A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

2019 JUNE 30 to JULY 28 GERMANY BIKE RIDE EXPENSES

This is how much it cost us for our 29 day bike ride in Germany.


View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

large_5.PNG

Hi Everyone,

This post is for mainly for my own information, but I thought maybe some of you might be interested in what our 29 day bike ride in Germany cost us.

We have always kept a record of expenses for every trip just out of interest for ourselves. I used to create an excel spreadsheet from the manual records of daily expenses we would to write in a little note pad.

Now due to wonderful technology, I have this great APP that I have downloaded into my phone and each time we pay for something I enter it into this APP and it keeps a tally for me, easy.

There are many APPs available, however the one I chose is called TravelSpend and I highly recommend it. It's a free APP, however, I paid the extra couple of dollars (about Aud$6) for the upgrade so I could add my own categories etc.

All the amounts listed are for 2 people, as my travel companion, my sister Lyn, had exactly the same expenses as me on this trip. We came in under budget, which is good, means more money to spend on the next leg of the trip. The APP allows me to work in what every currency I like. For this one, I was able to enter our expenses in Euros and it converted to Australia Dollars for my convenience.

So the entire 29 days in Germany costs us a total of AUD$3390.03 (or AUD$1695.02 each), which is an average of AUD$116.90 per day (or AUD$58.45 each per day).

Below are screen dumps direct from the APP which show the break up of our expenses.

Accommodation and transport are always the highest cost of any trip.

1.PNG

We spent;

$924.27 on 9 nights in hotels or apartments

$577.26 on purchasing 2 bicycles with pannier racks, handlebar baskets, spare tubes, a pump and a few misc tools

$524.01 on 17 nights camping fees

$275.06 on food we purchased from supermarkets

$273.01 on public transport, which included $113.34 for the train from Frankfurt to Saarbrucken where we started the bike ride

$200.33 on beer in total from both supermarket and bars

$133.51 on activities which includes luges and chairlifts

$131.28 on 7 restaurant / café meals

$112.79 on postcards and postage, which included $101.40 for parcel of camping gear we sent home

$45.38 on wine in total from both supermarket and bars

$44.44 on clothing, towels and leggings purchased from Decathlon

$40.54 on sim card to make calls and data in Germany

$32.89 on coffee and cake x 3 times in café

$30.70 on ice cream cones

$27.98 on camping gas used for cooking

$9.15 on souvenirs

$7.22 on coin washing machines

2.PNG

3.PNG

4.PNG

So, there we have it. Not a bad trip for the price.

Departing Frankfurt:
large_b9c42bc0-c062-11e9-9520-8fb5f1c136f0.jpg
everywhere in between:
large_ba255e90-c062-11e9-9520-8fb5f1c136f0.jpg
arriving back in Frankfurt.
large_cae9f8d0-c062-11e9-9520-8fb5f1c136f0.JPG

Posted by Cindy Bruin 13:32 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

2019 JULY 24 to 28 - GERMANY - RHINE RIVER

last days on the bike and on the Rhine!

sunny
View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

WEDNESDAY 24TH JULY 2019 (DAY 33)

BIKE DAY 23 (RUDESHEIM TO MAARUA)

Today was hot! Today was REAL HOT!

We woke up at around 8am again and had breakfast. I cooked bacon again, a real treat for us! We were packed up and I went and paid the bill and we were rolling out at just on 10am. The guy in the reception said to me that it was going to be hotter today then it was yesterday, and tomorrow it going to be hotter than today.

As per usual Rhine bike track – it was flat and easy riding. We had to make a few more water stops than usual because of the heat. By 12 noon we had ridden 17km and it was time for a radler stop. We had passed a few kiosk bars that were for some stupid reason closed, but I remembered a kiosk that was sure to be open, and it was! We stopped and had a well deserved and very cold radler beer. As there was a table and chair right where we stopped, we decided it would be a good place to stop for lunch and that meant we could have another radler. Which we did!

large_DSCN9433.JPGlarge_DSCN9434.JPGlarge_DSCN9436.JPGlarge_DSCN9435.JPGlarge_DSCN9437.JPG

The campground we looked up yesterday was just 5km further on and when we arrived there before 2pm we thought we might continue riding for a little longer. However, after asking where the next campsite was and being told it was 50 km up the Main River, it was decided it was best we stop here after all.

There were already quite a few cyclists’ tents set up, these poor Europeans are feeling the heat even more than us. We found a spot to set up the tent, but just got out our chairs and chilled out for a little while first.

The tent up and everything put inside we went out looking for a supermarket that would hopefully supply us with cold beer. Google maps advised there was a shop just 1.3km away so not too far. We found 3 supermarkets, Netto, REWE and Aldi Sud but none of them had any beers in the fridges! OMG what are these people thinking? We bought some dinner supplies (smoked fish and potato salad) which we stowed in our cooler bag, hoping they would still be ok in a couple of hours for dinner.

Back at the campsite we sat in the shade until the camp bar open. Regardless of the price a cold drink was needed. Turns out this is the cheapest drinking hole around, and they were selling 500ml Radlers for just 2 euros. So, we sat in the bar terrace, watch the river traffic pass, for the next 2 hours drinking 2 euro very cold radlers.

large_DSCN9438.JPG

By 6pm our tent was in the shade and we returned to eat dinner (which was fine from the cooler).

A few more bikes rolled in during this time and now there must be about 15 set up for the night.

I had a shower after dinner and now sit here at 9.35pm in the twilight writing this as Lyn has her shower. I think this is going to be the warmest (hottest) night for us in the tent tonight.

This is also our last night of camping for this trip. Tomorrow we ride the 40 odd km up the Main River to Frankfurt where we have booked a hotel for 3 nights. No idea what the track is like or if there is a bike track up the river, if not we will be getting on a train for the last leg into Frankfurt. We booked a few days there because we need to organize posting home our camping gear and sort out the bikes.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 27.56km

aac3a4c0-c017-11e9-8aa1-0b020373c660.PNG

CAMPINGPLATZ MAARUA 18 euros – toilets with paper, hot showers (don’t need hot), CHEAP AND COLD RADLERS!

THURSDAY 25TH JULY 2019 (DAY 34)

BIKE DAY 24 (MAARUA TO FRANKFURT)

The tent was in the shade when we woke up, thank goodness, because it looks like it’s gunna be very hot today. There was lots of noise earlier from other campers, obviously trying to get away before the heat.

This is our last day riding today, we ride into Frankfurt, so as usual there was no great hurry to get away. Also, we wanted to make sure the tent was completely dry when packing it away as it would be the last time it would be packed before we sent it home.

large_DSCN9440.JPGlarge_DSCN9441.JPG
We are riding up the River Main today, which will take us directly into Frankfurt city where we have booked a hotel for the next 3 nights. It’s about 40km today, so a big ride to finish our bike tour.

Saw some graffiti along the way under a bridge.
DSCN9449.JPGDSCN9444.JPGDSCN9446.JPGDSCN9451.JPGDSCN9443.JPGDSCN9442.JPGDSCN9447.JPG

We start riding just after 10am, and the day is already warm. And as we ride the day gets hotter and hotter. We later find out it was one of the hottest days ever recorded in Europe with Germany, Belgium, Holland and Paris all getting special mentions on the news regarding extreme temperatures.

Following a good path alongside the river we realized early on that we are really not carrying enough water for today. I stop at a tap on the outside of someone’s house and douse myself with water. Back on the bike, it took about 2 minutes for me to be bone dry again. Yep, definitely a hot day.

At about the 20km mark, we stop for a drink and some fruit. It’s too hot to eat a sandwich for lunch. Lyn goes over to the river to wet our hats and facecloth to cool down a little. All too enticing, we decide to go for a swim, fully clothed, and it turns out to be a brilliant idea. The river water here is very clean and clear and we enjoy the coolness of the water as we completely submerge ourselves in it.

DSCN9453.JPGDSCN9452.JPG271f34b0-c01a-11e9-999e-0df9753f6a76.JPGDSCN9457.JPGDSCN9456.JPGDSCN9454.JPG

Turns out later that this was very good choice of spots to stop for a swim because we were soon riding around industrial areas that took us directly away from the river. Riding along in 40-degree heat, along a long flat bitumen road was not pleasant at all.

The last 8km into Frankfurt was back next to the river, so a nice way to end a very hot and hard day.
large_DSCN9458.JPGlarge_DSCN9459.JPG
We had little trouble finding our booked hotel because it was opposite the train station and we knew where to find that. We checked in a were given a tiny room with 2 single beds and 1 pedestal fan! Silly me, did not even think about looking to see if the hotel was air con’d or not, I just presume all hotels are air con’d. Well, obviously not all hotels in Europe are air con’d, guess they have more priority in trying to keep customers warm from the cold, rather than cool from the unusual heat.

At the beginning of our trip we had left our bags with Marcus (Lyn’s friend) and as our hotel was just minutes from his work, he had kindly brought them in and delivered them to us at the hotel. We then went out for ice cream, with sounds a little creepy, but was the best idea in this heat.
We spent the rest of the day lazing in our hot room, with very little reprieve from the heat.

Dinner was a knuckle purchased from one of the food places at the train station.
large_DSCN9460.JPG
So that is the end of our bike adventure! All went well, we were very happy with the bikes we purchased. I will have some price statistics of the whole trip if anyone is interested. We come in under budget so very happy with that.

The next few days we need to get to a post office and send out camping gear home. And also, we need to take bikes to be stored for next year – (yes there is going to be another (short) ride next year). Marcus has very kindly given us a bit of space in his cellar to store the bikes.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 36.34km
c7482420-c019-11e9-999e-0df9753f6a76.PNG

HOTEL EXCELSIOR FRANKFURT 67.50 euros, NO AIR CON, good breakfast

FRIDAY 26TH JULY 2019 (DAY 35)

FRANKFURT

Breakfast at the hotel was very good. Better than what we expected.

We found a post office and sent home just over 8kg of camping gear (tent, sleeping bags/sheet). Don’t want or need to be carrying this stuff around with us for the next couple of months as the camping segment of the trip is over!
large_DSCN9472.JPG
The rest of the day we did nothing, just tried to keep cool in our very hot little room. The foyer of the hotel has free tea, coffee and cake all day so we ventured there a couple of times. But the foyer was not air conditioned either so there was no escaping the heat.

HOTEL EXCELSIOR FRANKFURT 67.50 euros, NO AIR CON, good breakfast

SATURDAY 27TH JULY 2019 (DAY 36)

FRANKFURT

After a good breakfast at the hotel we took our bikes on the train to where they are going to be stored for us till next year. Lyn's friend, Markus has very kindly agreed to keep the bikes for us so we can use them again next year. Which means that yes we will do another bike ride in next years trip. This was very generous of him to allow this and we are most grateful. Especially because this is the weekend Markus is moving house, so the last thing he needed was us hanging around wanting storage space for our bikes.

It was too hot to ride the 10km so we took the bikes on the train and just rode the 1km from train station to the flat. Of course as soon as we left the train, it started to rain. The last few days being so very hot, it was inevitable that rain would come.

Really, we were a big intrusion on the moving activities, but Markus and his family and friends who were all helping with the move, were very hospitable to us. And lucky for them the rain did ease.

We returned to our hotel and set to the task of packing what we had left. There still seemed to be a lot. Tomorrow we depart Germany for the next leg of our journey.

HOTEL EXCELSIOR FRANKFURT 67.50 euros, NO AIR CON, good breakfast

SUNDAY 28TH JULY 2019 (DAY 36)

FRANKFURT

We did very little today, it's so hot outside. However the hotel room is almost just as hot without any aircon. This is definitely something to take note of next time I book a hotel in Europe.

I managed to get a late checkout time of 1pm, but our flight is not until early evening so we still had the whole day to kill. We packed up our bags and put them in the luggage storage room and went out for a walk around town. It's pretty quiet, being Sunday all the shops are closed, and it's really too hot for people to be just wandering around. We did a loop to the river and back, just to kill time and then spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel foyer with free tea, coffee and cake. Even the hotel entrance is not air conditioned so it was not the most comfortable.
large_DSCN9474.JPGlarge_DSCN9476.JPGlarge_DSCN9475.JPGlarge_DSCN9481.JPGlarge_DSCN9477.JPGlarge_DSCN9479.JPGlarge_DSCN9480.JPGlarge_DSCN9478.JPGlarge_DSCN9483.JPGlarge_DSCN9484.JPGlarge_DSCN9473.JPGlarge_DSCN9482.JPG
We decided to leave for the airport early. At least the airport terminal would be cooler to sit around in. Not sure how we managed it but our bags still seem to be full and heavy. Considering we have posted stuff back and also left stuff with the bikes, our bags still seem to be loaded.

The train takes less than a hour to carry us to the airport, and we have the last German Radler to toast our bike leg of this trip.

large_IMG_20190728_184602.jpglarge_IMG_20190728_185644.jpg

Malta, sun and relaxation, here we come.

HOTEL EXCELSIOR FRANKFURT 67.50 euros, NO AIR CON, good breakfast

Posted by Cindy Bruin 04:58 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

2019 July 23 - GERMANY - Rhine River

a day out in Rudeshiem

sunny
View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

TUESDAY 23RD JULY 2019 (DAY 32)

BIKE DAY 22 (RUDESHEIM)

What a brilliant day we had today! The alarm went off at 8am, but we did not get up until 8.30am. Before we even opened the tent, I knew it was a perfect day outside as I could feel the sun beating down on the tent. Brilliant blue sky and warm.

I cooked bacon and toast on our small hot plate to start the day off. We sat looking at the river enjoying our breakfast, we did not have to hurry away we had the day in Rudesheim today. Well, not actually Rudesheim, but that’s where it will start.

We rode out of the campsite just on 10, stopping at the shops for some supplies bread rolls for our lunch today. We rode into town and locked the bikes up in a little side street off the main drag. Our next mode of transport was a gondola that carried us across the vineyards up into the N…… Forrest. The view over the towns on both sides of the Rhine River were great from our seats in the little bucket gondola. We could see the busy river up and down stream even though in the distance it was a little hazy. The vineyards are all green and starting to fruit, so they were a beautiful sight also.

large_DSCN9241.JPGlarge_DSCN9252.JPGlarge_DSCN9251.JPGlarge_DSCN9249.JPGlarge_DSCN9253.JPG

Once at the top it was a short walk to the Germania monument where we again stopped for photos of the amazing view below.

large_DSCN9267.JPGlarge_DSCN9268.JPGlarge_DSCN9260.JPGlarge_DSCN9263.JPG

Next we did a short walk (I think less than 2 km through the forest). Didn’t manage to spot any bears or wolves even though we were keeping a keen eye out for either. The walk was pleasant and mostly shaded, which was good as the day was by not hot.

large_DSCN9270.JPGlarge_DSCN9273.JPG
large_DSCN9280.JPG
At the edge of the forest we sat on a chairlift that continue through the forest for a bit then did a steep incline down to the red wine town of Assmanshausen (or as Lyn fondly renamed Ass Mans House). This town / village is quite small, not much there except a few restaurants and assorted accommodation.

large_DSCN9303.JPGlarge_DSCN9290.JPGlarge_DSCN9301.JPGlarge_DSCN9296.JPG

We found a shady tree overlooking the river and made our selves comfortable. We had an hour and half to wait for our next leg of the day with was a ferry. This was no problem, there was a nice breeze and we had a picnic lunch to enjoy.

