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The Moselsteig Day 1: Town of the Black Cat

Another week, another hike. We are now tackling a route called the Moselsteig (Mosel Climb) which is a 24 day, 248 mile hike along picturesque German towns long the Mosel River.

But, we’re only doing three of those 24 days, at least this time. Again, we’re borrowing a hike from Cassandra Overby’s Explore Europe on Foot which takes a segment of the full route.

For Laurie and I, this hike is a visit to our past. From 1988-‘91 we were stationed in Germany and took many day trips to this area to taste wine, explore castles, go to wine fests, walk, etc. This is a chance to explore in-depth places we only sampled before.

Last week the weather forecast for the hike looked bleak—as in rain. But today was excellent hiking weather with temperatures in the 60s and a mix of sun and overcast skies. We hiked mainly on the hillsides above the Mosel river which is one of the most sinuous rivers I’ve ever seen. As you can see from the map of our route today at the left it doubled back on itself. Trev’s panorama shot below gives you an idea of the beauty.

When we first moved to Germany over three decades ago, I remember turning to Laurie a month after we got there and saying, “If I see one more picturesque German village, I’m going to throw up.” Fortunately we adjusted, and it has held, because this is a hotbed of beautiful German towns.

Zell, the one we’re staying in tonight has a special history. The town was founded by the Romans in the first century and has a thriving wine industry. It is known internationally for Zeller Schwarze Katz wine. According to legend, a prospective wine buyer in the 1700s was tasting wine in a Zell cellar and unsure of which one he should buy. A black cat climbed up on one of the barrels, arched its back, and hissed, as if protecting the vintage. The buyer took it as a sign that it was the best, and bought it. The locals have made the best of the legend and Zeller Schwarze Katz wine is sold worldwide—complete with a picture of a hissing cat.

Lots of fun pics in Laurie’s Relive video today. Weather forecast for tomorrow looks even better so tune in for more—unless you’re tired of picturesque German villages.

2 thoughts on “The Moselsteig Day 1: Town of the Black Cat”

  1. Morlene Mitchell

    Thank you for taking us along with you! I remember visiting Trier and towns along the Mosel (from a river boat, not a hike, alas) about 20 years ago.
    A bit farther along the Mosel, will you be hiking up the hill and through the woods to see Burg Eltz?

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