Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bernkastel-Kues, Germany

When Pete's mom visited over the Carnival school break in February, Pete took Monday off and we headed to Bernkastel-Kues for the day.  It's been on our list of "cute, Europe-y, half-timber-y towns to visit in Germany" for awhile.  Bernkastel is on the right bank of the Moselle River, Kues on the left.

just over an hour's drive from Lux
Bernkastel-Kues was indeed cute, half-timbered, and Europe-y, but it was also very, very closed.  In fact, it slowly dawned on us that the entire country of Germany was probably closed, and Google later confirmed this.  Who knew that Germany observes public holidays not only on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, but Shrove Monday as well?  Luxembourg actually has none of these public holidays (only the kids are off school for the week).  You'd think after nearly three years in Europe we'd learn to check if the neighboring country is closed before we went there, but you'd be wrong.  I still get caught out on trips to IKEA right across the border in Belgium all the time.  Also, public holidays in Europe are different than those in the US in that restaurants and retail often also close down.  So yeah, no big Shorve Monday Blow-Out 70% Off Sales to be found.

Anyway, it was nice to have the town almost to ourselves.

main square
cute and Europe-y enough for ya?
a handful of open shops
We managed to hunt down an open restaurant and have a very German lunch before heading up the hill to the Castle Landshut ruins.

castle ruin on the hill behind
on the way up

you can see how the walk up through the vineyards would be gorgeous in not-dead-of-winter
Well, the castle ruin was so closed off and "under construction" that we couldn't even get to the viewpoints on the hill.  It looked like it will be closed for quite awhile; perhaps they will at least partially reopen it this summer?  There was also a little wine-tasting restaurant on the way up - closed, of course.
hmm...not sure if the new addition blends in all that well
But despite these minor disappointments, we couldn't really complain.  Perhaps we'll come back another day, crammed in with hundreds of other tourists, and long for the day when Germany was closed.

better to be crammed in with Grammy
Daddy's not bad either

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous picture of Connie and the kids!(Dad looks good too....)