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2015 JULY GERMANY - AT LAST THE MOSEL IS OURS!

And that my friends is the ride along the Mosel.

Saturday 20th June 2015 (day forty-seven)

Luxembourg to Trier

We woke to rain this morning and it had rained steadily through the night.

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Hellish ride from Luxembourg to Trier.

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Did not find the bike path, rode around the countryside until we hit the Mosel River at Remich. There was an ironman competition on, that we seemed to ride into the middle of.

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Lemons caught train from Wormeldange to Trier. Sarah and I rode on to Trier we met in campground.

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SORRY FROM HERE ON IN I AM GOING TO OMIT ADDING PHOTOS AS THEY ARE TAKING TOO LONG TO LOAD. PLEASE REFER TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE WHERE ALL PHOTOS FOR EACH DAY HAVE BEEN LOADED.

Sunday 21st June 2015 (day forty-eight)

Trier City

It rained overnight apparently, but I did not hear it. Think I pretty much zonked out after the big ride yesterday. I do remember waking a few times due to cold but it was not too bad and fell back to sleep and did not hear the rain. However, it was wet when I woke.

Sunday morning and not an Ikea in sight, so we had to go have a splurge and have breakfast at McDonalds which was just minutes from the campground. I was not all that keen at first, but since it was Sunday and there are no shops open to buy any food, there was really little choice. And I must admit it was enjoyed!

We had a tourist day in Trier today, this is the oldest town in Germany according to the tourist propaganda. The day was like a day in Melbourne – 4 seasons in one day. Jackets and rain covers were continuously off and on as the weather made us cold then wet the hot. But at least the rain was light and not enough to spoil the day.

We did a lap of the tourist sights and finished with a lunch of Trierer Bratwurst with mustard and pom frits.

We rode into town so it was not a complete day off the bikes but a leisurely ride the very short distance into town.

The campground is on the river across from the city but in a nice location, except for the carnival fare ground next door which is open until 4am with loud music and rides caring screaming teenagers to annoy us. Must admit I did not hear them last night as I crashed.

We returned to the campground around 4pm with time to do a little housekeeping i.e. washing etc. Sarah and I decided it would be nice to try a bit of local wine so we purchased a bottle from the campground shop.

So now its 8pm, still broad daylight of course, and we are about to open our 3rd bottle of wine from the region. Little needs to be said about whether we like the Mosel wine or not. Lyn I wish you were here to enjoy it with us as I know you would (sorry don’t want to put a downer on you, but want you to know we are thinking of you!) .

We had a very pleasant evening sitting around chatting with John and Margaret, an English couple also camping, who are travelling on a motor bike. They had also travelled far and wide so the night flew by as we all exchanged funny travel tales.

Bike stats:
Just a short ride into town and back so not worth a mention.

Monday 22nd June 2015 (day forty-nine)

Trier to Neumagen

It was dry when we woke this morning. The plan was to get an early start and head up the Mosel River as far as we could get. Just as we were loading the last of our gear onto our bikes it started to rain and it stayed with us all day! Not a great day for cycling!

Still with no food it was off to Macca’s again for quick breakfast and nice coffee. It was supposed to be a quick stop, but with the weather so crap none of us seemed to be in a big hurry to leave the heated environment of the fast food haven. Finally we made a start, it was 10.30ish.

The path we rode today was easy and the scenery would have been magnificent had the weather been brighter. We trudged on all day through rain drops either dripping slowly onto us or pelting us with horrible damp force. Not a great day for cycling!

We were aiming for a town called Neumagen which showed it had a campground on the map. However, by the time we were within 5km of our destination for the night it was decided there would be no camping tonight, we would be staying indoors in a warm dry place. Luckily Neumagen had a tourist office that was open at just after 4pm when we rode into its wet streets. A room in Moselberberge Pension was going to cost us 45 euro per couple and we jumped at it. After the wet day of riding we’d had, none of us was going to even contemplate attempting to put up a tent in the rain and then have to sleep in it.

The pension has a garage to house our bikes for the night so they are safe also. After taking our panniers (which managed to keep all contents dry today) we had a quick cup of soup to warm us up and then rode to the supermarket to buy some supplies. This was our first German supermarket so a quick shop took longer as we explored all the delights on offer. We are going to be naughty and cook a simple pasta meal in our room, as if we had to eat out as well as pay for a room it would really blow out all our budgets.

Unfortunately, the supermarket did not sell chilled wine, so Sarah and I could not continue our Mosel Region Wine Tasting experience. We settled for a bottle of chocolate milk that we could add to our coffees as our decadent treat. Of course obligatory chocolate chip biscuits were needed to accompany this indulgence.

The lady at the tourist office advised me that tomorrow is going to be wet as well, however, Wednesday promises to be dry and hot. Well let’s just wait and see what Mother Nature hands to us.

Bike stats:
Time cycled: 3 hours 40 mins
Distance: 51.39 km
Average speed: 13.9 km/h
Max speed: 36.5 km/h (couple of nice downhill coastings)
Calories burnt: 490 (thank god, as tonight we are chocolate overdosing)
C02 7.70
ODO 347

Tuesday 23rd June 2015 (day fifty)

Neumagen to Berkastel-Kues to Traben-Trarbach to Zell

Woke up, looked out the window at a very wet road, and cloudy ‘it’s going to rain soon’ sky. Bugger.

