Monday 22 August 2011

Base Jumping from the Mosel River in Winter

Base on the Mosel River for the European Winter and jump all over the Continent on cheap off-season flights to lively cities and Mediterranean 'warm-spots'.

Australian owned My Europe Base offers delightful self-contained apartments in the vibrant Rheinland wine-maker town of Zell-Mosel, close to Ryanair's Hahn Airport hub and within 2-3 hours reach of busy Frankfurt and Cologne Airports.

Half-way from the North Sea to the Alps and with an Inter City rail station nearby at Bullay, Zell-Mosel is a springboard to see the Continent.

My Europe Base apartments are of 3+ and 4 star standard, fully equipped and range in size from studio up to 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom.

Winter rates start at a very affordable $200 AUD a week for a 4 week stay or $180 AUD a week on a 13 week 'sabbatical' stay in a Studio apartment between January and March 2012. Central heating, utilities, weekly linen and final cleaning are all included. Web access is available to guests through mobile web sticks.

From nearby Hahn Airport, Ryanair's flights are bargains in the winter months and can whisk you away for a warm and sunny break to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Spain, Portugal, Majorca, South of France, Sicily, Italy and Greek Islands. Cities easily reached include Milan, Budapest, Riga, Oslo, Stockholm, Edinburgh and London. Adding to the choices are Frankfurt and Koln-Bonn Airports.

Hahn Airport is easily reached by local bus and is also the most convenient nearby point for car rental.

Zell is the number 2 vintner town in the Mosel Valley and stays very much open through winter with wine-cellars, cafes, restaurants and delicatessans. Local wines carry the 'Schwartz Katz' (Black Cat) label and sparkling Rieslings dominate.

The restorative warm spa waters of historic Bad Bertrich are just 15 km away.

Bus services cover the region and access the Mosel Rail Line at nearby Bullay. Trains run either to the cities of Trier or Koblenz and include Inter City services.

Castles, cathedrals and abbeys are numerous throughout Rheinland and neighbouring Luxembourg, Belgium and France's provinces of Lorraine and Alsace.

Winter is a good time for city visits without the crowds and museum queues. 20 cities lie within 150 kms of Zell.

Cross country ski fields can be reached on regional bus services and downhill resorts are within 200 km. The European Alps are about 400 km away.

Snow is possible in Zell but typically melts within a few days. The Mosel Valley claims to be the sunniest area of Germany and in the middle of winter, January day time temperatures average 5 C. Nights average 0 C. A nice day may reach 10 C with sunshine. The plateaus and high points in the region can be a lot more snowy. Late March 2011 saw temperatures top an unseasonal 20 C.

Carnivale fever takes hold over the Rheinland from late January into early February and is something to experience.

My Europe Base came about in 2009 when Ralph and Olga Jackson of Toowoomba found the perfect combination of pretty apartment house, superb location and infinite travel possibilities. They bought the house and created the concept – opening the door for Aussies and Kiwis to see the Continent in a new way.

The website has information and images on the apartments, Zell, the region, travel tips and links.

The apartments and any guest needs are looked after by former house owner Elsbeth, a cheerful, well-connected local lady who lives on site.

Ralph Jackson describes the advantages: “With My Europe Base, Australians can live the Continental life with the comforts of home and afford to stay a lot longer. Guests can take their notepad computer so they can research and book their further Europe trips online. People can travel as much or as little as they like without being stuck to a fixed schedule. By taking trips out from the base, guests can travel lighter – leaving their big bags in Zell and making the most of Europe's low-cost flight networks. Altogether it's a world of difference to travelling Europe the old way for Aussies. This is living in the heart of Europe - with great convenience, choice, affordability and freedom for travel by all means, in all directions!”

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