Last Monday evening we returned from our first trip to the Mosel and thought that others who are planning a trip might like to know how we got on. We started at Trier. There was a queue of traffic as we entered the town and police flagged us down and said "Camping?" When we said, "Yes", they pointed out the direction to take. All the car parks had height restrictions and so it had to be the aire/stellplatz. Once you drive through the barrier you have to pay to get out again, so we decided to stay overnight. We intended to walk into Trier but were told that the walk to the tourist information office and Porta Nigra was about 5 kilometres there and back, so that was a no-no. It was Saturday afternoon and, just as we got the chairs set up outside the ‘van, very loud music started from the adjacent fairground. It went on until well after midnight - not a good start! We don’t know if the fair is there all the time or just at weekends. The next day we moved on to Pölich, decided we didn't like the aire there, so went to a delightful campsite (Moselcamping "Pölicher Held") where we were pitched right next to the Mosel. It was an ideal spot and the weather was warm and sunny. We liked it so much that we stayed for 2 days. The proprietors were lovely and they had a small restaurant/bar. We wanted to have a look at Trittenheim and to fill up with diesel but the main road – where the filling station was located – was closed. We and several others tried to find another way in but every time we drove back to the main road it was barriered off. We gave up! We went on to Bernkastel-Kues but motorhomes were not allowed in their car parks. At the tourist information office we were told that there is a stellplatz for motorhomes but you are not allowed to stay overnight. We got details of a campsite “Campingplatz Kueser Werth” and went there. The next morning we drove to the motorhome car park and there was a pleasant walk along the river to the town centre, going past the ruins of Landshut Castle high on the hill on the opposite side of the Mosel. Bernkastel-Kues is very picturesque with a large number of beautiful medieval buildings. You can get boat trips from here but the day was not warm enough for us to sit on deck so we decided our boat trip would have to wait for another day further along the Mosel. We drove on through Traben-Trarbach and came to a stellplatz at Enkirch. Lots of motorhomes but not one English. Nice people here though and one particularly helpful old German gentleman who, although we had some difficulty understanding him as he spoke no English and our German is limited, insisted on helping us with electric, water and rubbish! It rained all night in Enkirch and was still raining the next morning when we said goodbye to our new German friend, so we never did get to see the village. Cochem was another town on our must-see list but again, they didn’t want motorhomes parked in the town and we eventually got a space near the railway station. We walked into the town but were a little disappointed – perhaps we didn’t go to the right areas but the weather wasn’t great so we didn’t stay long. Next on our list was Burg Eltz (Eltz Castle) but we couldn’t find an aire nearby and ended up at the Campingplatz zur Burg Eltz. It was run by a German couple and the wife spoke excellent English. The husband did not and decided to ignore us. It seems that most of the work was done by his wife and maintenance was not in the husband’s vocabulary as the site was very run down. The next day our Sat Nav took us on winding roads up and up into the hills to reach the car park which was above Eltz Castle. Then there is a walk down through the forest to the castle. The signpost said that the walk is 1.1 kms but it seemed much further. However, suddenly there was a gap in the trees and you could see the magnificent castle. People walking alongside us gasped, as did we, at the sight. As our American friends say, “It is awesome!” The castle has been owned by the same family since it was built in the 12th century. It has been maintained to a very high standard and, unlike other castles in the area, it has never been damaged by the various wars in that part of Germany. We went on a guided tour, led by a very knowledgeable English-speaking German guide. It was one of the highlights of our visit to the Mosel Valley. When we finished the tour we found out that we could get a mini-bus to the car park for 2 euros each, rather than climbing back uphill. What a good idea! We were running out of time, so our next stop had to be Koblenz and we arrived around 5.30 pm at the Knaus Campingpark. It’s not cheap to camp there but it’s in a great position by Deutsches Eck (German Corner) where the Mosel river meets the mighty Rhine. It was amazing watching huge cargo vessels navigate around the Corner. We were pitched opposite the monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I (Emperor William), which was on the other side of the river. The next morning we drove into Koblenz but, not having any tourist info, we didn’t find anything of particular interest and so we set off down the Rhine to find another stellplatz to stay. Our tour had started in Dunkerque and we travelled through France, Belgium, (Ghent was wonderful) Holland (Valkenburg where we had spent a memorable Millennium New Year’s Eve 15 years ago), Germany (through the Mosel Valley to Koblenz and then down alongside the Rhine), Luxembourg (we stopped off at Luxembourg City and had lunch in the ‘van about 200 yards from The Grand Ducal Palace) and then on through France for the Dunkerque ferry back to England. We probably tried to do too much in the time we had available (we usually do!) but it was a very enjoyable trip. What we did learn is that it doesn’t matter what nationality people are, the majority are extremely nice people and very welcoming and helpful. Our only regret was that we didn’t get our boat trip as the weather didn’t improve until we left Rudesheim on the Rhine.