Hiking the Moselle Valley
This past Sunday I had the privilege of joining Oma, Opa, and some friends on one of their weekly hiking trips. Oma had stopped by earlier in the week to invite me and prefaced it with something along the lines of “this is a pretty tough hike, we don’t go far in distance, but it’s very steep and dangerous.” I sort of nodded her off and said of course, I would love to join, completely underestimating the physical ability of my elders. Sunday rolls around and I show up in my finest Urban Outfitters flannel and fancy new hiking boots ready for what I assumed would be a fairly basic hike. An hour car ride later I’m staring up at a flag that Opa has pointed out as the end point of our hike thinking, “it’s a good thing I wore my warmest flannel for a strenuous hike in seventy degree weather” followed by “these people are awfully ambitious.” All thoughts aside, the group set out on what would turn out to be the best hike I’ve ever been on.
The narrow trail weaved through the vineyards, going up, then down, then back up again lacking any guard rail for safety. If anyone needed to pass, from either direction, the entire group would have to lie flat against the side of the hill for people to shimmy carefully by, before we could continue on our way. We used cables to steady ourselves while stepping down on pegs nailed into the side of the hill and climbed ladders to overcome inclines too steep to hike. Plants and rocks became my greatest asset, saving me from, what I can only imagine, would have been a very unpleasant descent off the side of the trail. I began seriously reconsidering the Doppel Royal Cheese Meal (large) that I had consumed the day before as I was being out-hiked by people three times my age.
We eventually reached our destination, wine and cake enticing me to the finish, and boy were those views worth every inch of dirty, sweaty, yet still stylish, flannel. Paraglider’s rained down from above, landing in the vineyards below, as if straight from a postcard. Four different parts of the Moselle River laid out in front of us winding down through the valley and disappearing inthe distance. We all gathered around a table to sip on Federweisser (not technically wine, but i’ll save that for another post),munch on plum cake, and enjoy the view before finishing the day off with a shot of Opa’s homemade raspberry schnapps (he’s the best).