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Today was a terrific Tuesday!

I went on an outing with some lovely ladies from the AIWCC. We took a train from Cologne to Dernau in the Ahr valley. This is a wine region and so we strolled along part of the Rotweinwanderweg, the Red Wine Trail, as far as Mayschoss. (There are some lovely pictures here and here but the website is just in German). We enjoyed a lunch of soups and salads with a glass of local wine here…German restaurant in vineyards…and then took a train from Mayschoss back to Cologne. The route we walked is not strenuous, and not really very long but it does make for a nice day out.

This year (yes, we have a lovely Walk & Talk Leader who organises this annually) the foliage was still very green and there were fat bunches of grapes hanging on many of the vines. black grapes hanging on vines The terraces are steep and we wondered how they actually harvest the grapes – can they use machines or must they harvest by hand? vineyards on hillsideFortunately, this year, there were some men working there (with small shears the size of paper scissors!) so we asked about the steepness.

  • No, they don’t wear special shoes, just ones with good tread.
  • It’s like mountaineering – it takes practice but they start young.
  • Yes, it can get a bit ‘exciting’ on the steep parts but even an eighty-year-old can work on the flat sections (and I suspect that in some families they do).

rows of vines on hillside

The man kind enough to answer our questions explained that the previous day’s rainy weather wasn’t good for the grapes at this stage as they’d started to rot and red wines need the skins of the grapes to give them the colour. He then gave us a couple of small bunches to taste. Yum!

So what does all this have to do with knitting? Well, a couple of the women are in our Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group and I did knit on a sock for a bit each way!

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