DSCN9316.JPGDSCN9318.JPGDSCN9308.JPGDSCN9315.JPGDSCN9313.JPGlarge_DSCN9394.JPGlarge_DSCN9324.JPGlarge_DSCN9319.JPGlarge_DSCN9322.JPGlarge_DSCN9331.JPGlarge_DSCN9335.JPGlarge_DSCN9328.JPG

We walked to the ferry dock and boarded the boat, which took off exactly on time at 2.15pm. Just a short trip down the river to drop us off at RhienStein Castle. This is a privately-owned castle that is open to visitors and has a couple of accomodation rooms, and of course an overpriced restaurant. We had 2 hours here before the boat returned to collect us. The castle is 80 metres above the river, and we had to climb up a zig zag walkway to reach the top. Again, amazing views! And with such a beautiful blue sky, it was great.

large_DSCN9345.JPGlarge_DSCN9352.JPGlarge_DSCN9354.JPGlarge_DSCN9356.JPGlarge_DSCN9383.JPGlarge_DSCN9390.JPGlarge_DSCN9393.JPGlarge_DSCN9379.JPGlarge_DSCN9391.JPGlarge_DSCN9404.JPGlarge_DSCN9382.JPG
large_b6d8f050-bdbd-11e9-adae-014211ef4e0f.JPG

The last boat from the castle back to Rudesheim left at 4.15pm, traveling upstream, it took almost an hour to travel the short distance. Actually, I think we rode the distance faster yesterday lol.

large_DSCN9421.JPGlarge_f79e3500-bdbd-11e9-adae-014211ef4e0f.JPGlarge_DSCN9412.JPG
large_DSCN9415.JPGlarge_DSCN9432.JPG

The boat docked not far from where we had the bikes locked up, so we grabbed them and headed back to camp, via the supermarket of course to pick up some cold beers.

Sitting, drinking the cold beer, watching the river traffic pass we commented on what a great day we’d had. We are only a couple of more days on the bike and now that the weather is so nice we are really starting to enjoy it more. Although we heard temperatures are going to soar up there close to 40 degrees which is not really the best for bike riding, but we will see how we go.

Just before 7pm, we rode back to the supermarket, picked up some meat and salad for dinner and of course a stashed cold bottle of wine and returned to camp to cook and eat dinner.

Followed by the normal shower, washing of clothes and bed.

Tomorrow we move on again.

RUDESHIEM CAMPING – 21.40 euros, very nice toilets with paper, hot showers (no token just need to continually hold in the knob)

Posted by Cindy Bruin 04:22 Archived in Germany Comments (5)

2019 July 18 to 22 GERMANY - Rhine River

at a more relaxed pace on the Rhine


View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

THURSDAY 18TH JULY 2019 (DAY 27)

BIKE DAY 17 (BOPPARD TO ST GOAR)

Well our little holiday in the apartment has come to an end. We had a great 4 nights relaxing in comfort but it’s time to move along up the Rhine. I look outside and I smile, there is lots of blue sky and sunshine – the gods are on our side. Although, ironically, we did not have any rain at all during our indoor stay.

We had everything packed in panniers and transported down the 3 flights of stairs and loaded onto our bikes before check out time. We wheeled the bikes over to the post Bellevue Rheinhotel where we had to pay the bill for the extra 2 nights we stayed. The first 2 where charged direct by booking.com.

We bid farewell to Boppard as we rode out at 10am. Our destination today is St Goar just 15km upriver so an easy ride. The bike paths along the Rhine are very good, and although we had been off the bikes for a few days we were soon back in the saddle and travelling along fine. With the sun out it was a warm ride and the path was busy with day trippers and fellow cycle tourists. Lyn rode like the wind today and I had trouble keeping up with her.

Not surprisingly, we made it to St Goar in about an hour, riding past the town to the campground on the other side. Funny, I had been thinking during todays ride that we’ve been lucky with no flat tyres on either bike during this trip. Obviously, my mental thoughts were a jinx as 500 meters from the campsite Lyn got a flat. Bugger, I rode ahead to book us in, and Lyn pushed her bike the last little way to the office, then we unloaded and carried her bike to our site.

We had spare tubes with us, so it was not a big drama, except the idiots at the Decathlon in Frankfurt gave us the wrong size spare tube.

First up, we sat and drank the still cool bottle of beer we carried in the cooler bag from our supplies in Boppard. Then while I put up the tent, Lyn changed the back-tyre tube, luckily the spare one we had did fit it was just narrower than the one already in the tyre. One good thing about not having a geared bike, easier to change the back-tyre tube.
large_DSCN9062.JPGlarge_DSCN9059.JPG
We did a few other adjustments to the bikes, loaded everything into the tent and went back into town to have a quick walk around. St Goar is very small, just one main street with a few shops, restaurants and of course 3 ice cream cafes. We walked through a couple of souvenir shops, window shopping, had an ice cream then returned to the campground. I grabbed a couple of cold beers from the office which we enjoyed watching the traffic of the Rhine go by.
DSCN9064.JPGDSCN9065.JPGlarge_DSCN9066.JPGlarge_DSCN9072.JPG

I’ve stayed at this campground before and picked the same spot I stayed in last time. Under a nice big tree that offered lots of shade from the sun, and lots of protection from the rain, which unfortunately we needed. The rain was not hard, but enough to get wet had we not had the shelter from the tree. It was good, we were able to sit out under the tree and not get wet at all. We even cooked and ate dinner under the tree without getting wet.

The rain stayed light, but it stayed. How ironic as soon as we bring out the tent, out comes the rain. But there was no wind, so that meant it was not cold.
large_DSCN9060.JPG
We did the usual, had showers and went to bed. Just before we retired another cyclist rolled up and set up tent not 10 feet from ours. Why the hell he needed to be so close I don’t know, maybe trying to take shelter under the tree also?

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 15.??km

LORELEY BLICK CAMP 14.75euros, toilet with paper, great hot shower, no power

FRIDAY 19TH JULY 2019 (DAY 28)

BIKE DAY 18 (ST GOAR to Loreley Lookout/Bob)

We slept late – it was 9.45am when I woke to go to the loo. Lyn had been up earlier but returned to bed and sleep. It had rained during the night, but we remained dry and it was not too cold in the tent. The rain had just been light during the night, but the sky still looked like it was going to produce more today. We reluctantly got up out of bed and Lyn cooked mushrooms for breakfast. Parts of the sky were turning blue so there seemed hope for the day.
DSCN9073.JPG

It was close to midday when we finally headed out, back into town to catch the ferry to the other side of the river. We are going up to the Loreley lookout and there is a LUGE!

The car/passenger ferry travels back and forth across the river continuously so we didn’t have long to wait for it to return to our side and walk aboard. It costs 1.80euro per person one way and took about 10 minutes to cross. Once on the other side we were to catch a bus to take us up to the lookout. Of course, we had just missed the bus and had to wait 45 minutes for the next one. So, during this time we walked up to the REWE supermarket to take a look as there is not a supermarket in town on our side of the river. Having to wait for the bus gave us time to go purchase some lunch supplies that we could eat up at the lookout. We bought a smoked fish, some bread rolls and some nectarines! Lunch fit for queens and less than 4 euros!
large_DSCN9088.JPG
There is a rock concert on up at the amphitheatre on the Loreley lookout so there were lots of people waiting for the bus to take them up there also. We managed to get on the bus at the station which was before the stop where the ferry came in, meaning we got a seat before all the others cramped in the bus overloading it. Still a handful of people did not get on and would have to wait for the next hourly bus. The drive up to the lookout is not far, maybe 3 or 4km but it’s a steep climb (too steep for bike) and we did not see a walking track anywhere near the road. Up the top the overcrowded bus seemed nothing to the amount of people already up there lined up to get in and hundreds of tents and campers already set up. Must be a huge concert. The age group we noticed were 40-50, predominately male. Many wearing t-shirts from previous years concerts.
We all got off the bus, them walking to the concert gates, us walking towards the lookout. The weather was holding out nicely, with the sunshine providing some nice warmth to our day. We found a shady spot to eat our lunch after enjoying views down over the Rhine River. We could even see our little tent from way up high.
large_DSCN9075.JPGlarge_DSCN9090.JPGlarge_DSCN9079.JPG

We then had a ride on the Loreley Bob, happy that the concert goers were not interested in this attraction, otherwise we would have had to line up forever. This is our 3rd luge ride of the trip, and we finished just in time to catch the bus back into the town.
large_DSCN9099.JPGlarge_DSCN9098.JPG
It dropped us near the train station that was close to the supermarket for us to buy dinner supplies. Also, when we were there earlier, I had hidden a bottle of wine in the fridge to cool, for us to pick up now and take back to drink. This is the only way we can get our drinks cold. We bought our supplies, walked back to ferry, caught it back to our side of the river. Rode back to campground and promptly drank bottle of still cool wine! Good day out! And no rain.
large_DSCN9103.JPG
Loreley: steeped in legend, the slate cliff near St Goarshausen rises 193m into the air.

Rest of afternoon / evening we sat around relaxing, I started cooking dinner about 7.30pm. We ate, showered and went to bed.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 1km

LORELEY BLICK CAMP 14.75euros, toilet with paper, great hot shower, no power

SATURDAY 20TH JULY 2019 (DAY 29)

BIKE DAY 19 (ST GOAR TO BACHARACH)

It was sunny and blue sky when we woke up. There was no rush this morning as we only have a short distance to ride again. We had breakfast, then slowly packed up camp and loaded the bikes. I think we still managed to make it out of the camp just after the 10 o’clock check out time.
Weather is starting to be on our side as we rode in the sunshine. We stopped for a photo in front of the Loreley Rock, then continued along the river. A very good path here but we did struggle with a very strong head wind. It felt like we were pedalling uphill the whole way. Even the small downhill inclines we needed to pedal because of the head wind.
large_DSCN9108.JPG
At the halfway mark in Oberwesel we stopped at a supermarket as there is nothing at our stop for the next 2 nights. We rode through the town before finding the REWE at the edge of town. As it was still early in the day, no good for us to buy fresh meat as it would not be nice by the time we came to cook it later. We settled for a tin surprise meal for tonight and would treat ourselves to dinner out on Sunday when there are no shops open.
large_DSCN9114.JPGlarge_DSCN9116.JPG
We made it to Bacharach just on 12 o’clock so stopped at the ferry kiosk to buy a radler and eat the fleishkase bread rolls we had purchased earlier at the REWE.
large_DSCN9130.JPG
Camp was only 300 meters further and we were checked in and set up by 1.30pm. So, we headed back into town to have a bit of a walk around, and an ice cream. There is only one short street, so it did not take long to see the sights of Bacharach. There is a castle on the hill here, but we are going to leave that excursion until tomorrow.
large_DSCN9150.JPGlarge_DSCN9153.JPG
Back at camp a few more walking campers and family bike campers had shown up and the place was filling up. We spent the afternoon by the river watching the river traffic go by and chatting with fellow campers.

We cooked out tin dinner (spag bol) and went up for showers at about 8.30pm – quite late for us.

By 9.30pm when we were starting to ready for bed campers were still rolling in and the small strip of grass allocated to tents was just about all taken up. We had a huge tepee set up next to us that was just about pegged in out inside our tent. All very cosy.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 13.35km
8bd933e0-abc7-11e9-a8fd-7f62e2fb955f.PNG
SONNENSTRAND CAMPING 15 euros – toilets with paper, hot shower 1 euro 5 minutes – we are stealing power

MONDAY 22ND JULY 2019 (DAY 31)

BIKE DAY 21 (BACHARACH TO RUDESHIEM)

We asked for warmer weather and we certainly got it and I felt it pelting down on the tent at 8am this morning. Brilliant sunshine, that promised to stay with us all day, and did.

Today we are travelling just 17km upstream to Rudeshiem, so again no great rush to get away. We had a slow breakfast and packed up at our leisure. We spoke to the young girl who seemed to be just as casual about movement as we did. She started walking in the very south of Germany and hopes to get to the North Sea in the very north of Germany in one month. She said she can walk 30 km in a good day, but it is getting very hot now and she has blistered feet. The cart she is pulling weights 35kg.
DSCN9212.JPG

We were packed up, bid farewell to our Dutch friends, paid the bill and rolled out of the camp at 11am, just as the church bells started to chime.
It was already hot, and I am not complaining about the sunshine, just stating a fact.

Of course, the track was good again, and we made good time again. Stopped to take a few pictures on the way. When we reached Bingen we had to wait for the car ferry to cross the river as we are camping on the other side in Rudesheim.
large_DSCN9214.JPGlarge_DSCN9219.JPGlarge_DSCN9215.JPG

The crossing took maybe 10 minutes and it was just a short ride to the other side of the town to find the campsite. It also was one that I have stayed in previously. We rode up to the reception only to be told they were fully booked. But they would find us a place to put the tent, campsites never turn away bike campers. Managed to get the exact same spot as I had last time.
large_DSCN9223.JPG

It was hot putting up the tent, but I assured Lyn I knew where we could get a cold beer as I remembered the bottle shop in the little lane behind the camp. We finished setting up the tent and put the full panniers inside ready to be sorted out later. It was time for a cold bevvy. You can imagine my horror when we rode the 3 minutes to the shop I remembered when we saw it had closed down! Lucky for us there was a REWE, Lidl, Penny and Aldi Sud for us to choose from to buy a cold drink. We did the quick rounds to check which ones had beers in the fridge and I planted a few bottles of wine hidden in the fridges behind yoghurt and cheese for us to pick up later. We bought an ice cream from Aldi which we ate just outside, joined by two other families with the same idea.
large_DSCN9226.JPG

I said to Lyn we now have 2 choices; ride into town and have a look around OR grab a few cold beers and ride back to the camp and sit in the shade and drink them. It was hot so you can imagine which choice was voted by both of us. We had a small cooler bag with us, so we grabbed 4 cans and headed back to camp. This was a great idea to sit in the shade and enjoy the beers, we can ride into town later.
Which we did a few hours later. It’s a short 10-15-minute ride, we walked around for about an hour. Very quiet considering the campground is full and there are a couple of river cruise boats moored for the night. But it was 6pm, so I guess most of them would be back on-board eating dinner.
We purchased tickets for our tour tomorrow and returned to camp via the Penny supermarket to pick up dinner supplies and a nice cold bottle of wine. Chicken kebabs, potato salad and a chilled white – very nice dinner by the river.
large_DSCN9237.JPGlarge_DSCN9228.JPG

Same routine, shower, wash clothes, bed.

