Back from paradise

August 13, 2013

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The Mosel river near Trittenheim

In the picture above you will see the wine village of Leiwen (left). Further around the bend of the river (to the right) is the wine village of Trittenheim. This is basically the view of the Mosel you will get when you drive though the Hunsrueck mountains.

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Trittenheim, Mosel

And this was also our first view of the Mosel when we arrived in Germany for our summer vacation this year. We were mesmerized. What a splendid view, what a splendid landscape, what a splendid river, how good to be home.

From the outset let me tell you we had a great time (only about 3 weeks), and despite our at best erratic planning and our lousy preparation, we were able to line up some unique, memorable and exquisite encounters with the wine and food world.

I intend to write in more detail about most of these encounters. But let me not be too optimistic as regards the time available for blogging.

So what were the highlights of our visit?

Well, we had the best pork-knuckle ever (!) after a two hour march through the forests near the Ammersee on our way to the monastery of Andechs, a famous location for catholic pilgrims. Bavaria is a fantastic place to visit especially if the weather gods are smiling on you, and smile they did. We had warm, at times even hot, weather during the whole time of our holidays.

Along the Mosel we visited three wineries – two along the Ruwer, one on the Sauer, both tributaries of the Mosel – and had one wine tasting in Trier city at Oechsle. Wonderful, exquisite, I can only rave about the many fresh and zesty wines we had the opportunity to sample.

The wineries we visited were:

Fuerst Winery, Metzdorf, Sauer
Karthaeuserhof Estate, Eitelsbach, Ruwer
Maximin Gruenhaus C. von Schubert Winery-Estate, Mertesdorf, Ruwer

Another highlight was the visit of one of the best restaurants in the Alsace region of France. For a family lunch we went to the Auberge du Cheval Blanc in Lembach, Alsace near Wissembourg in the Vosges mountains.

Needless to say we spent many afternoon and evenings in wine bars and beer gardens, among them the wine bar Kesselstatt and the wine bar “Weinsinnig”, two of my favourite places to relax and enjoy a good glass of wine in Trier.

More soon. Stay tuned.

PS: I made some gorgeous pictures.

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A memorable visit to Andechs, Upper Bavaria

July 22, 2009

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Fields near the monastery of Andechs, Upper Bavaria

Although right now I am sitting on our family vineyard in Glenburn, Victoria, I have to post this little story and my impressions from a visit to the monastery of Andechs, Ammersee in Upper Bavaria. Maria and Christian took me there on a Sunday in early July. We drove up from Fischen. It was my very first visit to this famous place of worship and beer brewing. I will disappoint the wine freaks among you again but Andechs is not known for its wine but its beer.

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Gate with beer mugs on the way from the car park to the monastery

When you walk up to the monastery church from the car park, you pass the above gate, with one litre beer mugs above your head. “Look up folks”, it says, this is what you are aspiring to: litres and litres of Germany’s finest beers.

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The church

The church is, as many churches in Bavaria, built in Baroque style. I found it very pretty.

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The inside of the church

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Carl Orff is buried here

Who does not know the “Carmina Burana” and the famous composer, Carl Orff who was a native of Diessen, Ammersee just a couple of kilometres from here. He is buried in Andechs. I liked the inscription of the stone: Summus finis, which freely translates as “everything ends”.

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Music festivals honouring Carl Orff are looming

Maria and Christian were to attend the music festival that very evening, while I had to catch my plane back to Bangkok. I would have loved to join them and give Bangkok a miss, but…

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Droves of people came to enjoy lunch at Andechs

The monasteries “Gastwirtschaft”, Bavarian country inn style was full of people. We had, of course, lunch there. Christian and I, we shared a pork knuckle (they are just too big). A litre of dark brown beer was just the right drink to wash it down.

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Pork knuckle divided into two

I just love to eat pork knuckle. It was delicious. What a great visit that was. I am so grateful to my friends for taking me to Andechs.

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A Bavarian litre mug

Andechs is a great place. If you are travelling in Bavaria this summer, please budget some time for a visit. it is definitely worth it.