In 2001 I went to Koblenz in Germany twice: January and December. Both times it was to attend the Modern Talking Fanclub Party (totally awesome, btw). When my husband and I embarked on our driving holiday around Europe in 2012, we didn’t really know where we wanted to go for the most part, but I knew I wanted to return to Koblenz, so we scheduled a two-night stop there.
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Things are rather different when you’re no longer an 18-year-old who has scraped together all her savings in order to spend 20 hours alone on a bus to get there. I wish I could say the late September weather was an improvement over January/December time, but during our three-week journey, we were really lucky with the weather … except for when we were in Koblenz.
We stayed at a guest house/hotel in Güls, one of the suburbs, and took the bus into town. Somehow, I had completely forgotten Koblenz is just a big town like any other, but it was still exciting to see the sights again, because this time, I had the love of my life to show them to.
Things looked very similar.
Well, with the exception of a new shopping centre I don’t think was there last time, and that they now had a much easier way of getting up the mountain to Festung Ehrenbreitstein! Having previously walked up that 118 metre cliff, being able to take a cable car instead is a big improvement, especially when it’s raining.
We had an afternoon and a whole day in town, so the first afternoon we went around shops – and I popped into Reuffel bookstore to buy the autobiography of Thomas Anders. Where better to pick it up than in his home town, in the bookstore where I first found out I had won a dinner with him? 😀 (Later back at the hotel, I even started reading it before I remembered I don’t know enough German to understand most of it.)
Previously, I had only been up that rock because I stayed in the youth hostel there, but as it turned out, there were a lot of things to see up there – more than just the view! There were a number of different exhibits, including an art gallery, and we both felt it was money well spent going there, despite all the signs and things to read were almost exclusively written in German. You can get a combi-ticket for the fortress and the cable car (cheaper than buying them separately), so that’s what we did, without even knowing what to expect up there.
There were roof gardens up there. ROOF. GARDENS. Plural!
Back down in the town, I tried to find the restaurant Faustus so we could have a meal there (again, not being a poor teenager is a definite plus), but despite us being on the road where I thought it was, I failed to find it. After double-checking where it was supposed to be, it turned out to no longer be Faustus, but a takeaway pizzeria. So that’s a shame.
On the plus side, Koblenz turned out to have a nice Chinese lunch buffet restaurant almost overlooking the Moselle (Mosel), and a surprising amount of ice cream parlours. Oh by the way, the ice cream sundae that looks like a heap of spaghetti with ketchup is basically just ice cream they’ve put through a potato ricer to make it look cool. Our favourite ice cream place was this one, down by the Liebfrauenkirche: eGeLoSia. Lots of tasty flavours, and for a good price too.
Even though it was windy and rainy for the most part, it was nice to see Koblenz again after about eleven years, even though the almost mythical, magical Thomas Anders Town of my memories turned out to be a city like many others. Now it has a new sort of magic to it instead. One with ice cream parlours, travel kettles (“tea and coffee making facilities” is apparently a very British thing, hence why we decided to buy a kettle on day three of the journey), vinyards clinging to cliff-sides, and a very 1970s looking hotel bathroom.
How do they even get up there? And how do they pick grapes without falling off?
And no, we didn’t see the Weidung/Anders family out on the town (which would have been so much fun), but that wasn’t the reason for us going to Koblenz. We went there to see what it was like to visit as proper grown-up tourists, and see the sights. The answer is: still worth it. 🙂