On the RheinTerrassenWeg: A city stroll through Mainz

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We stroll through the old town, treat ourselves to a pint at the market breakfast and browse through the many small stores. Now that we no longer have to shoulder our backpacks, there is also room for one or the other typical Rheinhessen souvenir.

A pint at the market breakfast

The market square at the magnificent Kaiserdom is always a central meeting place in Mainz. On a Saturday, however, it's especially nice to stop by. The market stalls are just bending under crisp vegetables and fresh fruit. The smell of home-baked bread and French cheese wafts through the air. Long lines form in front of the meat sausage stands of regional butchers, and market revellers enjoy a strong espresso at the mobile coffee bar.

We realize that we are not just strolling through any old market, but through the weekly market in Mainz, at the latest at the large stand of the Mainz winegrowers on Liebfrauenplatz. The wine bar at the market breakfast has been a tradition for over 20 years. We treat ourselves to a cool white wine spritzer, enjoy the direct view of the cathedral and chat with Sigrid Lemb-Becker, the first chairwoman of the association. "Die Mainzer Winzer e. V.".

She remembers the beginnings of the wine bar in 1999. At that time, a few urban winemakers wanted to promote the importance of the regional cultural asset as "ambassadors of wine" and set an example in terms of wine tourism. The concept worked! In the meantime, 26 wineries from four Mainz districts take turns participating in the market breakfast from March to October. The only condition: They must own vineyards in the city area.

Lemb-Becker would never have dreamed that the concept "would become such a success story. There are regulars who stop by the market breakfast every Saturday. Like Horst Hünerkopf, honorary chairman of the association. He is particularly pleased that - inspired by the Mainz winegrowers - there are now Market breakfasts with wine tasting gives. That is the best compliment you can pay them.

Tip: You have a great view of the hustle and bustle of the Mainz weekly market from the second floor of the café and restaurant Wilma wonder, which is located directly on the market.

To the Schoppen in the old town

Who doesn't know the Mainzelmännchen, Mainz 05 or the Mainz carnival? In no other Rhine-Hessian city can you find so many souvenirs with cult status. The "mainz STORE" at the market offers the largest selection of souvenirs, plus plenty of digital information options and a vinotheque.

From the market, we stroll leisurely toward the heart of Mainz's old town. Augustinerstraße and its side streets invite us to browse and linger with small boutiques, cafés and wine taverns. We stroll along the pedestrian zone and look at the displays of the stores, stroll in here and buy a souvenir there.

The beautifully decorated shop windows compete with the historic facades of their buildings, which deserve no less attention. Beautiful half-timbered houses, red sandstone arches and ornate decorations transport us a bit into the past of this street, which already played a central role in the Middle Ages.

The picturesque cherry orchard branches off from Augustinerstrasse. Although we don't find any cherry trees on this square, we admire the impressive architecture here, too - for example, the house "Zum Aschaffenberg," built around 1500, the oldest half-timbered house in Mainz, parts of which are still preserved. We listen to the quiet splashing of the fountain and enjoy a short break from the hustle and bustle.

Rheinhessen fresh roasted

At the southern end of Augustinerstraße, there is a seductive smell of freshly ground coffee. Our noses lead us to the coffee bar of the Coffee roaster Müller. We have already encountered this coffee several times during our hike on the RheinTerrassenWeg, for example in the Café Erni & Illi in Nierstein. High time, then, that we now familiarize ourselves extensively with its history.

The beginnings of the roastery are closely linked to the weekly market in Mainz. The mother of owner Dominic Müller, herself an enthusiastic weekly market shopper, always missed only one thing there: good espresso. So she decided without further ado to buy a vintage Citroën HY, convert the van and offer coffee from it at the market. And since she couldn't find a roast that tasted 100 percent to her liking, the purchase of a 15-kilo roaster followed shortly thereafter. There was still some space next to the garage of the HY in Bodenheim, Rheinhessen. That was in 2007.

In addition to the coffee mobile at the weekly market in Mainz and the roastery in Bodenheim, there are now two other locations in Mainz. The coffee shop in Fischtorstraße was followed in 2017 by this coffee bar in the old town, which is furnished in the art nouveau style of the 1920s and exudes a very special charm. We get expert advice and try a coffee speciality tailored to our respective preferences. "Rheinhessian freshly roasted" tastes good and gives us new energy for the rest of our stroll through the city.

For an ice cream to N'eis

It's only a stone's throw from the coffee bar to the Rhine. What could be better than watching the hustle and bustle on the water on a beautiful summer day? Exactly: doing that with a cool ice cream in your hand!

How good that N'ice has renovated an old weir house on the banks of the Rhine and since then has been offering award-winning ice cream made from regional ingredients. Anyone expecting a classic ice cream parlor will be disappointed. And that's a good thing, because where else can you try such creative varieties as rice pudding, honey rosemary, Riesling or - yes - Spundekäs'?

Before Anke Carduck and Julia von Dreusche became ice cream makers in 2013, they worked in management consulting and advertising. The success of N'Eis was virtually pre-programmed, even though word of the daily fresh ice cream production spread almost exclusively (and very appropriately) by word of mouth. By the way, it all started at the idyllic Gartenfeldplatz in Mainz's Neustadt district, and that's exactly where we're headed at the end of our Mainz stroll.

Welcome to the wine room apartment

Besides a Mainzelmännchen, small souvenirs and a pack of coffee, there is still some room in the backpack. Room for a bottle of wine and in addition we look for the Wine room apartment in the new town of Mainz.

Since 2012, the "alcohol shop" has been offering not only a well-stocked selection of beer and gin, but above all young, modern wines from all over Rhineland-Palatinate. With this offer, the team around owner Michael Reinfrank wants to appeal especially to those who value uncomplicated wine enjoyment without technical terms and empty phrases. The winemakers themselves regularly come to the wine room apartment and invite you to a relaxed tasting of their creations. But even otherwise, there are always a few bottles chilled for tasting.

Our choice naturally falls on a wine from Rheinhessen, which tastes fruity and fresh and which reminds us of our eventful hike on the balcony at home, it will remind us of our eventful hike along the RheinTerrassenWeg as well as the beautiful conclusion in Mainz.

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I write as an external author for the Rheinhessen blog. For this I have put on my hiking boots, packed the camera and tracked down great impressions and stories of the region on the new Hiwweltouren, which I like to share with you.

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