Just a few more books to go... so let's start with a relatively short one. Now, I'm strictly guessing at this, but I think that Idee Media must have been working very closely with the government agencies responsible for the entire Moselsteig project in the first place. Their books have the look and feel of official guides; they're written in a very clear, almost marketing type language... and they look great. Tons of beautiful pictures that really make you want to put the dang book down, find your boots, and get on the trail.

Around the same time that they published their big book, Moselsteig: A Beautiful Day's Hiking, they came out with a smaller, pocket version of the same thing. So what does the pocket edition get you? Well, first of all, there's a pretty spiffy map included that gives a very fine overview of the entire trail. It's printed on a separate piece of paper and not bound to the book, so you won't feel bad about removing it. It's not well suited as a map to actually use while hiking, but it is excellent if you're trying to get a feel for where the trail goes and what towns exist at the beginning and edge of every stage.

There are QR codes in the book, but they're so-so at best. For example, the QR code for the very first stage doesn't actually take you to the start of the trail proper; instead, it takes you to the town's train station, which is still a kilometer or so away from the trail. Then again, I suppose you could argue that that's by design - if you're taking the train for a day hike from Trier, you would of course start at Perl Station, and I'm sure that the trail's signed from there. No big deal.

As with the Hikeline book, this one gives percentages of dirt/other types of paths you'll be walking, which is fine; the maps, however, don't show you exactly what the trail's like along the way. For me, this isn't a big deal.

Every chapter lists a few places to stay, basic public transportation information, and a few selected tidbits about things that you might want to see in the area (although not necessarily on the trail). This gives it more the feel of a book that's most useful to a family with a car who are doing the trail as day hikes from a week's vacation house rental somewhere in the area, I find.

As for the writing style, well, it's easy to read and pretty clear. It's one of those books that tries to describe the as would walk it, which isn't all that useful to me, but who knows? You might like it. Here's a sample:

We now find ourselves in the vicinity of the Hochmosel├╝bergang construction site. [Ed. note: this is the crazy high bridge they're building near Zeltingen-Rachtig. It's unclear if it's a great idea, and some locals are worried that it's going to negatively affect grapes grown in the area. To be determined...] The Moselsteig will follow a detour for the duration of its construction, which we will describe in the following section. After the bridge construction concludes, the Moselsteig will turn left here and go through the Zeltingen-Rachtig forest.

Yup, not exactly helpful, but I suppose it's more interesting if you're just "hiking" the trail by reading about it instead of actually doing it? Hard to say.

At any rate, I don't know, but this book feels more like a marketing exercise than anything else. There's a moderate amount of advertising in the book, it's printed on glossy paper, and it looks great - but the maps aren't good enough for actual trail use, it's heavy even though it's small, and I think there are better options.