It feels quite warm in the tent tonight, so I don’t think we need to worry about being cold anymore.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 17.??KM
c6b1b2b0-bdb7-11e9-adae-014211ef4e0f.PNG

RUDESHIEM CAMPING – 21.40 euros, very nice toilets with paper, hot showers (no token just need to continually hold in the knob)

Posted by Cindy Bruin 03:28 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

2019 July 14 to 17 - GERMANY - Rhine River

and now we on the Rhine!


View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

SUNDAY 14TH JULY 2019 (DAY 23)

BIKE DAY 13 (BRAUBACH TO BOPPARD)

Woke up to another miserable looking day, this weather is getting very tiresome. It had rained most of the night, well at least every time I woke up, I heard rain falling on the tent. Luckily it was only light rain and we stayed nice and dry inside the tent.

As we only had a short distance to travel today, we were not in a great hurry to get moving. Washing was still drying on the fence as we had a slow breakfast. We packed up the tent, gathered everything onto the bikes and managed to ride out of the campground at 10.55am, just five minutes before checking out time of 11am.

The sky stayed dark all day, but no rain fell. But it’s quite cool and we had jackets on all day. The ride from Braubach to Boppard along the Rhine was easy, with good bike path. We had a bit of a head wind for some of the way, but still made good time. We were at the river crossing ferry by 11.45am, and 10 minutes later were pushing the bikes off on the other side into Boppard. I have a friend who lives in Boppard, but lucky for her she is in Tobago with work, so unfortunately, we will not be able to meet up – next time.
large_DSCN8956.JPGlarge_DSCN8962.JPGlarge_DSCN8959.JPG
Being Sunday, the tourist information office was closed, we were hoping to get some accomodation ideas from them as we are going to stop here for a few nights. We are about 4 days ahead of our cycling schedule so have the time to stop in one place for a few days, and since the weather is crap, we decided to find some accomodation indoors. I found a small apartment on booking.com that sounded perfect for us. About the same price as a hotel room, but we have a kitchen, and it said a washing machine. This was the selling factor, a washing machine, so we could give everything a good wash. Unfortunately, it turns out the washing machine is in the building next door and it costs an extra 1 euro per wash. Still cheap enough.

We could not get into the apartment until 3pm, so we locked up the bikes in the main square and walked around the small village of Boppard. All the shops are closed, because it’s Sunday, only restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops are open. Seems the bad weather has kept the tourists away today, with only a small crowd of people that come off a tour boat invading the village.
large_DSCN8974.JPG
We finally received a message we could check into the apartment and had to carry our bags up 4 flights of steps to the ‘penthouse’ apartment. It’s a nice small place, newly renovated with everything from Ikea, including all the kitchen equipment. It will be nice for the next couple of nights to be dry, warm and comfortable. We have big flat screen tv that has satellite TV with more than 500 channels – but only one channel in English BBC News. ☹

We spent the afternoon and evening sitting comfortable, skylight windows in the roof showing the same cloudy sky outside.

Ventured downstairs to lock up the bikes to a sign just to be sure. We bought an ice cream cone and went for a little walk along the river. Still not many people around. We returned to our penthouse apartment for dinner of a tin of surprise that we purchased yesterday knowing that nothing would be open on Sunday.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 10.65km
f6ae16b0-a8d7-11e9-8532-db9005f42d74.PNG
DOWNTOWN STUDIOS BOPPARD 62.50EURO = penthouse studio with full kitchen and use of washing machine

MONDAY 15TH JULY 2019 (DAY 24)

OFF BIKE DAY 14 (BOPPARD)

We did very little today. Had a bit of a lie in, then a relaxed breakfast of some bread with cheese, left over supplies that we already had.
Lyn put in a load of washing in the machine in the building next door that we can use for 1 euro. We are machine washing our towels and sleep sheets.

We didn’t venture out of the apartment until it was time to find some food for lunch. We had a bit of a walk around town, there seem to be a few more tourists here today then there was yesterday. Found the REWE supermarket and bought supplies for lunch and dinner, returned to the apartment to eat. It was pretty cold outside.

After lunch we went for another walk around the village, the shops that were all closed yesterday are of course open today, so we did a little bit of window shopping. Had a 1-euro ice cream cone.

The dryer did not seem to do a great deal to dry our towels etc so now the apartment looks like a Chinese laundry and what most would expect our dwelling to look like.
DSCN8975.JPGDSCN8976.JPG
I cooked dinner tonight, chicken, potatoes and peas. We found a nice bottle of wine at the supermarket for a whopping 1.99 euro which is very nice indeed!

Weather does not seem to be changing, although I don’t think it rained today, it is cold, and the sky is a horrible colour of grey.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 0km

DOWNTOWN STUDIOS BOPPARD 62.50EURO = penthouse studio with full kitchen and use of washing machine

TUESDAY 16TH JULY 2019 (DAY 25)

OFF BIKE DAY 15 (BOPPARD – train to Koblenz)

We woke to a cloudy grey shy which turned into a bright sunny afternoon.

Today we took the train from Boppard to Koblenz using the free Guest Card that came with our accomodation. This card is great as it gives us free unlimited train and bus travel within the VRM area – which is basically from Koln to Mainz along the Rhine River and a few off shoots.

As we rode through Koblenz the other day we decided to go back for another look. Also, we needed to go to Decathlon to get some nuts and bolts that have come off my back-pannier rack, due to crappy job of installation. After breakfast we walked the short distance from the apartment to the Boppard train station, had to wait about 30 minutes for the train, which then took only about 30 minutes to get us into Koblenz. It was a little cold around town and we still wore jackets, but the sun was also out so a good sign. It has not rained since we have gone indoors of course, but the nights have still been cool.

We got what we needed from Decathlon, then walked around a little. Found a REWE to buy a meat roll for lunch. Again found the sometimes elusive spitting boy statue and then walked to the German Corner (where the Mosel & Rhine Rivers meet) to take a couple of photos in our trophy singlets.
DSCN8977.JPGDSCN8978.JPGlarge_DSCN8992.JPG
large_DSCN8982.JPGlarge_DSCN8985.JPG
There were quite a few river cruise ships docked in Koblenz, which meant there were quite a few tourists around.

Just for a change of route, we decided to catch the bus back to Boppard. This took a little longer than the train but got us back within the hour.
We exited the bus before it delivered us back to the main train station as it had turned into such a nice afternoon, we decided to ride the Boppard Chairlift up to the lookout over the Rhine.

It costs 8.50 euros each for the return trip, but not a bad price as the chair took about 10 minutes to reach the top. Once there it’s a short walk to the look out where there is an overpriced café that we decided not to patron. We took some photos then rode the chairlift back down to river level.
large_DSCN8996.JPGlarge_DSCN9008.JPGlarge_DSCN9005.JPGlarge_DSCN9004.JPGlarge_DSCN9002.JPGlarge_DSCN9003.JPG
A slow walk back into town, stopping to have a couple of radlers down by the river.
large_DSCN9036.JPGlarge_DSCN9039.JPGlarge_DSCN9041.JPG

Nice relaxing day today.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 0km

DOWNTOWN STUDIOS BOPPARD 50EURO = penthouse studio with full kitchen and use of washing machine

WEDNESDAY 17TH JULY 2019 (DAY 26)

OFF BIKE DAY 16 (BOPPARD – train to Emmelshausen, walk Bachholz to Boppard)

Again, we woke to an overcast looking day that progressed into a bright sunny afternoon & evening. It has been nice staying in our little apartment for a few (4 in total counting tonight) nights. A bit like having a mini holiday in the middle of our bike riding, which was getting a little low with the weather etc.

Today after a busy morning thinking we needed to change apartments due to a booking mix-up, we again walked to the train station to catch a train that would take us away from the river. Again, we were able to use the Guest Cards for free transport. I did this trip last time I was in Boppard, caught the train up the hill and then walked back down to the town. Today we caught the train to the end of the line, Emmelshausen, just because we could.
large_DSCN9042.JPG
When we got off at the end of the line, we noted the next train out would be in 1 hours’ time and this turned out to be plenty of time. We walked the main street which was nothing interesting and when we decided to stop and have coffee and cake, picked the wrong café that was struggling with 30 or so elder Dutch cyclists who were trying to order lunch rolls. It seemed all too much for the waitress and when we went inside to order coffee, we were advised the waitress would come to our table outside. At this rate we would miss the next train and be stuck here for another hour, so we walked to the train station and had a muesli bar and a drink of water instead.

Back on the train we got off at the last stop before Boppard, Bachholz, this is where we walked back from. This is the walk I did last time and the sign read 8.9km back to Boppard. So, we started the walk through the forest and somewhere early in the walk we must have missed a sign or a turn and our 8.9km hike turned into a 5km hike as we walked a much shorter track. All good, we had at least done something today.
large_DSCN9047.JPGlarge_DSCN9046.JPG
The track led us into the back of town, close to REWE supermarket where we could purchase supplies for dinner tonight, so all very convenient. The day had turned lovely and sunny, and warmer than it has been. Tomorrow we return to life on the bikes.

We had lunch back at the apartment, then went out for an ice cream and another little walk around the village. Lots more tourists here today, the fine weather bringing them out.

We have been able to stop here in Boppard for 4 nights because it turns out were about 6 days ahead of our scheduled bike itinerary. That is ok, it was nice to be able to stop and have a relax. The rest of the journey up the Rhine is going to be very relaxed too, because we still have like 10 days before we fly out of Frankfurt so no long distances or need to rush. I just hope this fine weather continues for us as we will be back to camping for the next couple of nights.

We did a last machine wash of clothes as we will be back to handwashing on the bike. Cooked dinner in, had cold wine and beer - it's been luxury.
large_DSCN9049.JPG
DISTANCE RODE TODAY 0km, WALKED 5km
a12f9da0-a8da-11e9-b3de-ff333f241373.PNG
DOWNTOWN STUDIOS BOPPARD 50EURO = penthouse studio with full kitchen and use of washing machine

Posted by Cindy Bruin 14:36 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

2019 July 10 to 13, Germany - Mosel River

We continue down the Mosel


View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

WEDNESDAY 10TH JULY 2019 (DAY 19)

BIKE DAY 9 (BERNKASTEL-KUES TO BULLAY)

We both woke before the 8.30am alarm. Nice to have had a sleep in a bed in a building! Small pleasures when your tenting it, heh. I stepped out onto our balcony to assess the weather situation. Although the air temp was a little cool still, the very blue sky looked very promising. We dressed and headed to the breakfast room where we ate a ridiculous amount of food. Bread, rolls, cheeses and cold meats, coffee and tea filled our bellies to the max. Greedily we wanted to get our moneys worth and certainly did. And (sorry Surridges) yes, we did steal some cake to have for our morning tea on the river.

After breakfast we carried our panniers downstairs, removed the bikes from the garage and loaded them up for another day. I returned upstairs to return the keys and pay our bill. 68 euros for the room and breakfast plus 1.50euros each city tax. So, a bit more expensive than our camping costs, but well worth the comfortable warm night, and with the early checkin yesterday I think we got our moneys worth from this accommodation.
It was about 10.30am when we started to ride, and it turned out to be a perfect day for riding. The sun was out, but not too warm, the temp was up but not too hot and there was no head wind. And today the path was almost completely smooth, with just a few bumps caused by tree roots. A good riding day.

I’m not sure if it was because we were well rested or because of the filling breakfast we had eaten but we seemed to be riding at a pretty good speed today. Unfortunately, my gps mapper decided not to log our ride for the first 35 minutes so our first 8km were not logged. We gained a day with yesterday ride and today it looked like we were going to do the same. The track was fairly crowded again today, with lots of day trippers and cyclo travellers like us, going in both directions. We saw some of the same riders we passed or past us yesterday. Almost all the riders are, I would guess over 50, with about 70% in the over 60’s closer to 70 years age group. Granted a lot of these older folk are on e-bikes (electric), and we are the only ones I have seen on an ungeared bike. So, I don’t feel bad when we are overtaken by someone on an electric bike. Anyway, we seem to catch them on the flat, but they then pass us when we are pushing our laden bikes up a small hill/incline. Path hoggers coming towards us on a narrow part of the path, caused me to stop suddenly and with Lyn right behind me she had to stop suddenly too. A young boy following too closely behind her did not stop and crashed straight into the back of Lyn’s bike. Lucky no one was hurt and no damage to either bikes.

We stopped a couple of times for a break and a little snack (the stolen cake) but had no need for lunch as we were still full of breakfast.
large_DSCN8821.JPGlarge_DSCN8803.JPGlarge_DSCN8823.JPGlarge_DSCN8820.JPGlarge_DSCN8797.JPG

Again, the scenery was very pretty with steep vineyards to accompany us along the way. There is more river traffic now than we have seen earlier. A few private pleasure crafts, ferries travelling from town to town, as well as big long river cruisers.

We stopped in the town of Zell at about 2pm, wanting to ask the tourist office where we might be able to buy some gas for our cooker. We are not completely out but should start looking so we are not left with empty cans. They advised best place is camping grounds or try supermarket – not really much help as I already thought of them. Since we had stopped, I decided it was a good time to have a cold beer and we sat with a 2-euro radler purchased from a riverside kiosk. I remember from my last visit along this river they are much cheaper than cafes/restaurants to buy a beer from.
large_DSCN8816.JPG

Our stop for the night was less than 6km further along the river and we were there in no time. Found the campground, which is directly on the river, we given a pitch, set up camp then rode to local supermarket for dinner supplies. As the weather is still warm, we did not want to have a hot cooked meal, instead settled for a smoked fish – which costs a ridiculous 2.10 euros, would pay triple that in OZ, straw chips and cold egg salad. Of course, we also purchased a couple of radler beers to have back at camp.
large_DSCN8827.JPG
large_DSCN8824.JPG
Hungry by 6, we ate earlier than usual due to no lunch, I guess. Showered, and now in tent at 8.27pm waiting for it to get dark. Haha, that won’t be for another 1 ½ hours at least, but somehow, I don’t think we will last that long. Just hope the temperature does not drop too much as it’s cold in the tent.

