We went to Koblenz at the weekend and it was AH-MAZE-ING.
If you’ve never heard of it (I hadn’t) then it’s in Germany, between Frankfurt and Cologne. If it had been up to me, we would’ve just gone to Cologne as it’s slightly closer to us and better known… but The Dutchie had visited Koblenz once before, years and years ago, and assured me it was worth revisiting. (We had also toyed with the idea of stopping there on the way back from our honeymoon last year but ran out of time, so that was another good reason.)
After it was decided that Koblenz was the one – we also discovered the Christmas Markets would be in full swing at the end of November. So definitely enough reasons now!! As we were travelling by car, we had space for passengers – so we invited The Dutchie’s mum and sister along for the trip 🙂
From Hilversum it’s a 3 hour drive, so we booked a couple of apartments (Järgen Ferienappartements – 8.5/10 on Booking.com – and well deserved) and away we went! After a (happily) uneventful drive, we checked into our apartments and then got a bus into town. Once we got our bearings, we then walked along the Rhine towards the Festung Ehrenbreitstein (Ehrenbreitstein Fortress).
That side of the river was extremely moody looking, as you can see, though on our side… blue skies!
And to get to the fortress? A cable car! The Seilbahn Koblenz to be precise (cable railway, funicular, cable way… whatever you want to call it…)
The lovely chap from our apartments had already told us that number 17 had a glass bottom… but we’re all scaredy cats, so we agreed we’d avoid that one!!
The cost was €11.80 pp return, including access to the Fortress. The cable car on its own was around €9 but we were told you couldn’t get good views without going into the fortress… so not a lot of choice there! (Cheeky buggers!) Anyway, without a doubt, it was worth the price tag! What an experience!
Once at the top, prepare to be confused.
The signage was terrible and the map they gave us was also terrible. (Once we finally found the restaurant we asked the waitress to show us where we were on the map and she couldn’t tell us… go figure!)
Anyway, if you visit the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, just make sure you have plenty of time and you’ll find everything… eventually!!
After a 3-hour drive, bus ride, walk and cable car ride… our bellies were rumbling! So we made a stop at the only place we could find in the fortress: Restaurant Casino.
Mulled wine, vegetable soup and something resembling a super-thin pizza. My veggie soup was boring as hell but the pizzas and mulled wine were delish!
An hour or two later, suitably watered and fed, we headed back to the Seilbahn… not realising how well timed we had planned it!! Pure luck – but the sun had just set, so on the way up we had beautiful bright sunshine and on the way back down we could enjoy Koblenz by night!! Perfect!
Absolutely stunning! If you visit Koblenz and don’t have a fear of heights, the Seilbahn is an absolute must!!
Once back on dry land, it was time for the Christmas market, or as we soon found out… markets! They were everywhere! Not that we were complaining…
All the normal stuff you’d expect: mulled wine, bratwurst, any other type of wurst (sausage) you can imagine, beer, market stalls selling Christmas paraphernalia… So if you’re anything like me = heaven!
We spent hours walking around, drinking mulled wine and generally feeling festive. We all kept our mulled wine glasses as a souvenir (just a €2.50 deposit each for the glasses – so well worth it!)
The atmosphere was great and we even managed to stumble upon the ‘Schangelbrunnen’ – a statue of a little boy spitting water. Germany’s answer to Manneken Pis, I suppose! (Unfortunately, it was turned off that day, so we didn’t get squirted!)
For dinner, we’d done our research and picked the #6 restaurant from Trip Advisor: Dormont’s Restaurant. Unfortunately, because we didn’t know our timings, we hadn’t booked and they were full. Doh! We ended up going to Gretchens instead (#78 on Trip Advisor). It showed. We all had schnitzel with various sauces and they were all nothing to write home about. Moral of the story: book ahead!!
Day 2: we decided to hit the Christmas Markets again before heading home. And we also decided to have meat for breakfast!
We had to wait about 20 mins for this Schweinesteak (pork steak) because they said they weren’t ready. I get it and it’s about 20 mins overcooked… typical! Anyhoo…
More wandering around Koblenz ensued… (most of these photos were taken whilst waiting for my flippin’ Schweinesteak!)
After devouring my overcooked pig, we went to Adaccio for coffee (good), wandered some more and then had more coffee in Hoefers (bad).
Before getting back in the car to drive home (we parked in the city centre on Sunday as we didn’t want to be messing about with buses – good option as Sunday parking was only €3!) there was just one last chance to eat some more German sausage…
I took it – and I wasn’t sorry. Chilli wurst with chilli sauce… ooh yeah!
A fantastic weekend: I highly recommend Koblenz and there are only 2 pearls of wisdom I can offer you – as there are only 2 things I would do differently: book a bloody restaurant! And order a Weissbier. (Pesky mulled wine made me forget! ;-))
Are you going to a Christmas Market this year? Or what’s the best one you’ve ever been to?