I didn’t know what to expect from our first-ever Mosel Valley tours. The setup was a bit strange as I had done all the town and hotel research while two of our guides, Sabine and Christian, had done the route research. On most new tours I do all the research myself. More importantly, right before the two July tours we had to shuffle around guides, primarily because I broke my leg playing soccer in June and wasn’t sure I would make it to the Mosel Valley at all.
The Mosel Valley follows the Mosel river as it starts in France (Moselle in French), runs along the border of Luxembourg, and then into Germany where it ultimately flows into the Rhine River at Koblenz. It is a beautiful valley known for its winding curves, small quaint towns, and steep vineyard-covered hillsides.
For us, the Mosel is also the location of an incredible paved bike path that runs from Thionville in France – on both sides of the river for a total distance of 535.5 kilometers – down to Koblenz.
The really cool thing about the Mosel bike path for me as a tour organizer is that we can pick which side of the river offers the best skating and biking and use that path. Christian and Sabine during the tour research divided the entire route into segments based on the many bridges, scouted the path on each side, and chose the best path for our participants. During the tour, participants didn’t need any “route directions” other than one of three items: skate on the left, skate on the right, or cross the bridge to the other side. It was a perfect system.
We had a total of 50 participants in two tours last month and 40 of these skaters and bikers were Zephyr alumni. These groups have had experience with every skating and biking tour we offer. Yet, the excellent hotels, beautiful scenery, and very good bike paths garnered comments from this group:
- Loved it! The skating was superb, the hotels great, the food was nice and the group was fun.
- Breathtaking scenery in Germany. I had no idea Germany was so beautiful. The images of the hills and vineyards come back to me in wonderful unexpected moments.
- Everything was so well-planned, organized, pleasant, convenient and fun! Very little stress about the route compared to other trips. I hope this one stays on the schedule for a long time.
- We voted and this is now one of our favorite international trips and we would do it again.
- It was one of our best ever: the folks we were with, the terrain, the boat ride. and the towns we got to sightsee in. Everything was superb.
- In one word–fantastic.
- Please keep this trip on the books. All skaters and bikers should have the opportunity to savor what we all did this year.
- To all at Zephyr, thank you for providing me with a lifetime of memories.
Keep in mind, those are comments from some very well-traveled Zephyr alumni. I consistently heard comments like “we’ll come back on this trip again”, “this was our favorite trip”, and “this beats Switzerland and The Netherlands”.
And my broken leg? My outstanding guides covered for me on the first tour with Sabine, Christian, and Terry handling all the tour and pre-tour logistics without me. I was able to fly in for the final dinner and then join the second group – on a bike with my leg in a brace. Thanks to all – participants and guides – who made this a fantastic tour. For those of you reading this blog, come join us next year!
(Thanks to participant Jaime Rojo for the photos)