Another big ride today clocking up about 48km, but an easy ride I must admit. Lyn and I were just discussing today, that it’s amazing we have not been sore at all from the bike riding. Considering we had no training for this ride, we have had no soreness or muscle fatigue. Sure, we are tired at the end of the day, its now 8.39pm and I think Lyn has already crashed here next to me in the tent, but no stiff legs at all. Not bad for a couple of old birds!

I saw a big (about 1 meter long) snake cross the bike path this afternoon. Much bigger than the 2 little one we have previously encountered.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 48KM
1b517680-a6f6-11e9-8933-f950a02da614.PNG
BAREN CAMP – BULLARY 25 EUROS, TOILETS with paper, HOT SHOWERS, no power

THURSDAY 11TH JULY 2019 (DAY 20)

BIKE DAY 10 (BULLAY TO COCHEM)

Last night was the warmest night we have had in the tent!

Looked out the tent this morning at about 8.30am and did not like what I saw. Cloudy sky again, but this one looked like it was going to be wet. After such a glorious day yesterday, today turned out to be our worst so far.

We managed to have breakfast, pack up the tent dry and load the bikes before any moisture got to them. However, 10 minutes into our ride it started to spit lightly, then it got a little harder and then a little harder and a little more. The light spit turned into a constant drizzle, not a pour down, but definitely constant precipitation. I guess we were lucky in the fact there was no wind, so it was not too cold.
large_DSCN8840.JPG
We made the decision that we would push on to our nights stop and then get a room for the night as there was no way we would be camping in the wet. Our goal was Cochem which was about a 30km ride. We really had nowhere to wait out the rain and no point getting a room where we were as we were already on our way and semi damp. We rode a good path today and had it been sunny it would have been another fantastic ride, but one thing we can’t control is the weather.
large_DSCN8828.JPGlarge_DSCN8845.JPG
We made a few stops along the way when the rain got a little heavier but mostly just pedalled through the light rain.

We reached Cochem at about 1.30pm and went straight to the tourist office to get assistance with finding a room. They had a help yourself method with a big board listing available accomodation with a free phone to use to contact them, only thing was there were no prices listed. I was able to get onto the towns free internet and found us a place on booking.com which was just out of the main part of town and a good price at 65 euros including breakfast. Cochem is a touristy little place and all the accomodation in the centre were over 100 euros per night and not offering breakfast, so we were willing to ride 1km back the way we came into town for the saving.
large_DSCN8858.JPGlarge_DSCN8860.JPGlarge_DSCN8851.JPG
We had to wait as checkin was not until 3pm and the hotel was all locked up. The owners arrived at about 20 past and we were shown to our room. No view this time, obviously the cheaper rooms are not facing the river, but we didn’t care. We took off our wet rain ponchos and damp clothes and put on the white fluffy robes that were included in our room. This was luxury.

Ironically, about 30 minutes after we checked in, looking out the window we could see blue sky and the rain had stopped and the weather looked like it was clearing. Bad luck, we are in this lovely warm room now and we are here for the night.

I was happy to note that later on when we walked back into town for dinner at about 6.30pm there was a light showering of rain so it would have been shit if we were in the tent tonight. Bad news is this weather is forecast for next 3 days!

Anyway, we had a bit of a walk around town, had a pre-dinner ice cream cone, then found a place to have schnitzel for dinner. Had a 3-course meal for 14.99 euros each (bargain) and shared a ½ litre carafe of rose for 10 euros. I can tell you we needed the short walk back to the hotel; we have not eaten so much since our big breakfast the other morning in Bernkastel-Kues.
DSCN8867.JPGDSCN8868.JPGDSCN8870.JPGDSCN8871.JPG
So, hoping tomorrow is a better day than today. We won’t be leaving here early as we have breakfast included with the hotel room and our next destination is only about 20km. We need sunshine as we need to wash clothes and get them dry. Lol
large_DSCN8873.JPG
DISTANCE RODE TODAY 29.78km
6a4f5d30-a8d4-11e9-8532-db9005f42d74.PNG
WEINHOTEL COCHEM 63.05euros – twin room, private bathroom across the hall, good buffet breakfast incl

FRIDAY 12TH JULY 2019 (DAY 21)

BIKE DAY 11 (COCHEM TO MOSELKERN)

It was nice to sleep inside, but the beds were like blocks of cement compared to our airbeds. But it was warm, and we had a nice breakfast. The manager advised us that the bike path on the other side of town was closed due to road works and that we would need to go over the bridge and catch a ferry back to the other side. Which is exactly what we did.
large_DSCN8877.JPGlarge_DSCN8879.JPGlarge_DSCN8881.JPG
It was easy riding again, track along the Mosel is very good and flat, its only the wind that we need to contend with.

We didn’t have far to go today. Our overnight stop in Moselkern is the best location for us to walk to Burg Eltz (castle), and we rode into the camping ground before midday. It looked a bit like the people from Hicksville were running the place, but they turned out to be the nicest we have come across on our trip.

As we were shown to our patch of grass, a German lady sitting in the annex of her caravan yelled out to us in German, ‘best get that tent up very fast, its about to piss down rain!’ And unfortunately, true to her word, nature opened up the skies as soon as we had the tent up. It was not very heavy rain and I was confident that our belongings stashed inside would stay dry. There was not much we could do except sit around under the cover of the café and wait for the rain to stop. Which it did, but it wasn’t finished yet.

Because we were here so early, it would be possible for us to do the walk to the castle today instead of walking there tomorrow forcing us to stay another night. The rain had eased a little, so we set off on the walk through the forest, it was only 4.4km to the castle. About 10 minutes into our walk the heavens opened, and it poured down. We already had on our trusty Ikea rain ponchos and tried to shelter under trees, but this was the heaviest rain we had encountered the whole trip. My first thought was of the tent and hoping it was keeping everything dry inside.

I said to Lyn, you wanna keep going in the rain or turn back and sit in the rain near the tent? We were about as wet as we were going to get, which was not very wet the Ikea ponchos do a pretty good job, so we decided to carry on to the castle. Turns out this was a very good idea. 15 minutes later the rain stopped, and the sun came out. By the time we arrived at the castle it was quite sunny, and we were having regrets about not bringing our sunglasses.
large_DSCN8887.JPGDSCN8889.JPGDSCN8892.JPGlarge_DSCN8899.JPGlarge_DSCN8898.JPG
We walked around the 12th century castle, sat in the sunshine and ate our sandwich picnic lunch, even sat in the sun and had a coffee and shared a piece of cake. We started the walk back, marvelling at the change of weather and glad we had continued on.
large_DSCN8910.JPGlarge_DSCN8918.JPGlarge_DSCN8923.JPG
We reached the village of Moselkern and as it was still dry, I suggested we just go for a walk through, it was not very big.
large_DSCN8931.JPGAbout 2 minutes from the campsite the heavens opened again, and we quickly put our ponchos back on. Reaching the camp, I could see there was a dip in the top of the tent, this meant that water was pooling, and this is when water starts to leak. It was really coming down now, but I had no choice but to go and rescue the tent. It was just a matter of pulling the guide ropes a little tighter to make the fly tauter so the water flowed off and did not pool. It’s a good tent and will not leak if set up properly.

We sat and waited out the downpour, then when Lyn went to check the damage, only her sleeping bag was slightly wet. The lovely (although a bit odd) lady manager offered to put it in the dryer and dry the sleeping bag. Then some other caravan dwellers helped us to relocate the tent to a dryer patch of grass. Out came a tarp to put under the tent, a woman handed us a roll of kitchen paper towel to mop up any dampness inside the tent. And all this was done with limited common language. These people were wonderful.

When this was all sorted, we asked for a glass of wine and were served a lovely wine that came from the managers vineyard. It was very drinkable and at just 1.50 euros per glass lucky we didn’t drink ourselves to sleep.

The rain managed to stay away long enough for us to cook some dinner and have showers and crawl into the tent, which was dry inside. Moments after laying down we could hear the patter of rain on the nylon of the tent, but it did not get heavy enough for us to worry about during the night.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 18.78km
648b6c30-a8d5-11e9-bb8c-d9444ebc4def.PNG
MOSELKERN CAMPING 12euros – toilets with paper, 1 euro hot showers, no power

SATURDAY 13TH JULY 2019 (DAY 22)

BIKE DAY 12 (MOSELKERN TO BRAUBACH)

Amazingly enough, it was dry in the morning and we had camp breakfast. We packed everything up and the tent was surprisingly dry. Not quite sure where we are heading today, lol. I was wanting to find an apartment somewhere that we can stop for a few days our of the crap weather. Couldn’t seem to find anywhere so we were riding a little blind, not knowing where we were going to stop.

The weather held out at least and it did not rain. The only thing we did know about finding accommodation is that we desperately needed a washing machine. Because of the crap weather we have been having we have not been able to do our daily washing. We are now on day 4 with only 2 changes of clothes, you do the math.
large_DSCN8940.JPGlarge_DSCN8936.JPGlarge_DSCN8951.JPG
The bike path for the end of the Mosel was good as usual. It’s a lovely part of Germany and I am sorry we had the weather that did not do it justice. At least it has been easy pedalling.

We rode into Koblenz and decided to go to the tourist office to see if they could maybe help with finding accommodation. They were about as helpful as tits on a bull, gave me an accommodation book that was completely in German. Thanks. And they did not even have wifi for us to look on the internet. Advised we go over to the shopping centre as there is wifi there. So, we did and still I did not have any luck. Being a rather large town the accommodation here was out of our price range so we decided to ride out and try and sort something out later.

So, we turn right and are now riding alongside the Rhine River. This is our third and final river of this bike trip. We have been alongside the Saar River, then the Mosel River and now the Rhine River.

We ride for a bit longer and decide we will have to camp tonight. Stop at supermarket for dinner supplies we head to Braubach camping and hope they have a washing machine. It is still early enough in the day that we will be able to do a must needed wash of clothes and hang them out to dry.
We are given the only patch of dirt in the whole grassy campground and advised the washing machine costs 3.50 euro per load. Good enough, I put up the tent in the dirt as Lyn organizes the washing, this is after we both strip off the dirties, we are wearing.

Before long all our wardrobes are hanging on the fence of the camp, drying!

We cook dinner as the campground fills up and takes away our view of the castle on the hill.

Been a funny day today, but we are dry and will have clean clothes to wear tomorrow so all good.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 49.95KM
00d784b0-a8d7-11e9-8532-db9005f42d74.PNG
UFERWEISE CAMP BRAUBACH 10 EURO – toilets with paper, 1 euro hot showers, no power, 3.50 euro for washing machine

Posted by Cindy Bruin 13:57 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

2019 July 06 to 09, Germany - Mosel River

We start riding the every winding Mosel


View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

SATURDAY 6TH JULY 2019 (DAY 15)

BIKE DAY 5 (SAARBURG TO TRIER)

Another cold night in the tent. We woke up to dew on the ground this morning, this is the first time we have had dew on the tent and on our washing that we left out overnight. It was not a heavy dew and as soon as the sun hit the tent it was dry, not so lucky for our clothes as they had sucked up a bit of the moisture. Never mind, we will just ride with our clothing strapped on the back of the bike, and they can dry that way.
large_DSCN8650.JPG
large_DSCN8533.JPG
More blue sky and sunny weather, we rode out of the campground at 10.11am, heading first to the supermarket to take back our beer cans from yesterday (all cans and bottles in Germany are charged with a deposit and need to be returned to get your deposit back – sort of a forced recycling that works perfectly) and get some lunch supplies for on the road.

It was an easy ride today and we made it to the end of the Saar River where it flows into the Mosel River. Here we stopped to have a celebration cake that I had purchased this morning. Any reason to have a cake is a good one.
large_DSCN8648.JPG
DSCN8654.JPGDSCN8653.JPG
So, we are now riding along the Mosel River and our first stop is the town of Trier. Trier is supposedly the oldest town in Germany. We found the campground, same one I have stayed in previously, set the tent up, had lunch then rode into town to have a wander around. Town was crawling with lots and lots of tourists. It was late in the afternoon and still all the shops in the centre were open, taking full advantage of the crowds. We walked around for a while then stopped to have a beer and people watch. This is the most tourists we have seen anywhere.
large_DSCN8659.JPGDSCN8658.JPGDSCN8660.JPGDSCN8662.JPGDSCN8657.JPG

On the way back to the campground we stopped at the supermarket for some dinner supplies and a few beers which we drank back beside the tent. The campground is right on the rivers edge with just the bike track, a very busy bike track, and a fence separating them. Sitting here drinking our beers watching the foot and bike traffic go past it’s a bit like we are exhibits in a zoo. Everyone looks at us, some smile, some say hello, others zoom past ignoring us. It’s funny.

We do the usual, shower then climb into the tent for bed, hoping for a warmer night’s sleep and no rain.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 23.67km
a7f0d990-a427-11e9-9c0a-05f6f3d5e1f9.PNG

TREVIRIS CAMPING TRIER 19.50 EUROS – toilets with paper, hot shower @ 1euro for 5mins, grassy pitch

SUNDAY 7TH JULY 2019 (DAY 16)

OFF BIKE DAY 6 (TRAIN TRIER TO LUXEMBOURG RETURN)

Last night did not seem to be as cold as previous nights have been. I, at least, felt as if I slept a little better than previous nights. Getting out of the tent the weather did not look very nice for our day today. Lots of clouds and no blue sky to be seen. By the time we were eating breakfast we had to don our rain ponchos as a light rain started to fall. It as not falling very hard, but enough that we would get wet without the covering.

Most of the other cycle campers were in different stages of packing up, but we are having an off-bike day today, so we were in no hurry to do anything. Today we are catching the train to the neighbouring country of Luxembourg, so there will be no riding in the rain for us, no matter how light it is.

Yesterday we had called into the train station and picked up a train timetable and know that trains are hourly at 37 minutes past the hour so we can catch whichever we like. After we ate breakfast, we stowed everything inside the tent, handed my laptop into reception for safe keeping and asked them to charge it for me (which they did) and we rode the couple of km’s into Trier town to the train station. Being a Sunday there was not very much traffic on the roads. Out front of the station we locked our bikes to each other and to a couple of poles and hoped that they would still be there when we returned this afternoon. Our bikes are still all dusty and dirty (now after a sprinkle of rain, muddy) so they surely would not be the first choice for bike thieves, well that’s what we were counting on anyway.

