Well, the trip to the castles and winery turned out to be a blast! We first went to Burg Eltz (translated- Castle on the Stream), then to Cochem and Cochem Castle, and last to the winery on the Mosel. Our tour guide (Beth) was very informative and knowledgeable.
The day started out a little hazy, but ended up fairly sunny. The rain held off until we got ready to head to the winery. The castle above is Burg Eltz, my favorite one of the day. We were able to walk through a small part of the castle.
Burg Eltz is the only castle in Germany to have never been destroyed in battle. Much of the structure and interior are original. The castle is still owned by the Eltz family, and is use as a vacation home. How awesome would that be?!?!? This is Rick Steve's favorite in all of Europe. One thing I thought was neat was that half of all the rooms contained a fireplace, which meant half of the castle could be heated. This was indicative of a very rich family. Now, we take heat for granted!
Next, it was on to Cochem Castle (aka Reichsburg), located on the Mosel. Unlike Eltz, which was located in a valley, Cochem was on a hill, and it was quite a hike! Cochem was destroyed by the French in 1689 and rebuilt by a private investor in 1868. At one point it was even owned by the Nazis!
The view from the castle was beautiful! The castle was first mentioned in written history in 1051, and was enlarged in 1307.
This photo was taken inside the courtyard. You can still book the courtyard for weddings and events. Our tour guide also told us that they have a ghost- the murdered wife of one of the former inhabitants. He said a lady tried to take a photo and ended up with Matlida (the ghost) in the photo too!
In other news, my laptop and ipod came in Saturday!!!!!! I love love love both of them! Today I have been playing with the photo editing software and it is amazing. I already tried out the webcam too! I am still learning to use the different features. Today I discovered voice recognition commands you can tell it to open things or even tell you a joke, and it talks back!