Wanderlust Journey

Wanderlust Journey

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Adventures in Zell

August 13th · 2 Comments

Our night in Zell was the only night the entire trip that we didn’t pre-book a hotel, but that didn’t really matter. Tourist travel through Germany, and we suspect all of Europe, was down with the economic doldrums and rooms were plentiful.

We figured that in the worst case scenario we could just walk up to a B&B and ask for lodging. They are so frequent and none of them were fully booked, so there would be no opportunity to rip you off. If you didn’t like the price, you could walk down the street elsewhere.

After spending several nights in several B&Bs along the Rhine and Mosel, I don’t think many of the owners are even capable of ripping you off. It seems as though operating a B&B is more like a hobby than a business. Prices are more than reasonable, service is always very good and the owners are really really nice! If we were being ripped off, I wish we’d be ripped off like that more often.

The only “scary” part of the trip was when we arrived in Bullay, which was a stop on the region train’s line. From there, we needed to get on a H Bus to Zell, which was about ten kilometers away.

By the time we made it to Bullay, we thought we missed the last bus to Zell. It wouldn’t have been a problem because we could’ve called a cab… except there were no pay phones (that we could find) and we had no cell phone, since our attempt to recharge our Orange pay as you go phone had failed. And even if we did have a phone, we had no number to call!

Fortunately, we saw a lone couple sitting for the last bus of the day on their way to another small “city” on the Mosel River. As Martha tried to speak German, we quickly learned they could speak English and were from Stockholm! They tried their best to help us and we thought we were goners when their bus pulled up.

That’s when the wife asked the bus driver if they went to Zell… and the bus did! Yay! Winner winner chicken dinner! And to make matters better, a phrase you don’t hear everyday, they bought an all-day pass good for five people, which meant we could ride for free.

Why did a couple have an all-day pass good for five people? We’re not entirely sure but their brief explanation was that you could buy an all day family pass and that included five people, which was cheaper than them buying individual bus tickets and cheaper than them buying individual all day tickets. I’ve never heard of a bus ticket fee schedule set up like that but I wasn’t going to argue a free ride!

Front of Gastehaus Eberhart

Front of Eberhart

When we arrived in Zell, we made our way down to Gastehaus Eberhart, the place we had called from the tourist information center in Bacharach. We chose it because it was one of the places listed in Rick Steve’s Germany, Austria, and Switzerland guide.

As Rick Steves’ promised, the rooms were quite spacious, the owners were gregarious, and the whole place was adorable. Zell is known for their “Black Cat” Reisling wine and this place had its fair share of bottles. We got in late, around eight, but the owner was very accommodating and very patient with us.

Here are a picture of the room:

Eberhart B&B Room

Eberhart B&B Room

And the view of the Mosel River:

View of Mosel from Eberhart

View of Mosel from Eberhart

Afterwards, we walked around to find a place to eat. We wandered a bit, admiring the Mosel River, and then settled on a fantastically scented Vietnamese Restaurant named Vink. Being a bit tired of Currywurst and other wursts, a little Vietnamese gave us the variety were sorely needed.

Martha had the beef and coconut curry dish while I had a beef sauteed with onions, Champignon, peppers, and basil. Both were absolutely delicious. I’m not sure if the food was just that good or the flavorfulness, contrasted by several meals of wurst and cold cuts, hit the spot perfectly. Either way, one thing we can’t dispute is the friendliness of the waitress/owner. One nice touch was that the bill came with glasses of plum wine!

From there, we stopped at a local hotel to try to get a drink as they were closing up shop. They wouldn’t seat us but they would sell us an opened cold bottle of wine! Instead of paying nine euros, we paid a mere four and walked up and down the banks of the Mosel enjoying our Reisling.

Dusk on the Mosel

Dusk on the Mosel

Tomorrow, on to Cochen for a day of relaxation!

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Sounds fantastic! We didn’t book anything in advance last year and had no problems finding accommodations – lots of room available. We had a car however so it was easier to look around.

    The smaller “guest houses” we stayed in definitely had friendly owners.

  • 2 Jim // Aug 14, 2009 at 3:23 am

    With the recession going on travel has been down all over Europe so I wasn’t terribly worried we wouldn’t be able to find something, but it was still a little nerve racking at the bus station when we didn’t know how we’d get to Zell!