Mother nature was kind to us and did not let the rain actually start until we had our bums on bike seats, gee thanks. We had a quick stop at the supermarket for some lunch / dinner supplies which was just enough time for the rain to gather momentum and it pissed down on us for the next hour.

I love summer in Europe. Riding a bike through the beautiful Mosel River valley in the pissing down rain! Not a very good couple of hours I’m afraid. The bike paths are really good, all sealed surfaces and the signage is also really good, although it would be hard to get lost. Just keep the river on one side and keep pedalling.

The rain eased slightly and the sun started to poke out its head just as we reached Bernkastel so this was a good time for us to stop. We found a bench in the middle of town with a great view of the river and passing tourists and had our little picnic. The sun joined us for lunch and managed to dry us out.

While we were sitting having lunch looking at the river, Toni noticed cruise boats that were going up to our next destination. This would be another way for us all to view the vineyards and scenery from a different angle, and give sore bums a rest. A quick investigation informed us for 15 euro we could cruise up the river with our bikes, enjoy the views, have a rest and then continue on to our end of day destination.

The boat left at 2pm, so we have a little time to have a quick look around town before our cruise. The sun stayed out for all this time, bar a quick 5 minute shower, and continued to shine brightly for our 2 hour cruise to TT. It was nice to see the river and the small villages and vine yards from a totally different perspective rather than just the bike track. And of course it was nice to have the break off the pedals. Sarah & I indulged in a coffee and apple cake, as you do!

A bit of drama getting the bikes off the boat where the boat staff were a bit narky about trying to get our overloaded bikes up the boat steps, this gave us a little laugh. And wouldn’t you know it as soon as our bums hit the bike seats the bloody sky turned grey and rain trickled down again. Only lightly this afternoon, but enough to be annoying.

We had another 20 km to cover before we reached our campground and we managed to reach this before 6 pm.

Tonight we are in the town of Zell, back to camping which we managed to set up without the interference of rain. Sarah and I purchased a couple of bottles (one white and one rose) of the local Zell Black Cat wine just to help keep the local economy afloat.

The light rain did not seem to hinder us as we cooked our camp dinner. Covered in our rain capes we downed the last of our wine with our pasta dinner.

Bike stats
Tm 3.24.37
Dis 48.94
Av 14.3
Mx 31.8
Cal 469
C02 7.34
Odo 396


Wednesday 24th June 2015 (day fifty-one)


Zell to Cochem

Still cold at night.

Woke up expecting it to be a bright sunny day, as the weather had promised. Instead we were greeted by the normal grey cloudy sky. I don’t think it rained overnight but the new day did not look so promising. We were all a little sluggish to get going today and breakfast and break of camp went slowly. The showers at this campground were very good so I indulged again this morning. Breakfast was some tasty bread rolls we have pre ordered last night and some soft cheese I purchased yesterday.

It was about 10.30 by the time we hit the road, no one seemed too enthusiastic about the whole situation. The bike path has been pretty well signed marked all along the way. And most of the pathways have been nice flat, even cement or bitumen and alongside the river so easy riding.

Today we hit a bit of a snag early into the ride between Bullay and Neef, the track went to dirt and we shopped to investigate that we had not taken the wrong turn somewhere. There were no other bikers in sight and since the track has been quite busy this concerned us. Just before we decided to backtrack a couple cycled towards us and confirmed we were on the right pathway. No sooner did they disappear when the usual traffic of both way cyclists soon appeared to again confirm we were definitely on the right track.

Midway through the ride we passed thought a little village that had cherry trees growing roadside so Sarah and I stopped and helped ourselves to the fruit from the trees. They were delish, and we spent about 20 minutes feeding our faces. It was during this time that the Lemons followed a slightly different pathway and ended up in front of us but not knowing it. We sort of figured out since they did not come past the cherry trees they took the other path, so after we’d eaten our fill continued on.

By now the sun had come out and the clouds had all disappeared. It was actually hot!! This was the weather we had been promised. It was so nice after eating the cherries I rode off in just shorts and singlet top. It was lovely, this was the weather we were wanting all along.

The afternoon ride was glorious! Just a shame we are on a time schedule and were not able to make more stops at some of the passing villages and little towns. Lots of people around at the popular spots and the bike track can get a little congested when a Dutch tour group for over 70’s in matching hi vis shirts crowd the path and stop 3 or 4 abreast. It’s bad enough trying to pass one bike with our wide loads but when they block the path and look all surprised when as I madly ring my bell to avoid t-boning them. Its all fun.

We caught up with the Lemons just on the outskirts of Cochem which was going to be our stop for the night. They had been having bike problems with both bikes so going had been slow and frustrating.

Cochem is beautiful, with a lovely big castle on the hill above the centre of town.

The campground was on the other side of the river and just a little out of town, but easy to find. Reception was not the friendliest when they heard no Germany coming from my mouth, but well, you get that here. Not really a very hospitable lot these Germans. Not unless you speak their language, so I guess we are arrogant to assume they speak our language, but everywhere else does, or at least tries.

