Germany - France
June 2o24

Koblenz - Krov 212  June 2024
120 km / 75 ml

As the crow flies, the distance from Koblenz to Krov can’t be more than 40 miles, but the Mosel / Moselle is a very meandering river, and there are lots of twists, turns and curves.  I was following the bank, which meant I did a good 70 miles today.  The Mosel / Moselle isn’t as big as the Rhine, and appears a lot calmer. It runs through its valley with steep granite slopes to each side, many of them terraced, where the vines are grown.  The vines like the rocky soil, the minerals it gives, and the slopes which maximise the sun.  The Romans planted their vineyards here when they came this way, heading in to Gaul / France.  Asterix and all that stuff. The small towns are given over to wine tasting houses and tourism.  Lots of people decant from the river cruise boats, which on the Mosel/Moselle are more in evidence than the cargo barges.  It’s a very peaceful river.  They could do with straightening it out, however, because I was endlessly curving back on myself as the river took all sorts of twists and turns !

There is a huge number cyclists on the river side cycle path, the majority of them family groups, and older cyclists, almost all cycling electric bikes.  There’s a huge cycling fraternity here in Germany, that has nothing to do with Mamil style cycling, but rather quiet recreational cycling.  I guess most of these people at home will use their bikes to do a great amount of their local jobs and chores on a daily basis.  They feel safe and confident, thanks to the cycling infrastructure and to the culture, whereas in the UK you would have to be very brave to mirror their cycling on our roads and in our culture.  We have such a long way to go.

Krov is a lovely town, like so many along the river, given over to wine houses and tasting and tourism.  I would have camped (there are may campsites along the river) but was still worried about the weather, so opted for a nice little hotel with restaurant in Krov.  So many of these hotels are family run, so there is a level of care and attention that you don’t find in a Travelodge.  They are also very reasonable in price.  This hotel gets 5 stars from me, very clean, simple and modern, with a restaurant, evidently cheffed by the husband, which served a lovely meal, and the breakfast this morning was the best I have had so far.  I had a lovely Spatburgunder red wine with my meal, which is very similar to a light Pinot Noir, and it was delightful.  Not a whole bottle, just a couple of glasses !  White wine, Riesling especially, is the king here, but they also do some very light and pleasant reds.  I approve.  There are even wine vending machines.

The Mosel / Moselle where I currently am is clearly a place of holiday for the German middle aged and middle classes.  Not too flashy, not loud, but just solid and dependable.  I can see the attraction.  There’s a lot of camper vans around, not the small VW things, but the all singing, all dancing variety, with awning and table and chairs, and, I’ve noticed, often a vase of flowers, probably plastic, just to give a touch of home and class.  And the table covered with a wipeable table cloth.  Very sensible.  Anyhow, they are evidently enjoying themselves and look very pleased and contented.

I’ve liked avoiding the electioneering back home.  I find the frenzy of promises and pledges that come out each day difficult to believe.  The vast majority of them will not be fulfilled.  I think they simply work out what voters want and then promise it, knowing that it will be unachievable, and hoping that voters will forget that it’s been promised. I think the press is being very unfair to Nigel Farage.  I hold no candle for him and find most of his policies and attitudes objectionable.  However, on Russia, I fear he is right.  Poke the bear and it will bite. Which is what has happened.  I wonder did the EU and Nato planners and strategists ever consider what expansion eastwards might look like to the Russians, given their history and paranoia ?  I wonder did anyone ever think that perhaps it might be sensible to pause, limit, whatever, given what we know about the Russians ?   It doesn’t make the aggression of Putin and Russia right, but pointing out the bleeding obvious seems obvious.  However, everybody seems to want to avoid seeing the obvious and just go off on one calling Farage all sorts of things.  For just pointing out what is obvious.

I will be content with a Labour government coming out of the election, although I would like to see them have a working, not a whopping, majority, so that they can be contained and called to account.  I’m still not clear where they are on Brexit and seeing if and how we can improve our relations with the EU.  They have purposely avoided the issue.  I’d like to see some clear direction on that, but it’s not forthcoming.  So, at present, the only party that is talking positively about Europe are the LibDems, and so far I’m tending towards them on the one issue that is my main concern.  I’m a Labour voter who doesn’t like the Labour Party being economical and evasive with the truth about Europe, and just keeping quiet in the hope the problem will go away.  They are on the verge of losing my vote.

Berlin-Lutherstadt  :   Lutherstadt - Bernberg. :   Bernberg - Blankenberg  :  Blankenberg - Einbeck  :  Einbeck - Kassel  : 

Kassel - Kirchheim  :  Kirchheim - Marburg  :  Kirchheim - Limberg/Diez  :  Limberg/Diez - Mainz  :  Mainz - Koblenz  :

Koblenz - Krov  :  Krov - Remich  :  Remich - Verdun  Verdun : Verdun - Reims  :  Reims - Amiens  :  Amiens - Arras

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