If you're ever in the Frankfurt area, these three stops make an awesome day trip (and not awesome like everyone says everything is awesome--awesome like ACTUALLY INSPIRING AWE). Eltz Castle is a total fairy tale. Geierlay Bridge is a completely safe thrill. Cochem Castle is a dream perched high on a hill and surrounded by the most beautiful vineyards that couldn't be prettier than they were in the fall. We rented a car to see these spots and did them easily in one day.
^^Our first stop was Eltz Castle. We went when it was closed for the year, but it was still worth the visit just to see it from the outside. Plus, it wasn't busy so that was a bonus. There is a walkway down to the castle from the car park through gorgeous woods, but you should walk back up the paved road that the shuttle drives down, even if you are turned off by the incline (I was and I lived through it). That is where you get the view from above that everyone was asking me if I got with a drone!
^^Next on the agenda was Geierlay Bridge, but if you want to see the place without people, go here first thing! We were able to wait a bit to get a pic with a few people pretty far back in the background (I just blurred them out with an iPhone app, can you tell? I am a total novice at editing), but it would be really fun to have the place to yourself. Also, I think we drove illegally through someone's farm to get there, so park in the town and just follow the signs to walk there!
^^And finally, Cochem Castle. This town is super charming with its colorful buildings (if you have seen my instagram, it is no secret I am on the lookout for the colorful buildings everywhere I go), and there was a cute little market along the main road where we had a well balanced meal of crepes and pretzels. And those wineries were stunning and all along our drive. I don't know if I was allowed to walk through them, but that didn't stop me. Long live fall leaves and German castles!