We were given the worst camp site in the park, but at least it was grassy. We set up camp and Sarah and I rode back into town while the Lemons stayed camp side. Shawn had gone off to the supermarket to buy some cooking oil to do a repair on their bikes.

Short ride back into town was a breeze, amazing how easy it is to ride empty bikes. They almost feel like they are floating on air. Back across the bridge we parked and locked the bikes so we could explore on foot. Most of the shops were closed as it was not after 6pm. We wandered around the back streets and found ourselves on the path up the castle. It was an easy climb and even though the castle was closed, we were rewarded with beautiful views of the town and Mosel River below. Of course it was still broad daylight, still not getting dark until now after 10pm.

We strolled back down to riverside and found a restaurant to have dinner. Food turned out to be nothing special but we did try and cola beer (yes it is beer mixed with coca cola) and it was ok.

Rode back to campsite, had a shower and crawled into the tent. Another day of riding for us tomorrow, let’s hope we wake up to a repeat of today’s warm sunshine.


Thursday 25th June 2015 (day fifty-two)

Cochem to Koblenz

Today the weather was perfect and it was a nice way to farewell Sarah as this would be her last long day riding.

The path was again excellent as were the views of the river and few castles on the hillsides. As it was Sarahs last day we decided not to rush it and made an effort to stop and smell the flowers so to speak.

More like stop and drink the coffee and scoff yummy cake and then stop again and have a few beers and some fritz!

Somewhere along the line the Lemons managed to pass us again as we sat drinking beer waiting for them. They obviously took a different path and we missed each other. So that is our excuse for the extra beer, we were expecting them to ride past at any moment.

In our enthusiasm Sarah and I actually passed the camp ground and had to back pedal to find the Lemons arrived and almost already set up.
As this was our last camp night together, we had dinner and few bevvies at the camp ground restaurant.

The time had gone so quick and we are about to lose another member of the peloton.

Friday 26th June 2015 (day fifty-three)

Koblenz to Lahnstein

Short ride up the last piece of the Mosel River. The sun beat down on us as we met the Rhine River. Lots of crowds setting up for fun run. Stopped and had a beer to congratulate ourselves.

Rode 7km out of Koblenz down the Rhine to Lahnstein to our apartment we have booked for the next 3 nights.

Lemons packed a bag and left for the train station after bidding farewell to Sarah. Lemons are off to Assen in Holland for the Motor GP race on tomorrow. They have a nice 6 hour train ride to get them there.

Sarah and I rode to the local supermarket which ended up being one of the biggest food supermarket I have ever seen. 3 floors of groceries was all a bit overwhelming. We picked up a few supplies, including beers and wine from the giant liquor barn across the road and dropped them back at our temp home.

We then headed back into Koblenz via a local bus to have a look around. When we arrived the fun run was well and truly in progress and there were crowds of people everywhere. This was a good thing for us as we had read in a pamphlet that the cable car finishes at 6.30pm, which it was now after. However, due to the centre activities it was still running and we managed to get special evening tickets for 6.50 euros return. But we were advised that the fortress that the cable car will take us to was closed. Not to worry, we were really only just interested in the ride and the view from the top.

When we did reach the top we discovered that even though the museum and shops etc were closed, there were still a couple of little café type establishments that were serving food and beverages. The view was amazing, looking down on where the Mosel and the Rhine rivers meet so we sat to enjoy the view and indulge in last drinks for Sarah. It was such a nice position that we splashed out and had dinner there too. The food was nothing amazing, but it was ok priced and the view / atmosphere was worth it.

Waiting forever for the sun to set, we headed down the cable car still before it had reached the horizon. It was close to 10pm, but the sun never goes to sleep before then at the time of year.

As we walked around the old town, noticing lots of ice cream shops that were still open, we indulged in a one euro cone. This delicious Italian gelato is much cheaper than in Italy, how is that possible?

Just needed to find one thing before we could head back to the bus stop and try to find our way back to Lahnstein. The mascot for Koblenz is a spitting boy fountain, and I was determined to find it before we left. An image of the spitting boy is embossed on all the manhole covers, but several of the locals we asked had no idea what it was or where the fountain was. Finally, someone struck a light bulb moment and gave us directions which surprisingly lead straight to the fountain which is located outside the Rathaus (town hall). By now it was almost 11 pm and well and truly dark, but I still managed to get some pictures before we walked towards where we thought we had stepped off the bus earlier in the evening.

Being late, the buses only ran every hour so we had quite a wait and of course did not get the same number that we came into town on. But this one was heading to Lahnstein so close enough. A little panicked we tried to remember landmarks that were close to our apartment so we could get off at the right place. But this bus took a slightly different route and when we saw the supermarket we had visited earlier in the day, I pressed the buzzer to get out and we walked the 10 minutes back to our home.

It was just 10 minutes before midnight when we were safely inside and I noticed seconds after closing the door it started to rain outside. Great timing on our behalf!

Posted by Cindy Bruin 11:36 Archived in Germany

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