Thursday, October 3, 2019

Camino Mosel - Last entry

Trier, the oldest town in Germany. Roman, and beyond its gates lies the barbaric Germanic people (back then of course). The black port (Porta Nigra), roman baths, amphitheatre, etc.. all the trappings of civilized living.
Also the birthplace of Trier's most famous son Karl Marx (even though he spents most of his adult life elsewhere, particularly in England). China gifted the statue, and while not sure how Trier really thought about it, it is at least an added attraction for tourist from China. 😄

Camino Mosel - Day 7 - Trier

Clocked 35 km. Basically did 2 stages today. Today's stage is supposed to be only to Schweich, just 15 km (14 km clocked). From Schweich tomorrow's stage is 22 km (21 km clocked) to the Church of St. Matthias (St. Matthew) in Trier where this Camino ends. I decided to just keep going since 15 km is really a short distance as I was already in Schweich at 11:20 am!
So after a sandwich and coffee in Schweich I push on, invigorated by the coffee. But not long after after Schweich I saw the Trier city sign, which meams the towns  from now are all suburbs of Trier. Plus big highways can be spotted from the hills, still good walking in the hills but the towns are getting more urban. Decided to switch mode and finish as fast as I can, just push further, maybe next town (no potential lodging here), how about a bit further, and before I know it at 35 km I finally arrive at the Church of St. Matthias around 3:40 pm 😲
The end point is all the way in the south of the city, not traversing through the city but walking along the river's edge, pass the Roman bridge, and finally a left turn to the church. Got the final stamp from the church's souvenir shop and found that they don't offer a place to stay (unlike the info on the internet). 😬
The man there printed directions for a hostel in the center Altstadt (old city). That's another additonal 2.5 km from Trier south to the center for this already dead tired walker. I must have gone up at least 5 hills today getting here.
The hostel in the old city is a perfect location though and very central, Porta Nigra, the statue of Karl Marx, food, shops, etc  I'll write an epilogue on this blog tomorrow. Now able to rest (today's the longest distance for me on this Camino by combining 2 stages).
This is the end of the Mosel Camino. About 160 + km. From here it's about another 2000 + km to Santiago de Compostela if one is up to it? Nah.. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Camino Mosel - Day 6 - Klüsserath

Short 18 km (20 km clocked). The weather looks more menacing today. 8.2 km later got into Klausen. The church here is the second after St. Matthias in Trier for local pilgrimages. Because of that there is a pilgrim lodge. Why did they do it in the middle of the stage? If I've known earlier I would havr walked the extra distance here. Anyway moving on and it started to rain when I was in the open fields. Finally I have to take out the poncho for the first time, then again for only 10 minutes when it stopped and I got into the woods. There are many rest spot along the way for people with tents, this one even has a fireplace in the middle. After that the trail diverted from the usual route, even backtrack a little. Found out later that rather than just go down into Klüsserath, this detour present a panoramic view.
Klüsserath seems like a working town. Lots of grape processing. The information office was closed and from the billboard of the town got myself a gästezimmer/weinstube run by an old couple. The only place to eat here is a pizza place and a restaurant servicing the trailer park. The former is closed on Tuesday and the latter just closed. 😮
Ask the couple for option and the husband drove me down the street to a small restaurant that wasn't in the listing. Phrew...
The people on the next table were eating what look like pizza. I've seen that in the past few days and wonder what it was. It's called flammkuchen, apparently a local dish here. The crust is very thin and the cheese are creamier.
Beginning to enjoy this pattern as the daily distance are short. Shower, breakfast, walk, lunch snack, walk again, arrive around 2 pm, shower, siesta, dinner, rinse and repeat.... 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Camino Mosel - Day 5 - Osann-Monzel

18 km today. Make that plus 3 km for me. More on that later.
Had breakfast with Ulrike, the lady that runs the pilgrim lodge. She rents the place from the church and this is her business. She runs it from Easter to end October (no heating). She told me she will have a big group staying from Wednesday because of a local festival or something. That's how she manage, and not only for pilgrims. I was just lucky to have the whole place to myself. 😆
This is the first time on this camino that I interacted with someone other than just briefly. Before I know it, it was already 9 am, time to move on.
Climbing is a guarantee here after breakfast and from the view on top of the hill looking back at the church/lodge. It is a nice refuge. Incidentally I was told that the church next door is one of few Protestant church in this region. The Latin School (now the lodge run by Ulrike) was originally meant to educated the Catholics here so they can read the bible for themselves (no sure how much success they have. 🤔)
Anyway, this is indeed grape harvesting time.
A good walk among the green and down to Bernkastel-Kues, with a castle on top (same pattern again). Walking along the river for a change to Lieser before heading up and walking along vineyard path with the Mosel below. A little different from the past few days seeing the Mosel only when coming down or up to the forest. Half way at the viewpoint bench I stopped for the sandwich. Nice and slow to Osann-Monzel, confident that the lodge info Ulrike gave me would be available. When I found it, it seems to be like a mini apartments unit. Tried to call the number but number is not working. A lady going in (a guest in one of the units) helped me ring the main bell (probably the owner's unit). Nothing.
Another decision again. There is a hotel near right on the route. Osann-Monzel is above the Mosel and tiny Kesten is down by the river. The hotel sign says the reception will open only at 3 pm. Rather than wait an hour maybe I'll walk 1.4 km down to Kesten to try my luck. If it fails another 1.4 km uphill. 😣
In Keston, the only guest house (weinstube) is not even letting out rooms. 😳
So it's up again and hoping there is vacancy. Phrew... as I am writing this in my room now.
Osann-Monzel (Osann the north part, Monzel the south where the route cuts) seems like a working town. Didn't see any restaurant nearby, guess dinner will be at the hotel.