We purchased tickets from the auto ticket machine and were pleasantly surprised when we discovered the cost was only 9.60euros each return. Good value for a train ticket to another country I reckon.

We had only about 15 minutes to wait for our train and to be sure asked that it was the correct one as there were 2 trains at the same platform leaving within minutes of each other. The train ride was about an hour and when we left Trier the train retraced the path along the Mosel River that we had cycled yesterday, up to the Saar River. Then the train headed away from the rivers toward Luxembourg’s capital Luxembourg. We rode past farmland, pastures and forest - all very green.

Unfortunately for us, the weather did not look any better when we arrived in Luxembourg. We walked out of the train station and not far up the road towards the centre and we stopped to put our rain ponchos back on. Hey, we may not have looked fabulous, but we were the only tourists walking around and keeping dry. The rain was not very heavy, just a light shower really, but again enough to get you wet if walking around in it. Some people looked at us weirdly in our bright ponchos, but even more looked at us with envy as they started to get very soggy.

We walked around the pedestrian streets, being a Sunday, all the stops were closed but there were still a fair number of tourists walking around. We found a trash and treasure market in an open square, but most of the goods for sale were covered with plastic to attempt to keep their wares dry. There was nothing we saw that we could not live without so did not make any purchases. Lyn did eye off an old wooden spinning wheel that was just 7 euros, but how the hell do you carry a spinning wheel on a bike? We started to look for somewhere to have lunch and I said it would be nice to have some soup and bread. There were of course lots of restaurants and cafes open, all serving overpriced food to the soggy tourists who entered these places mainly to get out of the rain. I spotted a kebab shop that looked like they were serving Turkish kebab which we headed towards hoping they might serve soup. Yes, lentil soup and warm pita bread for just 4 euro each! What a bargain and it tasted delicious, just what we wanted.

After lunch, the rain had eased a bit, so we returned to the lookout to go up in the City Sky Liner. This was like a ride at an amusement park but travelled very slowly and gave a great view out over the city at 70 meters up in the air. Looked like a spaceship and was not a bad price @ 7 euros each for a 20-minute ride. After our birds eye view over the city, we caught the lift down into the oldtown and there seemed like a climate change down there as the sun was shining and we walked around after having stripped off our long sleeves and leg warmers. We walked back up the hill to the corniche and walked around some more.
large_DSCN8669.JPGlarge_DSCN8701.JPGlarge_DSCN8695.JPGlarge_DSCN8675.JPG

At around 5.30ish, we started to head back in the direction of the train station. Arriving there at around 6 and saw that our next train was at 6.33 so we had enough time for a coffee before heading to the platform. Be buggered if these Europeans can make a hot cup of coffee. It cost us 6.80 euros for 2 (half cups – they don’t know how to fill cups to the top either) and 2 tiny scroll buns – which really is on par with what we would pay in Australia – so not too bad.

The 6.33pm train arrived back in Trier at about 7.30pm and we were very happy to see both our bikes still chained up to the post where we had left them. Always a worry when we must leave them somewhere for a few hours.

We rode back to the campsite and noticed the road was dry here in Trier so if it had rained here today, it was a lot earlier and everything was now dry again. The sky was still very cloudy, but hopefully that will make for not such a cold night again.

Back at camp we relaxed and drank the 2 cans of radler beer we left in the camp fridge, also hoping they would be there on our return. And they were, so thank you fellow campers for not pinching them. We cooked dinner; a can surprise purchased from the supermarket yesterday as we thought nothing would be open on Sunday. And again, we were correct.
large_DSCN8711.JPG

Showers, and again here I am in the tent typing this as Lyn snores beside me. It’s just turned 10pm and the towns church bells are ringing. It’s just starting to get dark outside, not much light coming through the tent nylon.

Tomorrow we continue riding up the Mosel River.

TREVIRIS CAMPING TRIER 19.50 EUROS – toilets with paper, hot shower @ 1euro for 5mins, grassy pitch

MONDAY 8TH JULY 2019 (DAY 17)

BIKE DAY 7 (TRIER TO RIOL)

The sun was shining when we woke this morning, so that was a good sign. We had no supplies for breakfast and the reception did not have any spare rolls, so we just had a coffee/ tea and packed up the tent and our gear and rode up the road to the supermarket. We paid the bill on the way out, 21.50euro per night, pretty good.

large_DSCN8712.JPG
We ate a quick roll and cheese in the supermarket carpark and were soon on our way. Not too far to cycle today, only about 20km to the village of Riol where we have booked a wine barrel to sleep in. And at the campsite there is a luge too, that is the main reason for this overnight choice. We were on the bike track by 11am. The path today was easy again, after leaving Trier it took us inland a bit and we rode through a bit of industrial areas. Soon we were back by the River Mosel with steep vineyards covering the valley hills.

As we don’t have that far to go so, we took it very easy, stopping for photos and water breaks. I was not sure if there was a supermarket near our campground so we stopped at a supermarket to buy some lunch supplies and a can of something for dinner. Just as well we did as the campground is near a small village that does not even have a shop and the only food available at the camp is an onsite Italian Restaurant.
large_DSCN8717.JPG
Our lunch stop by the side of the Mosel River was very picturesque. After we’d eaten the camp was only a couple of km further, so we were there by 2pm. No problem, the weather is funny today, although the sun is out there are lots of clouds and the wind is quite fresh when we were riding in the shade of the trees. Last night was chilly in the tent again so I think both Lyn and I are looking forward to spending the night inside a warm wooden wine barrel. We checked into TrioLago Campground and were given a key for our barrel which we rode up to.
large_DSCN8723.JPG
Always the first thing to do is washing, we did not wash yesterday’s clothes last night as we knew this was going to be an early stop. So, washing done, and hung out to dry we went for a bit of a ride into the village hoping to find a small shop to buy some liquid refreshments. We didn’t know there would be a share fridge at this camp and had no supplies with us. Sadly, no shop and we did not feel like riding back to the supermarket.
Instead we rode back and had a ride on the luge. This is one that was missed 5 years ago when I rode past with Sarah and the Lemons as it was closed. But today it was open and for 4 euros each we enjoyed Rodelbahn #2 for this trip. And decided to celebrate with a beer at the Italian Restaurant! What the hell.
DSCN8726.JPGDSCN8728.JPG

The rest of the afternoon we relaxed, the sky is still full of clouds with splashes of blue and every now and then the sun shines through and its quite warm. However, out of the sun its chilly, such an odd weather day today. I’m hoping to see that clear blue sky and warmer weather again tomorrow when we ride again.

Dinner from a can is warm and hearty which we cook outside the barrel, fighting with the strong breeze that wants to blow out our gas cooker.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 22.40KM PLUS EXTRA 6KM AROUND RIOL VILLAGE AND TO THE SHOWERS AND BACK
92af5a60-a6f3-11e9-ab2a-957584557a5b.PNG
TRIOLAGO CAMPING 32 EURO – WINE BARREL – TOILETS 50M (with paper) SHOWERS 700M AWAY – HOT

TUESDAY 9TH JULY 2019 (DAY 18)

BIKE DAY 8 (RIOL TO BERNKASTEL-KUES)

Ok, so we can now say we have slept in a wine barrel, although I don’t think it was an actual real wine barrel that was used for storage of wine, but it was the same shame as a wine barrel so close enough. Unfortunately, the 3cm thickness of the mattress made our huge airbeds seem very luxurious. I guess it was a bit warmer inside the wood than it would have been in our thin nylon tent so that was a bonus.

We had breakfast from supplies and loaded the bikes and were back in the saddle on the Mosel Radweg (bike way) by 9.30am.

It was cold today. Cold when we started riding and we kept sleeves on most of the day. Original plan was to ride only about 20km to our nights stop, but when we had reached our destination by 11am we decided to carry on riding a little further. Not sure if we were riding faster today to try and keep warm or what but we ended up doing almost 40km and made it to tomorrow nights stop at about 2pm.

large_DSCN8738.JPGlarge_DSCN8739.JPGlarge_DSCN8744.JPG

Pretty good going considering we battled with a head wind all day as well as the cold.
large_DSCN8730.JPG

We rode into the pretty little town of Bernkastel-Kues. Very touristy here, with a castle high up on top of the hill above the grape vines. There are lots of boats that leave from here that can ferry you on to the next town and beyond, or boats offering 1-hour round trips a short distance on the Mosel. Also, a night stopover for river boat cruises, which are very popular with Australian tourists as we heard lots of Aussie accents from many septuagenarians walking around.

About 1 or 2 km out before we reached the town, we spied a camping ground on the other side of the river. I was kinda hoping that was not the one we wanted as it would mean we have to ride into town, cross the bridge to the other side and ride the 2km back to the campground. Our first stop was at the tourist information office, where I wanted to confirm the closest campground was the one, we saw. Of course, it was then only campground for this town. Erk. Out of curiosity I asked the nice lady at the tourist info about a price of a room for the night. Actually, she was not a very nice lady at all, as when she quoted me 120 euros for a hotel in the old town, she turned up her nose when I asked if there was anywhere a bit cheaper. Ump, a guesthouse for 68 euros with shower and breakfast she spat at me. I went back outside to confer with Lyn, and she agreed we could afford the splurge and take the room instead of riding back to the campground.

Suddenly the sun came out and the rest of the afternoon was lovely, sunny and warm. Our small room with 2 single beds and bathroom had a great balcony (that was bigger than the room) which overlooked the river. We relaxed after our long ride, then went out later in the afternoon to have a walk around town.
DSCN8784.JPGlarge_DSCN8753.JPGlarge_DSCN8755.JPGlarge_DSCN8776.JPG

Lots of very old buildings here, the very typical German half wooden houses. Very pretty place. We went over the bridge to the other side of the river to find a supermarket. Bought some beers, and a very nice bottle of local Mosel wine for just 5 euros. We enjoyed the wine with dinner (surprise can) which we very naughtily heated up in our bathroom. After splurging for the room, we couldn’t completely blow the budget by eating out.

Tonight, we sleep in a soft bed in a warm room – well worth the money. I have managed to load photos from the last few days also.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 40KM
46681c90-a6f4-11e9-9911-17687d1151ac.PNG
BON GARDEN GUESTHOUSE 68 EURO, soft beds, hot shower, breakfast included.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 04:33 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

2019 July 03 to July 05 Germany Saar River

We start to ride along the Saar River


View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

WEDNESDAY 3RD JULY 2019 (DAY 12)

BIKE DAY 2 (SAARBRUCKEN TO SAARLOUIS)

We both woke early this morning @ 7.30am, normal for Lyn, but not for me. But we got up and starting the day. Today we ride! Last night was a little cool, but not too bad sleeping in the tent. Airbeds tick.

I ride to the REWE supermarket to get some bread rolls for breakfast, while Lyn cooks the water for coffee and tea. Breakfast done, we broke camp, loaded up the bikes and were on our way.

The thing about riding alongside a river is you can never really get lost if you keep the river on your side. This we did and had a nice easy ride for our first day.
large_DSCN8509.JPGlarge_DSCN8518.JPG

Around 12 we came to the outskirts of Saarlouis and stopped at a shopping centre with a Decathlon and an Ikea – two of our most favourite stores in Europe. First, we went into Decathlon as we really needed to buy a bike pump that we could use. Easily done, I checked with staff that it would fit the bikes we purchased and yes 3.99euro later we were better equipped than yesterday. While in there Lyn purchase new swimmer and we both treated ourselves to a new towel. That must be about #8 Decathlon towel that I now own. Lol
large_DSCN8525.JPG
And since it was that time of day, a lunch of Swedish meatballs with mash potato was enjoyed. I flashed my Australian Ikea family card and managed to get a free coffee as well! Yes, we know Angie lots of Germany things to eat in Germany, but we are here for 4 weeks so will get ample time to eat all the German stuff. And yes, to anyone who is interested, Ikea meatballs taste the same in every country (can vouch for having eaten them in about 7 different countries now).
large_DSCN8521.JPGlarge_DSCN8524.JPG
We retraced our path back to the Saar river and continued on to find our campsite for the night. It was just 1 km off the river and with the help of GPS we rode up to reception at 2pm. Lucky there was someone there as the reception is closed in the middle of the day. I do vaguely remember this from other visits to Germany that they close, and you have to wait to check in. Lucky for us the lady was willing for us to pay and set up camp even though we were early. Wow, this camp is a bit more expensive than staying at the Kanu Club @ 15 euro EACH = total 30 euros, almost 3 times price of last night. But that did include power which we took full advantage of and managed to log onto some free wifi.

Looking where to set up the tent, some German lady pointed out a roofed area to us where we could also set up. This was perfect, a little more protection and there was table and chairs for our use and 2 power points which we used to the fullest.
large_DSCN8527.JPG

We set up the tent, hung up our bedding for airing and then went for a walk to the nearby Lidl supermarket for dinner supplies. Returning we relaxed with a couple of beers we had purchased at Lidl then while I caught up on some blog stuff, Lyn did some work on the bikes. Mine especially had been making a noise like something was scraping on the tyre and it felt a little like my brakes were on all the time so needed adjustment. Turns out there was a screw from the mud guide that had been scraping on the tyre, enough to make a small rut as the wheel spun around. It had not done too much damage but was definitely why it felt like I had the brakes on all the time. It was a little funny that during the day, although I was riding in front Lyn would always coast past me when we had a small downhill. I’m sure I am going to feel a distinct difference with riding loaded up tomorrow. Those guys in the Frankfurt Decathlon who assembled these bikes basically did a shit job!

Later in the afternoon we decided to take a short ride to look around the centre of Saarlouis, which was just a short 10-minute ride from the campground. Well that took about 10 minutes and we had seen it. Not a great deal to see, not really a very interesting town, so we rode back to camp. Had dinner. Walked to shower – this place is spotless, nice when it’s really, really clean.

During the afternoon 4 sets of cyclists had turned up at the camping ground but none had set up near us. And they were all Germans. Just riding today, I was surprised at how busy the bike path has been. Busy with day riders, obvious bike travellers like us and the usual lycra covered speedsters. I had no idea this Saar Bike route was so popular.

At 10 pm when it finally started to get dark, I was sitting up but started to get a little cold so went to join Lyn in the tent.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 25.8KM

SAARLOUIS CAMPING 30 EUROS – toilets with paper, hot showers, undercover pitch

THURSDAY 4TH JULY 2019 (DAY 13)

BIKE DAY 3 (SAARLOUIS TO MERZIG)

We slept in this morning, not waking up until 9.30am. It had been a pretty cold night and I don’t think either of us had a very comfortable or restful sleep. Slowly we got out of the tent and started moving.

