochem & Reichsburg Castle
The charming town of Cochem sits on the Mosel river in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany, known for it's beauty, slopes of vineyards and the Reichsburg castle that sits on a hill overlooking the town. It's a popular destination among tourists, mostly older couples doing cross country roadtrips on their RVs or young married couples with a baby or two -- just something we observed, as Gab and I hardly saw anyone of our age.
The date is the 10th of October. Gab and I made our way to Germany from Switzerland, with two heavy backpacks, missing our train in the process. Actually, we didn't technically miss the train. We got on in time, but decided to change train coaches, and the moment we got off, we hadn't realized the train was due to leave that exact moment too. Fortunately, the swiss railway ticket vendor told us not to worry about missing our train because it's off-peak season, meaning we wouldn't need to purchase a whole new ticket to get seats, and our train conductor didn't mind that we were on the wrong train to Germany either.
Our Airbnb host offered to pick us up from Cochem's hauptbahnhof (train station) so we wouldn't have to worry about looking for the house. She was unreachable when we arrived, much to our dismay. Gab was starting to get frustrated, we were already both so exhausted and it's only been 10 days into our Eurotrip. We walked 'til we reached the main town and contemplated on renting bikes to make our way to the Airbnb, but the bike rental owner warned us of long winding uphill roads and advised us to take a cab instead. We were desperate to get to our Airbnb and relax before exploring the town, so we took his advice.
The Airbnb was only 5 minutes from the main area of town by car, and in the end we had to pay 7 Euros, but it was worth it considering the unforeseen hassles we were already facing.
Exploring Reichsburg Castle
When Gab and I were planning the Eurotrip, I was mostly in charge of what we were going to see. I'm a sucker for history, and castles are full of it. In total, I've visited 7 castles (if I'm not mistaken) in the two times I visited Europe, it's something I really look forward to do.
On our second day in Cochem, Gab and I took a cab from our Airbnb straight up to the castle, blame it on my laziness to walk into town and wait for the shuttle that will take us up and then walk our way up the hill to the castle entrance. The cab took us straight into the castle entrance, past all the other tourists walking from the shuttle drop off area. I felt a little guilty for spending on a cab, but ultimately, I was glad I skipped through all the walking.
Reichsburg Castle Interiors
Apparently, humans back then were on average as tall as me. That's pretty small for a knight. The armor on my left belonged to the tallest man in Cochem during medieval times, and even for today's standards, he's a proper giant.
The hunting room where displays of stuffed animals hunted around the area can be found. Unfortunately, I don't know how old these are but they're in great condition. Either they're not very old or the medieval taxidermist is the best in the world.Most, if not all, castles have rooms where people can gather after dinner to talk and entertain themselves. This room is my favorite with the beautiful tiled furnace. I can only imagine what the people in the portraits used to do in this room by the fire, maybe playing a deck of cards or gossiping about the chambermaid's affair with the young prince or something. Haha
This room is where a lot of councils, discussions, arguments, you name it, were held. It reminded me a bit of "Game of Thrones", which apparently was quite like the history of the castle.
It's a famous local superstition that rubbing the exposed belly of the mermaid will bring you good luck. Gab and I rubbed it, just in case. We found more of these hung around the different rooms of the castle.
Exploring the town of Cochem
Just like in any other city Gab and I have visited, we explored the town on foot and let ourselves get lost in its streets along with the many tourists, checking out local shops, eating ice cream, and taking photos.
Flea Markets are common around Europe. It's one of my favorite things to check out and see what knick-knacks are being sold.
Creepy old dolls are the most popular you'll find in flea markets. I don't think I've ever stopped by a flea market without seeing one!
I wish I was quirky enough to pull off pastel pink boots.
Every hipster's dream, a working typewriter in great quality condition... It didn't appeal to me, but that's because I already have my own typewriter. haha
When I get a place of my own, all my plates will be mismatched and I'll collect them from flea markets such as this.
Another view of the beautiful castle. I swear, it's like a real life fairytale.
Gab and I ended the day quite early, we headed back to the airbnb to cook some dinner and relax. Our third day would be hiking up to Burg Eltz... But I'll save that for another blog post as a guide on how to get there. ;-)