Central Germany

Forests, castles, majestic rivers… Central Germany has the lot. It’s an amazing touring destination

Even though I know it’s coming, the river still catches me out. We roll through the trees, the road twisty and rewarding as I’ve come to expect, throwing out a hairpin as it drops… and suddenly there it is. The Moselle, sitting in the bottom of its broad valley. We spiral down to meet it, joining the broad B49 running along the banks.

This is not haring-around territory. This is laid-back riding – not quite so laid-back as the boats cruising elegantly along the river, but a definite change of pace from the twistier roads we’ve been riding. Terraces of vines loom above us, the sun beats down and it is all just very relaxing. Then, just as I think it can’t get any more scenic, we round a corner to see the Reichsburg looming above us.

Some stunning views are to be had when riding alongside the Moselle river

Some stunning views are to be had when riding alongside the Moselle river

The huge castle dominates the landscape at Cochem. We don’t have time to visit it today… but perhaps it’s time for lunch?

After eating we leave Cochem on the 'Panoramastraße', climbing back up the steep hill above the river. It’s lined with trees and at first I wonder if the Germans have really grasped the concept of 'panorama'. But then the trees part to give the most dramatic view possible down over the Moselle valley, the Reichsburg now below us and looking even more like a fairytale castle.

Then we’re off, through the trees, on flowing roads to a place that’s the stuff of more-modern legends: the Nürburgring. The dilemma is the same as it ever is – should I do a lap? In fact, the circuit is closed to the public when we get there and I think secretly both Weeble and I are a little relieved: whatever cars are being caned round it sound seriously fast and I’m not sure I’d fancy sharing a track with them. Anyway, the roads here are amazing enough.