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Luxembourg to Rhine

We will be driving from Paris to Luxembourg and staying overnight. I'm interested in a guide in Luxembourg for the late morning of July 9. And, probably another guide (or the same) to help us in Ulmen, Cochem and area there. My 85 year old mother was originally from Ulmen, and my grandfather and grandmother were from Cochem. We would like to see the area, search the old addresses, and perhaps do a beer tasting? Castle Tour? River cruise? See the area.....

We will have a car. So either ideas, including hotel recommendations in the Rhine area, guides or itinerary if you believe it's a "do it yourself" kind of thing. First time there. There will be 4 of us. My mother and two of my siblings. Look forward to your advice and answers. Mom left the area as a child so her memories are not reliable of the area.

Posted by
20479 posts

and perhaps do a beer tasting?

Beer tasting? In the middle of wine country?
Back in the day, the old railway line that hugged the Mosel River got the nickname (in German of course) "The Little Tipplers Line". Wine makers would hand out free samples through the train car windows to passengers at all the little stops along the way. People rode the train just for the buzz.

We stayed at a Weingut in a town near Cochem. That is a B&B with a wine-making operation in the basement. The owner. Frau Reis, told us half the town emigrated in the late 1800's. "There are Reises in America, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Australia". Yeah, I know some in Wisconsin.

Posted by
6809 posts

Sounds like you might end up on the Rhine as well, but your ancestors are from the Mosel River (a Rhine tributary.) Cochem and most Mosel River towns are happy to help you with tasting experiences - wine tasting, that is. I've spent a lot of nights in Cochem over the years as it's a great base town for train travelers - but I've used a car there as well, and that's doable too. And yes, it's doable by yourselves, with a little help from the tourist office and other sources, perhaps.

This report came from some folks who left Luxembourg for the Mosel and stayed at an in-town winery in Cochem. It should provide you a good sense of what you might undertake yourselves in and around town. Not mentioned are Cochem's dramatic chairlift ride - which takes you to a precipitous lookout over town and valley - and the Bundesbankbunker attraction.

A "Planwagenfahrt" is a nice way for a group to get out into the vineyards for a few hours - and a nice way for winemakers to make a few extra Euros. This covered-wagon ride usually includes lunch with local ag products - and wine - and it's usually in German, but I imagine the tourist office could help you put something together in English with a local vintner. The TI office has its own covered-wagon + cruise program combo for German speakers:

(Contact the TI using the email address at the bottom of the page above if interested in their services.)

It's unclear how much time you have in the region but yes, the Rhine is a great place as well.

For accommodations, I'd suggest looking into apartments. You will find these literally everywhere you look in the Rhine/Mosel towns. That said, what matters now is what's available to you in just a few short weeks. The Cochem TI office might be helpful if you cannot find what you need at the usual hotel/apartment booking engines.

Beer is of course available in both the Rhine and Mosel valleys, despite their wine focus.

Posted by
2 posts

Sam -- I know beer vs. wine! My traveling companions are beer drinkers, wine doesn't agree with them!

And, Russ -- thank you so much for all that information! I already sent an email to the covered wagon place. Love all the suggestions and information. Do you have a favorite place to stay in Cochem? Looked at the Parkhotel...Traumblick...and the Filla Andre. Mom can't walk stairs, so a lift is necessary. Would love your suggestions....or from anyone familiar with the area.

If there is someone out there that can help us research our family history in Ulmen/Cochem and area, we would be happy to hire as a guide!

Posted by
4684 posts

The main beer company in that region (yes, people do drink it) is Bitburger, and it appears online that they do have a visitor centre if your relatives are interested. (Bitburg is a bit further north than your main region, in the Eifel hills. It was briefly notorious in the early 1980s because Ronnie visited a war ceremony there that turned out to have some SS graves.)