Breakfast consisted of black tea, as we had no milk, and I toasted a couple of yesterday’s bread rolls on the super BBQ plate which we ate with liverwurst. Enough to get us going. The tent was packed up, our panniers filled and loaded onto the bikes. We rode out the campsite at 10.45am.
Still following the Saar River but we had a few off-river detours today due to road works. Detours which added distance to our pedalling, but not distance towards our destination. However, it was still easy riding, and it was very easy again once we were returned to the river side. There is not a great deal in the way of scenery and although the bike track does run directly next to the river. However, on the other side is a 4-lane highway, as the cars like to drive next to the river also. But this makes for a pretty noisy ride.
DSCN8535.JPG

Our planned ride today was only about 20km to Merzig and even with our late start we made good time and when we reached our destination at about 1pm the first stop was to the supermarket for some lunch supplies. These bought we found a nice park to sit and eat. I suggested we find the tourist office and ask if they know how far the next camping ground is as we were still fit enough to ride another 10 km or so today. But alas, the next nearest campground, in the direction we are travelling, is tomorrows night stop and too far for us to add onto todays tally so we agreed it would best to stop here the night as per itinerary.
DSCN8538.JPG

We found the Merzig Kanu Club camping ground and as it’s a basic camp the price is much less again. We are paying 12 euro tonight for unpowered site, unfortunately a good walk away from the toilet / shower. There seems to be a lot of permanent residence in this campground, so the tenting area is well away from them. But it will be fine for us.

The tent went up, Lyn did a bit of washing, we inflated our magical airbeds and decided to go for a short ride to the Wolfpark. This is a walk-through park to view assorted wolves in enclosures, which was set up by a bloke named Werner Freund who used to study these creatures and apparently made a few unknow discoveries about wolves and wrote a few books etc. Mr Freund is long gone, having died at the ripe old age of 80 years of age, but the park remains for visitors to come see a real live wolf. Must admit I was a little disappointed as they looked just like dogs to me. I was expecting a bigger more menacing looking dog like animal, but there you go. We enjoyed a lemon beer at the café next door hoping the money went towards the Wolfpark as there was no admission charge and these animals are kept alive on donations.
DSCN8547.JPGDSCN8563.JPGDSCN8553.JPG

We rode back into town (which was all downhill – glorious) and stopped at the supermarket for dinner supplies. Grabbed a few cold beers and high tailed it back to the campground to drink the beer while it was still cold. Worst thing about bike travel – no refrigeration, so all meals need be purchased as we are about to cook them, and cold drinks purchased need to be drunk as soon as possible.

We enjoyed the beers back at camp with cheese and crackers. We took turns of visiting the shower. Today’s clothes get washed while we shower also, remember we only have 2 sets of bike riding clothes, so these need to be washed every day. After our showers we just hang around in our pjs as cannot afford to dirty another set of clothes. Most times we have a shower just before bed, so it doesn’t matter anyway. Tonight, camp dinner was cooked in pjs but there was no one around to see or laugh at us so who cares.
large_DSCN8572.JPG

The weather so far has been fabulous, bright blue sky, warm but not too hot. We had a little head wind today, which was strong enough to keep us cool, but not enough to make us fight too much to ride into it.

Tomorrow is a big ride day of 30 km planned. That’s why we are in the tent in bed already at 9.30pm, but it’s hard to sleep when it’s still broad daylight outside and the nylon of the tent has no ability of blocking out the light.
3d38fa10-a3f5-11e9-bb9c-8989e7ebaf19.PNG

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 20.26KM PLUS AN EXTRA 8.46KM TO THE WOLFPARK

MERZIG KANU CLUB CAMPING 12 EUROS – toilet with paper, hot shower, grassy pitch

FRIDAY 5TH JULY 2019 (DAY 14)

BIKE DAY 4 (MERZIG TO SAARBURG)

It was very cold in the tent again last night.

We woke up earlier this morning and when I looked out the tent up at the sky I did not like what I saw. No blue, just a sky completely covered in clouds. This is not what you want to see at the start of a biking day. We were up by about 8 and packed up and rode out at 9am. Straight to the supermarket for breakfast and lunch supplies, we ate breakfast in the car park and were on the road again by 10am. Very happy to see that by then the sky had cleared, and the beautiful blue showed itself again.
large_DSCN8585.JPG

The track today was different to the last couple of days. Scenery was a little nicer, started off passing fields of crops, then when the valley became narrow the hillsides were forested. Parts of the valley we rode today were just wide enough for the river to flow through and a bike track on the side. Other parts were a little wider, where there was room for a road and a railway line. It was nice not riding alongside a busy road, and we listened to the sounds of birds rather than the sounds of cars speeding by.
large_DSCN8589.JPGlarge_DSCN8573.JPGlarge_DSCN8595.JPG
Unfortunately, the track was a little rough in places, with a great deal of it gravel or dirt. It’s tougher going and made our bikes (and us) very dusty. We did a little bit of pushing today as well, due to a few small inclines which are not easy on an ungeared bike carrying 20 kg of gear. But all in all, a good days riding.

We stopped by the river to have our lunch at about 1pm and rode into Saarburg at about 2pm. I have no idea why the campgrounds are not directly on the river along the Saar and we again had a little ride around trying to find the campgrounds. It was just out the back of town and after receiving some directions from and woman in German we found it no problems. Nice little campground full of Dutch grey nomads. We set up the tent and then I rode out to the nearby REWE supermarket to buy us a couple of cold beers. We deserved them today, we’d done the longest ride so far.

We relaxed by the tent enjoying the beers before heading out back into town at about 4pm. There is a festival on this weekend in Saarberg which has starting when we rode in earlier. Roads in the centre of the town were closed off to all traffic and we had to push the bikes through the street. There seemed to be some kind of marathon being run through the closed off streets, but we needed to get through as we wanted to get to the sesselbahn (chairlift) that would transport us up to the top of a hill where there was a sommerrodelbahn (luge). Now everyone knows I love a luge and there was no way we were going to miss out on riding this one.
DSCN8609.JPGDSCN8622.JPG
The chairlift was 5.70 euro each return and carried us up for about 10 minutes to the top of a hill that overlooked the town and parts of the Saar River. The luge was 2.50 euro each for a round and we got there just before closing so could only go around once. That was ok, good fun, see the video on FB. We decided to have a beer from the terrace café – which offered no view – before riding the chairlift back down before it stopped at 6.40pm.
large_DSCN8618.JPG
Back in town we parked the bikes and had a bit of a walk. There is a waterfall in the middle of the town, that is from a re-routed stream. It’s the town’s main attraction so we thought we should look at it. The main streets were still closed off and we stopped to watch the marathon runners as they passed by. Interesting enough we estimated average age was about 50, so not sure if we saw the old folks race or what. But the runners were doing pretty good for the age of some of them, and it was still hot.
large_DSCN8628.JPG
Time for us to head back to camp and have some dinner. Managed to find our way there no problem, stopping at REWE supermarket for an easy dinner. Both Lyn and I were starting to feel a little weary and didn’t feel like cooking anything, so we bought some yummy rye bread and a tub of herring salad – and that was dinner. We did boil the pot for a coffee and tea but that was as much effort that we could put towards dinner.
Shower, wash clothes and into bed. It’s actually late as I type this, 11pm and this must be the first night I have actually seen the darkness before falling asleep. Lyn is snoring away next to me, so I guess it’s time for me to sleep too. Hope it’s not so cold tonight, we have rugged up a bit more so hope to sleep better.

Tomorrow we cycle to the Mosel River!

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 39.04KM PLUS EXTRA 5KM TO THE CHAIRLIFT
large_10505320-a3f7-11e9-bb9c-8989e7ebaf19.PNG

LEUKBACHTAL SAARBURG CAMPING 18 EUROS – toilets with paper, hot showers, grassy pItch

Posted by Cindy Bruin 09:22 Archived in Germany Comments (4)

2019 June 30 to July 03 GERMANY

We fly to Frankfurt and onwards to bike journey

sunny 28 °C
View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.


Sunday 30th June 2019 (day 9)

Up early this morning, enough time to have some breakfast before checking out of the hotel and getting the free shuttle bus to the airport, which I had booked for 9.30am. I didn’t have much of an appetite this morning as I was already feeling nervous about our overweigh baggage.

The short distance to the airport, only took about 15 minutes and soon we were standing in line, hoping for a kind staff member, who would check in our luggage and not notice that we were over our 20 kg each limit. We had removed our air mattresses from our big bags as these seemed to weigh almost 2kg on their own. I curse them now but will revel in the comfort they give us later in the trip when we are camping. We were going to carry these with our overweight cabin bag. Lol, you see why I am always so nervous. And I can hear you all saying well take less, but the fact is we have packed bare minimum as it is for our biking trip. Anyway, I need not have stressed out so much, because the lovely Thai Airways lady checked both our bags, each weighing just under 22kg each, without as much as a change of facial expression. Phew!

Bangkok airport was very busy this Sunday morning, and it took us over an hour waiting in line to get through the next bag screening and immigration stamp out. Finally, on the other side, we still had time to grab an overpriced cup of coffee before heading to our departure gate. Glad we came to the airport early as there is nothing worse than adding being late to the airport stress I already feel. Funny how all this seems to wash over Lyn, she seems to go through the process not showing any emotion at all, perhaps I am worried enough for both of us.

We sat drinking our coffees (295 baht $13.80), chatting with a Kiwi guy on his way to London. Just recently divorced he was about to embark on a 6-week England and Europe adventure that was going to cost about as much as we were going to spend in the next 3 months. But good luck to him, he was a nice guy and kept congratulating us Aussies on having just beaten NZ in the cricket. We don’t follow the cricket, but he felt the need to pat us on the back anyway.

IMG_20190630_111919.jpg
Our flight with Thai Airlines was comfortable, we managed to get an aisle seat each with the middle seat free. Both Lyn and I did not sleep on the flight at all, instead making use of the inflight entertainment. In just under 12 hours we landed in Frankfurt after being fed 2 meals and 1 snack. Local time was 7pm, and we were advised outside temp 34 degrees, it was still broad daylight outside. Europe is having a bit of a hot spell and we don’t mind if it keeps it up for the next 4 weeks while we ride around countryside.

We are spending 2 nights with friends Lyn met on her Africa trip last year. After collecting our luggage, we dragged it to the airport train station, purchased a ticket from the machine 4.95 euro each. After just a short wait, we boarded a train that took us into Frankfurt’s main train station, then changed lines to board another train that took us out to Eschborn, the village just a 20-minute ride outside of middle of Frankfurt. I think we should have purchased another ticket for the 2nd leg but didn’t. Out of the train station we had to struggle with our luggage down and upstairs, and then just a short 10-minute walk to the house. Marcus was there to greet us and the first thing that came out of his mouth was ‘want a cold beer?’ - welcome to Germany.

We sat up for a few hours, a few beers and wine. Lyn and Marcus catching up on memories from the Africa trip. Just after midnight (local time) we decided to call it a night. This was now 5am Bangkok time and we had been awake for almost 22 hours, so no doubt you can imagine we crashed as soon as we had showers and our heads hit the pillow.

Monday 1st July 2019 (day 10)

Surprisingly, I was awake at 7am, and Lyn was not far behind. Considering we had not slept on the plane and stayed up until after midnight last night, this did not seem like much sleep was caught on up. Marcus had kindly suggested that he would come back home at lunch time and give us a lift to the nearest Decathlon so we could purchase our bikes today. This would be a great help as we were not sure exactly how we were going to get ourselves to the nearest store. There are a few Decathlon stores in the Greater Frankfurt area so we will get dropped at the closest one, purchase bikes and then ride them back to the place we are staying in Eschborn – sounds easy enough.

We hung around the house, sitting outside enjoying the warm morning. It was a bit cloudy, but as the day grew the sky became bluer. I was ill first thing this morning, not sure what caused my empty stomach to be so upset, but after I threw up (nothing) I started to feel a little better and managed to keep a bit of toast down. Maybe my body is not used to having those few drinks from last night?

Marcus collected us at about noon, and we set off towards Decathlon. He followed us into the store, took us to the bike section then left to return to work. We had arranged to meet up again later this evening. Luckily Lyn was able to catch him before he returned to the car as the bikes we were after were out of stock at this Decathlon, and we would have been stranded out there in the middle of nowhere. After enquiries we were advised there were 2 available in the city store, and they called the other store and put a hold on them for us.

Back in the car with Marcus he had to run a few errands, purchasing some tiles and plumbing fixtures for his house renovations. We were more than happy to tag along with him and then be dropped at the city store to collect our bikes. It was about 3pm when we arrived at the city Decathlon store and saw our new bikes. We requested a couple of back racks to be attached and this turned into a major hold up. These guys were slack and although we returned to the store several times, it took them almost 3 hours to attach 2 simple racks. Could have done it faster ourselves.

large_IMG_20190701_181418.jpg

We opted not for them to attach the front baskets as this would surely take another hour at the very least. Instead Lyn attached these in the middle of the shopping centre in about 5 minutes flat. So we now had our new transport, which we would now ride home, less than 10 km, and then get a train to meet Marcus back in the city at 7pm. Considering it was now 6.15pm, there was no way we were going to make the deadline, so we called him to advise we were going to be running a little late!

The short ride home was interesting. In case you are not aware, we never go into these long bike rides with any sort of preparation and fitness levels are at the normal low standard. Lyn forgot to bring her asthma spray not something she will ever forget again after this afternoon near death experience. Just kidding, but for sure the first couple of days we are going to be taking it really easy and ease our bodies into all this unknown exertion we are putting on them. We have a lot of time and are in no hurry, and there is a train line that runs along the full length of our bike ride if needed.

Anyway, we made it to the house and decided on a quick shower since we were running late anyway. And it was nice to refresh our hot, sweaty, stinky bodies after our first ride. By the time we took the train back into Frankfurt and met Marcus out the front of the train station is was close to 8.30pm, but still bright daylight. He suggested we buy some food and drink and have like a picnic down by the river Main. Great idea, the food hall at the train station had lots of affordable options and Marcus thought it funny when we said we wanted to have wurst (sausages) for our dinner. Hey when in Germany! He opted for fish and chips. We took our goodies purchased some drinks from a hole in the wall on the way to the river, found a grassy spot and ate our picnic of assorted wurst and apple wine from a can, watching the sunset over the city skyscrapers. It was a great evening. The temperature only dropped a little once the sun went down, just after 10pm.

large_IMG_20190701_214502.jpglarge_IMG_20190701_211545.jpgIMG_20190701_210747.jpg
large_IMG_20190701_223153.jpglarge_IMG_20190701_223436.jpg
We walked back to the train station to catch the train home. It was after midnight again by the time we made it to bed for a good nights sleep as tomorrow the bike journey begins.

