(Taken from Urban Dictionary)
Sinlaws: The parents of your live-in boyfriend/girlfriend.
I know it’s not the case in all relationships, but I’m very fortunate that I get along with Jeroen’s family rather well. We go have brunch with his mom and dad/sister and brother-in-law almost every Sunday and sometimes random nights of the week if it fits into the schedule. It’s one thing I really appreciate about the Belgian culture- people seem to be very tight knit with their families.
For Ria’s birthday, the kids pitched in to do a weekend trip to Neumagen-Dhron, Germany. I really knew nothing of the area ahead of time, but was informed that it is in the Mosel area, famous for its white wines. Cheers to that.
We took off on a Friday morning, Jeroen and me in one car and his sister, Hans, and the parents in the other. It took a little under four hours to get there; we reached our cute little hotel, put our bags in our rooms, then went out for a little exploration.
The city of Nuemagen-Dhorn is rather small, with a little over 2,000 residents. It was a beautiful area, though, surrounded by greenery from all the vineyards and a clear blue reflection from the river Dhorn. We walked along the river for awhile, then turned around to do a tasting at one of the little wine shops near the riverbed.
For such a popular wine region, I think I was expecting a bit more, but the wine was really not anything to write home about. Or write on the blog about, so I’ll stop there.
The next day we ate breakfast and then made our way a little farther down the river, in order to hit some hiking trails. We spent the morning literally hiking through vineyards, high enough on the hillside that it gave us some pretty spectacular views of the village below. The trail wasn’t very strenuous, but it was also not very well marked and there were times we didn’t know if we were still in the correct area or merely trespassing. One of the most interesting moments was when we had to climb over a small railing, then walk down a steep descent, holding a rope for balance.
After the hike, which lasted a few hours, we rewarded ourselves with a beer at a local roadside stand. We then continued our journey back to Neumagen, stopping to eat lunch alongside the river.
We had to make it back by early afternoon, however, because we had previously scheduled ourselves on a boat ride on the Dhorn River. We rushed to the meeting point, a little anxious on whether we would make it in time. Then, we relaxed as we realized we had to watch a fifteen minute movie before we could take off. A 15 minute movie… in German. Have fun, everyone. I’m gonna pet this dog that’s sitting in the corner.
The boat ride was relaxing and peaceful. A man on the boat was selling local white wines, so we had a glass or two while we coasted through the serene waters. It was an old fashioned boat that seated about 20 people comfortably (or as comfortably as a wooden boat can seat), and it was completely full. The ride was rather uneventful, but I suggest doing one if you’re in the region because it gives you a nice view of the vineyards and villages from a different perspective
On our last day, we decided to visit Trier on our way home, which is the oldest city in Germany. It’s also a much larger city than the one we had been in, with around 100,000 residents, and quite a few tourists.
I really liked the city. It had an old, rustic vibe to it, and it’s always interesting to me as an American to see architecture and buildings older than our country itself. Some points of interest were the castle at entrance to the city (Porta Nigra), the Palace of Trier, and the Cathedral, though just walking around provided some great photo opportunities.
All in all, I would say that the weekend with the sin-laws was a giant success. You might even say it was… sincredible.
THE TRAVELIN’ SONG: Schatzi Schenk Mir Ein Foto (Mickie Krause). Since we were traveling to Germany, Jeroen thought it was appropriate to only listen to German shlager music for the entire car ride. I thought I could escape it all by taking a long nap, but let’s just say this much: I don’t know any German, but I know almost all the words to this song.
BUDGET: $200 for the weekend, mostly for our hotel room and food.
TIP FOR TRAVELERS: Book your tickets for your boat ride in advance or early in the day to ensure there will be room. We tried to book for the first day, but all the spots were already filled up, and we were there in the off season.
DEFINITELY CHECK OUT: The city of Trier. It’s the oldest city and Germany, and a fun place to visit for a day.