Tuesday 2nd July 2019 (day 11)

BIKE DAY 1 (ESCHBORN TO ESCHBORN SOUTH and SAARBRUCKEN TRAIN STATION TO CAMPSITE)

We awoke early this morning, eager to start our bike ride you ask? No, we got up early so we could have breakfast with Marcus before he had to go off to work. It’s been a great couple of days here staying with him, and the bike purchasing exercise would not have been as easy without him. So, a big thank you to Marcus!

We loaded up our panniers for what we would be taking for the next 4 weeks and left the remaining of our luggage in our big bags, which we are going to leave here with Marcus, for us to collect at the end of the trip. Loading up the bike was going smoothly, we did well with just 2 pannier bags each and only one big wet bag each that sits on top of the pannier bags on the bike. The wet bags contain our tent and sleeping equipment, so its very important that these items do stay dry in case we encounter any rain. Not that we expect any rain in this lovely European Summer, but you never know. Also keeps these items all together.

As we were attaching Lyn’s panniers, I remarked that her back tyre needed some air as it was looking a little low. Clever me then tried to pump it up further with the pump that Marcus had given us. That didn’t go so well as all I managed to do was empty the tyre of what air was inside the tube, and it was now flat as a pancake and we could not get the pump to work at all. Shit, what to do now, we had no idea where the nearest service station was to get air. Dilemma! Not the start we were hoping for. Lyn thought she would take a chance at asking the workmen on the block next door to see if they happened to have a pump, but they were not able to assist at all. A noisy woman in the house across the street advised she knew what Lyn was after, but also was not able to assist. Just then, Marcus’s father drives up to the house to drop off some potting mix for the back yard. And after the initial shock of finding these strange women in his son’s house, we drove off back to his house just 500meters away and came back with a pump that had all four of our tyres pumped and ready to go! Saved by Marcus’s dad, thank you.

The flat tyre delayed us by about an hour, but we were still running on schedule to get to Frankfurt Central Station to catch the 12.48 train to Saarbrucken. We rode out of the yard at 10.40, our bike trip has begun.

large_IMG_20190702_103820.jpg

The closest train station, Eschborn, had the problem of a flight of stairs going down then another going up to reach the platform. We took the option of cycling the short 6km to Eschborn South station where there were ramps for us to take the bikes on the platform. This short ride was a much better idea than trying to struggle with pushing the bikes up a narrow rail to get them onto the platform.
large_DSCN8498.JPG
This first train ride was only short, and we could just wheel the bikes into the train carriage fully laden and there was no cost of the bikes. Arriving at Frankfurt Central Station our first obstacle came in the form of an out of order lift. The only way for us to get the bikes to the next level was to take them up the escalator. This is a dangerous manoeuvre at the best of times, but on our first day and with loaded bikes it was a disaster waiting to happen. There is the real risk of the weighted bike wheel standing with bike and passenger landing in a twisted heap at the bottom of the metal steps trying not to get sucked into and shredded to pieces. You will be glad to hear that we managed to get both bikes and us up to the top with no damage to either. Of course, this manoeuvre had to be performed twice!

Once in the main hall we wheeled our bikes to the ticket office. Because we needed to purchase train tickets for the bikes as well, we had to go to the manual office as the automated ticket machines to not sell bike tickets. Not a problem, except for the huge line up. When entering the office, you get a number, and when your number is called you go to the numbered counter. My ticket read 11.32am # 1343 – all good until I looked up on the wall and ticket #1303 was just being called. Bugger! It was 12.20 by the time my number came up and by this time I had lost faith in catching the 12.48 train. We wanted to take a direct train as this is easier than having to change trains with the bike and all. Turns out when that the 12.48 train did not even take bikes, so it was never an option for us. Next direct train Frankfurt to Saarbrucken was at 2.25, so I purchased tickets for that train, which did take bikes. 26 euros each for us and 9 euros for each of the bikes. This was a good price as I had looked on the ticket machine and the passenger tickets for the 12.48 train were quoting 44 euros each.

Tickets in hand, we now had some time to kill so we parked up the bikes and sat with a cup of coffee and a bread roll with raw minced meat for lunch. Yep loving Germany food.
large_DSCN8499.JPG

We wheeled the bikes into the train at about 2 and tied them up in the bike compartment and found a seat. In the last 10 minutes before departure the train filled up and it left dead on time at 2.25. So, we are now on our way across country to Saarbrucken where the train is due to arrive at 5.12pm. I think it’s about 200 km? will have to verify that later.

Our first stop for the night is at a campground not far from the station, after exiting the train station we rode to the tourist information office to see if they could assist with some maps of the Saar River bike route. They were not able to help much but said just stick to the river the path is signposted very well.

We rode about 30 minutes to our camping ground for the night. Set up camp, went to the office to pay for our tent site (11 euros) and decided to have a beer in celebration of starting our bike ride. Any excuse I know! After our refreshment we rode back to a REWE supermarket just down the street to purchase some supplies for dinner.
large_IMG_20190702_190250.jpg

So, although today was just a short bike ride it was good to get a feel for the bikes. We think they need a little bit of adjustment as there are a few scraping noises that we (I say we, but Lyn is the mechanic) need to sort out.
We had our first camp dinner, showered then went to bed thankful for the comfy mattresses that we had for sleeping on tonight.

DISTANCE RODE TODAY 17.03KM

SAARBRUCKEN KANU CLUB CAMPING 11 EUROS – toilets no paper, hot shower, grass/dirt pitch

Posted by Cindy Bruin 08:46 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

2015 JULY GERMANY - BACK ON THE BIKE TO AHR!

Ride north down the Rhine to explore the Ahr Valley.

Thursday 16th July 2105 (day seventy-three)

Koblenz to Ahrweiler

Back in the saddle, I was almost looking forward to it. This is my first trip out alone. I was on the road before 10am.

I noted it took all but 2 minutes for me to start talking to myself, but thankfully a fully three minutes before I answered myself, so all’s well. Half an hour in I realized I left my gloves behind – not good.

My destination is the Ahr Valley.

I rode north of Koblenz, continuing downstream along the Rhine and I must say that the first 24km were the ugliest part of the Rhine I have seen. Not much of the bike path was along the river as this part of the river is lined on both sides with heavy and light industrial businesses. This must be the part of the Rhine where the cruise boats cruise during the night, cause there is not much to see here, and what there is to see is not nice – including a nuclear power station.

The bike path has also been neglected, I guess it’s not a very nice ride so a lot must train this part, although I did still pass a quite a few cyclist traveling in both directions. Not only is the bike path inferior to other parts we have been on, but the signs leave a lot to be desired – the desire that they were there to start with. I’m surprised I found my way at all, weaving in and out of industrial streets.

And it was hot today – very hot. The weather forecast was for mid-30’s and I would not be surprised if it reached closer to 40, or maybe I just felt it more pushing an overweight bicycle.

Anyway the ugliness got a little less and by 12 o’clock I thought it was a good time to stop for a cold Radler in the town of Anderach. I am over the sigma of drinking alone – hey if I can have a decent conversation with myself, I can certainly share a beer with myself. Oh dear, have I lost it so early in my solo trip already?

Riding on, I stopped again at 2pm to have the sandwich that I had made at breakfast back at Ang’s. I stopped at a lovely little spot by the side of the Rhine and watched the passing pedestrian, cyclist and boat traffic go by.

Again I missed the campground I had planned on stopping for the night at. The thing is, if the campground is not directly on the bike path I have no chance of seeing it. I have never seen an advert or sign for an upcoming camp, so unless I ride through it, I miss it. Not to worry I’ll just ride on to the next one.

I also somehow missed the turn off to the Ahr Valley/River! Not my fault, no very well signed again. I think the cyclists who come to cycle in this supposedly beautiful area come in by car and start inside the valley. They don’t actually have to find the valley on a bike. Car road signs are much more frequent and descriptive.

Eventually I was in the valley, the river is nothing to speak of, especially where it flows into the Rhine. I think that is what thru me, as all the other river off shoots have been significant. Anyway it was still blistering hot, but I knew I was on the right track because it was very crowded, with day tripper bikes. Meaning no one had a loaded bike like me, so they were all drive ins.

180_DSCN4898.jpgDSCN4900.jpgDSCN4902.jpg

The first campground was 15km in and when I rode up to it there was a sign that it was completely full. F&*k! what now? Luckily this meant only full for camper vans and caravans. When I spoke with the reception lady she said there is always room for tents, and she was correct directing me to a nice shady, grassy site on the high bank next to the river, which I can hear because it is only ankle deep and flowing over rocks.

At check in at reception I noticed there was a post card from Lone Pine Brisbane Australia and when I advised the lady that is where I was from I was suddenly her best friend. She even shouted me a beer that I accepted and necked in about 2 minutes. Need to stay hydrated, need to stay hydrated!

I set up the tent and relaxed, it had been a long hot ride today. I have no idea how far as my computer is still cactus, but I know I was in the saddle for approximately 5 hours today in the beating down sun. Not that I’m complaining about the weather, much better than cold and wet when on a bike I assure you.

At 6pm it was slightly cooler so I rode the 200 meters into town. It must have been a hard ride today as this short ride on an empty bike was even a strain for me.

So I am in the town of Ahrweiler, which I discovered has an old town which is surrounded by a moated city wall. The moat is no longer full of water but it is obvious that it was a moat. The old buildings are of course beautiful and walking around this time of evening when all the shops are closed is nice as there are not many people around. But I would hazard a guess that this place is crawling with tourists during the day.

Just before this place I rode through a town called Bad Neuenahr, which I think is a thermal spa town. There seemed to be an overabundance of people in wheel chairs in that place. So not sure if this is some kind of healing place or health spa, but the people I saw all seemed to be of a very old age and most with some kind of walking aid or mobile chair.

After my stroll around town taking photos, I found a supermarket and just bought a herring salad to have for dinner. It’s way too hot to eat anything cooked.

I have booked 2 nights here so will explore more tomorrow.

Friday 17th July 2015 (day seventy-two)

Ahrweiler to Bad Neuenahr to Ahrweiler

It rained last night. Spatters on the tent woke me up, I got out and saved my towel but needn’t have worried as the rest of my washing was dry by the time I woke this morning anyway. It got a little cooler during the night as I woke up pretty hot with the sleeping bag covering me.

What to do today, it already looked and felt like it was going to be a scorcher. I was almost dreading getting on the bike in case I still had the heavy legs from yesterday. But I had obviously rested sufficiently overnight as getting on the empty bike was again like riding on air.

After breakfast I rode back the 3km to check the town I passed through yesterday. Bad Neuenahr looked a little bigger than where I am staying and I wanted to find out what the large building I passed was. Turned out to be a asylum oops I mean sanatorium. Not sure if it was one for crazies or just the rich to take the local thermal waters. I did not venture inside as it did not look very welcoming to a scabby cyclo tourist. I rode around the back and found a lovely old building which used to be the old Thermal Bathhouse. I did go in here, but it had been converted into overprice spa salons whose owners looked me up and down as if to say ‘you don’t have the money to be in here for any treatment’. So I looked around the old building without entering any of the posh salons and left.

DSCN4934.jpgDSCN4967.jpgDSCN4968.jpg

Not much else here to see, unlike Ahrweiler, where I am staying, has a beautiful old town. I did a bit of window shopping and strolled thought the big department stores really only sucking up their air-conditioning, which by the way needs to be turned up a little bit to attract more entrants I reckon.

Soon it was lunch time, not feeling very hungry I thought a nice cool salad would go down a treat. Of course all the overpriced places here did not cater for my craving so I rode the back streets and found a supermarket. And what made me doubly happy was it was a Lidl where a few days ago I remember seeing cycle gloves for sale. I parked and locked my bike and headed in, again thinking they need to turn up the air con. Lucky for me there were still a few pairs of gloves, which I readily purchased, in the variety section and a cool green salad in the fridge section.

I took my lunch back down to the river – and I use the term river lightly, found a bench in the shade, had lunch then a little lie down afterwards reading my book. There was nothing else to see here so a little relaxing time was the best thing I could find to occupy myself.

Later back at camp I was determined to try and figure out why my bike computer was not registering. The computer part seemed fine, so I moved it down again closer to the sensor part and then changed the battery in the sensor. Pushing the bike in a few circles still nothing! There are a couple of Germany ladies also camping here and one seeing my struggle came over to help. She adjusted the sensor slightly and bingo it worked. They do not speak any English but I did manage to work out that she said something about working with bikes. I was very happy cause after her slight adjustment it seemed to be working. Yippee.

I decided to take it for a test run, half thinking about going to supermarket to buy dinner supplies. As I did not do much I was not really feeling very hungry, but as I rode through the campground, it was about 7.30 and most people where cooking their dinner. The aroma of cooking meat suddenly gave me an appetite for some pork, so off to the supermarket I rode to get some pork.

On my return after checking the bike computer it seems to be functioning again I cooked dinner of pork steak with brown mushrooms with gravy (ah yes Lyn just for future reference, I prefer plain gravy to the onion variety that you obviously packed – just saying).

Just before I left the Lemons we swapped cooking stoves as theirs was much more compact than mine, but this was the first time I had cause to use it. You will be happy to know all went well and the meal was thoroughly enjoyed.

It is still not getting dark until about 10pm so the days are still very long. 

I am going to move on further down the ‘river’ tomorrow just for a change of scenery and at also at the tourist office today I found a brochure for a LUGE! Hopefully it will not be too far off the track or too much of a bike climb.

It’s now 10pm and it’s dark, not pitch black, but enough for a torch. I think already the days are getting shorter?

Saturday 18th July 2015 (seventy-three)

Ahrweiler to Altenahr

It was a little cooler last night, no rain but woke to a slightly cloudy sky.

I had breakfast and packed up the tent, loaded the bike and rode the short distance to Altenahr, less than 15km along a mostly good track. Some of the bike way was actually an old railway route which had me riding through tunnels dug into the hillsides. The first one was 235 meters long and must admit did not like riding through there at all, even though it was lit up. The second one was only short about 50 meters.

DSCN4984.jpgDSCN4983.jpgDSCN4992.jpg

The valley is looking a lot prettier now, with vineyards planted up the steep sides of the valley walls. Lots of hiking and biking around here.

However the hiking is mountain goat sort, with steep inclines to reach the high lookouts. The bikers all seem to be day trippers, who have driven in to some nice warm expensive accommodation and the oldies have gone out for a couple of hours of pedalling. Yep no youngsters anywhere in this area.

I found the Altenahr camp ground and after setting up my tent, sort of under a tree – not much cover here, I went back to reception to enquire about a supermarket close by. The German bloke told me that there was a small one in the main street of town, which would be easy to find as there is only one street in town. And there was another much bigger one but that was 2 km away and he suggested since I was on the bike I should go to the one in town as it was much closer. This guy does not realize that I have pedalled through 3 other countries to get to this one – 2 km is nothing! I thanked him and headed to the farther away shop.

It’s still pretty warm so I could not really get much in the way of fresh food, especially since tomorrow being Sunday everything will be closed. I did get some pork to cook up for dinner tonight and tomorrow I will have something out of a can.

It was a nice ride to the big supermarket and I stopped on the way back in a picnic area and had my lunch. There are lots of benches and picnic tables all around here to cater for the large amount of walkers.

I returned to camp and spent the rest of the afternoon lazing around reading.

At about 6 pm I rode into town to have a quick look around and quick it was having only one street which was made up mainly of hotels and a few restaurants. I also found the small supermarket where the prices were double and triple of the larger one, so good choice I had gone to the other.

Back at camp I cooked my dinner, had a shower and basically went to bed when it got dark, not much else to do really.

Sunday 19th July 2015 (day seventy-four)

Altenahr

It rained last night and heavier that previous nights. Or maybe it was because my tent did not have the covered protection of being under a tree that I heard it more than usual. Either way it seemed to fall harder and longer than what had woken me up other nights. Again I got up and rescued my towel that was draped over my bike drying after last night’s shower. And this time is was a good thing I did as when I woke it was still raining. Erk, rain is not a good thing to wake up to when you are camping.

Just before 9.30 it seemed to ease a bit and that was when I ventured out of the tent to collect my bread rolls from reception and to boil kettle for coffee. It’s been a while since I’d had the usual Sunday cook up so I decided to indulge today. Mushrooms, bacon on bread rolls with coffee – pretty good effort coming from a tent.

90_DSCN4998.jpg

I booked 2 nights here at this camp ground so had all day to kill today. Lucky for me at the tourist office in another town I found a brochure for a summer luge that was close to here. What better to do on a Sunday? The brochure said it was only 4km from Altenahr so not too far for me to attempt getting there on the bike. What the brochure did not say is that it was all uphill. Well of course it would be considering I am in a valley and all.

I managed to ride the first 2km up the road out of town but then it got a little hairy being a 2 lane winding hilly road, so I thought it safer for me and for motorists if I pushed the bike up the hill along the verge. Turns out the brochure was at least accurate with the distance (happy about that after pushing the bike uphill for 2 km).

It was only a small 550m luge, but luge is luge. I was going to buy a 2 x 1 ride ticket for 2.50 euros each, but was easily talked into purchasing a 4 ride ticket for 7.50 euro. Selling point was you get one ride free!! Actually I managed to get 2 rides free as the silly ticket puncher was busy not doing his job and I was waved through without my ticket being punched.

The weather had been behaving during my ride / push up the hill and during my first 2 luge rides, but then the rain fell and I waited it out for about an hour until it eased a little and did my last 3 rides. You know those things go faster when wet! Fun, fun, fun. Love a luge!

luge.jpgDSCN5039.jpg

The ride back into town was of course brilliant, the rain had stopped and it was all downhill! Not too much complaining from car drivers as the road signs advised them to go around the corners at 30 km/hour anyway and I easily was managing that speed downhill!

I stopped before reaching the one main street, locked up the bike and walked the steep path up to Are Castle ruins. Wow magnificent view from up there and the rain held off until I was just minutes from camp where I could shelter in my tent.

180_DSCN5019.jpgDSCN5022.jpg
Dinner from a can from my emergency stash.

Monday 20th July 2015 (day seventy-five)

Altenahr to Remegan

Arg, I woke to the sound of rain falling on the tent, it was 8am. O, I so did not want to have to pack up a wet tent. I lay thinking about it for an hour and the rain eased a little. Outside everything was soggy and the sky was a sad lingering grey colour.

I went and had a shower hoping that some bright sunrays would welcome me when I returned to the tent. Ha, what was I delirious? Today was going to be miserable no matter what I wished for. The rain however did hold off long enough for me to have breakfast and for the tent to miraculously be almost dry when I rolled it up and pushed it into its bag.

But the rain returned as I pushed the first pedal down to get me moving, arg, this was going to be a miserable day.

I rode the short distance into town in a light shower of rain and as I approached the train station I made the executive decision to get the train to Remegan instead of riding the same path I had ridden in through the Ahr Valley. It was just a 45 minute journey on the train and for 7.90 euro (bikes are free after 9am) it was worth it not to get completely soaked.

The train wound its way through the steep vineyards as I recognized town and village names I had ridden thought the last few days. It really was a beautiful area, but the weather was getting me down and I was starting to feel miserable so had no regrets catching the train. Although I almost did not get on as just my luck would have it the platform at Altenahr station was much lower than the train carriages and I had to try and lift the loaded bike up 3 steps. Well this was just impossible and was not going to happen. I tried my hardest and struggled for what seemed like many minutes (but were only seconds) before a nice man got off the train and assisted me. There was no conductor on these trains so I was pretty sure had this kind stranger not assisted me the doors would have just closed and the train would have left the station without me.

Arriving at Remegan station was not as bad as the platform was higher and only one step needed to be negotiated.

I found the camp ground just outside town and set up the tent between micro showers. Today was really going to be miserable. Tent up and my stuff safely stored inside and dry I went looking for the supermarket to buy some lunch. The sky stayed the ugly grey colour but rain free for 1 hour which was enough time for me to eat my lunch at the table provided at the camp ground.

Feeling brave during this dry spell I headed back into town for a look around, only to be greeted by a nice heavy shower that had everyone scurrying into shops to shelter from the rain.

Shortly another dry spell and I was on the bike again having a quick look around but it was not enjoyable with the threat of a down pour at any second. I was on the Rhine path when it came down heavily again and met up with an old Kiwi bloke on a bike who stopped when he saw my Australian flag displayed on my bike basket. We sheltered under a tree hiding from the rain comparing bike stories. He had cycled much of Europe over the years and later at the camp ground gave me some tips for my later venture into France.

A lull in the rain and I continued on to Kripp. This was the village where I was when I turned into the Ahr Valley. On the opposite side of the river is the town of Linz. I had contemplated catching the ferry across to explore but the weather did not really want to cooperate with any exploring today, so I had a Radler beer from the kiosk instead. Been a few days since I’d had a beer and it was thoroughly enjoyed, with the rain holding off long enough for me to sit and enjoy the view with the drink.

DSCN5082.jpg

Back to camp I rode in a light showering of rain. I was given one hour of free internet which I used to let the world know I am still alive via facebook.
Quick trip to the supermarket for dinner supplies and the weather held off long enough for me to cook and eat it and even stayed clear until it turned dark. But the sky was still looking sad so I won’t hold out for a dry night.

Tuesday 21st July 2015 (day seventy-six)

Remegan to Koblenz

Sunshine woke me which was a good sign. I also sat in sunshine as I ate breakfast and it continued to shine as I packed up the tent and loaded my bike. As soon as my bum hit the bike seat the sun faded and suddenly the blue up above me was replaced by grey clouds. Was this some kind of magic? I had a fairly long ride today and did not really want to be hindered by rain, regardless I took off and it was only just 9.15.

180_DSCN5086.jpg

I retraced by path back to Koblenz via the industrial lined river Rhine. The river is actually very low at the moment, the locals are praying for rain to feed their vineyards. The weather behaved itself for me and it did not rain on me at all, and the sky stayed cloudy which made for cooler riding. I made good timing and was back in Koblenz before 12 noon.

large_DSCN5085.jpg

I have a night with my friend Angelika again tonight before I fly off to Malta tomorrow. As I was in the centre I went to her house via the main train station to purchase a ticket to take me to Frankfurt airport. This way I would know what time I needed to go etc.

This time riding to Ang’s place was much simpler as I found the road I missed last time and it was a quick ride to her house. The hill to her doorstop was the one that killed me and I rang the doorbell again looking like a wreck. A quick shower and I was soon revived.

Later in the evening when it was still light Ang asked if I would like to head out and have a drink. This seemed like a wonderful idea and she took me to a really cool beach bar. An open air bar with a little man made beach on the Mosel River. It was a great place, and very relaxing, Lots of people lounging around on deck chairs and director chairs, some basking in the sun, others shaded under umbrellas. There were even some people swimming in the Mosel, which I must admit did look just a little inviting. I had a Radler and Ang had of all things a Bundaberg Ginger Beer! A bit of home for me in Germany.

Next we drove back into town and had another drink at a very swish looking restaurant which was right next to the Koblenz Cathedral. This was one of Ang’s favourite places and I could see why. It was lovely.

DSCN5088.jpg

One more stop was going to be at another mystery bar, however on the way I suddenly was struck with something not right in my stomach. So bad that we had to pull over for me to throw up. And after only 2 beers!!? Must have been something in the water. I was much better afterwards, but we thought it better if we head home and leave this mystery place for next time.

I went to bed early, was feeling ok but guess I needed to rest.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 02:46 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

2015 JULY GERMANY - BACK ON THE RHINE, ALL MY MYSELF :-(

I know this path by heart!

Sunday 12th July 2015 (day sixty-nine)

Bacharach

Today was overcast all day. I was going to spend the day by the river catching some rays and swimming. Instead I had to be content with sitting/laying around all day reading my trashy book.

I did get up at about 3pm and ride to the wurst kiosk for some lunch and a Radler. Funny as soon as the lady saw me on my bike she was at the fridge getting out a Radler – oops time to leave this place as getting too familiar. Lol

Looks like it might rain this afternoon or definitely tonight. I still have not decided whether I am going to ride or get the ferry to Koblenz tomorrow, may decide in the morning when I can see what the weather looks like.

The rain started at 5pm and kept up until it was dark. I had no choice but to hibernate into my tent, nowhere else to shelter. Lucky I had a book to read. The rain was not hard, only a light shower really, but it continued to fall for a few hours.

At about 9pm, I ventured out to the loo and to boil the kettle to have instant something emergency food. (Thanks Lemons, I had the noodle thing you left me).

Monday 13th July 2015 (day seventy)

Bacharach to Koblenz

Woke to an overcast and threatening sky. It did not rain all night cause the tent was dry so I took the opportunity to get it packed up and my bike loaded before anything got wet. Must have been a record as I was on the bike and pedalling at 9.30!

It was a hard slog – pedalling into the wind (always seem to be going into the wind, no matter what direction I take) and with the sky looking like it was about to open up on me at any moment, it was not an enjoyable ride. Still, I was making good time as I was keeping up with a freight boat that was travelling downstream. Unfortunately, my bike computer has given up the ghost. Not sure what is wrong with it, still works as it shows the time, but it is not registering any distance travelled etc. I asked Shawn to raise my handlebars before he left and this made the computer to far from the wheel to register (has to be within 70cm for the wireless to catch it), but I have moved the thing down from the handlebars to the fork. It worked the first day but now nothing, perhaps a new battery is needed. Will look into this later.

I decided I would ride until I reach St Goar and then get the KD ferry the rest of the way to Koblenz. Not like I would miss anything as am travelling over the same path as we followed up the river.

When I reached St Goar I stopped at the ferry ticket booth to ask the price of a ticket to Koblenz from there. I had made good timing and the ferry was not due for another 20 minutes. I was advised the price would be 25 euros, bike free, ooo this was a little steep for my pocket. I asked how much the ticket was from the next ferry stop and was advised it was only 12.50 euros. Ah this was more up my alley! The next stop down river was Boppard, 15km away and the boat was due there one hour after it left here, at St Goar.

So by this time it worked out I had just a little over an hour to ride 15km to Boppard to save half the price of the fare. No worries, I could do that, as long as the wind did not get too much stronger and it did not start raining, I was confident I would be able to ride there in time. So off I sped!

Of course I made the ride in heaps of time, enough time in fact to make a quick dash to the supermarket for a snack and to enjoy an ice cream cone before the ferry even showed up. I am legend! Lol I had the ice cream only after I found out the KD kiosk did not have any Radlers left, nor did the other little kiosk. What was this town coming to? Time to move on.

Loading the fully loaded bike onto the ferry was again a problem, however a big fat controller pushed me aside, picked up the bike complete and lifted up the 4 steps to get in into the vessel. I thanked him profusely and he mumbled back ‘bitter’ (meaning ok) to me. Then it was just a matter of finding a seat and enjoying my picnic lunch that I had picked up this morning from the famous REWE supermarket.

One hour later we were docking Koblenz and I managed to struggle with the loaded bike down the steps just in time to enjoy the skies opening up and showering down on me. Great timing Mother Nature. Only thing to do was to go get a Radler from the kiosk on the promenade and sit under a tree until the rain eased a little. Oh the things I must do!

I have been fortunate enough to be invited to spend a couple of nights with my friend Angelika who lives in Koblenz. She has also very generously offered to store my bike and gear whilst I go off the saddle for a few weeks. The generosity of strangers is a wonderful thing. I had a map and an address and amazingly found the place with ease once the rain had died down a little.

I don’t care if it rains or pours the next 2 nights as I am happily tucked up inside a lovely warm, dry home.

Tuesday 14th July 2015 (day seventy-one)

Koblenz

Angelika has very kindly offered to take me for a little tour around the Mosel area. Away from the river, where I have already cycled. We drove up into the surrounding hills.

First stop however was to try and cash in the train tickets that Lyn & I had purchased in Rotterdam weeks ago. These were our tickets Mainz to Basel which we obviously cannot use. No luck with them as they were purchased in the Netherlands they would need to be refunded there, and anyway as they were a discounted price we would get nothing back anyway. So add them to the insurance claim list.

The countryside here is so beautiful. Rolling wheat fields for as far as the eye can see. The hillsides are also dotted with the quaintest little villages – it really is a pity most tourists never see these parts of Germany.

Today is warm and although the sky is cloudy, we did not have any rain. The sun tried to break through several times.

Angelika drove to this most amazing Eltz castle, which still houses descendants from the original families that built the castle in the 1200’s. Now this is what a real castle should look like, it was amazing, just like a fairy tale castle. I was very surprised that it was free to go right up into it. You only had to pay if you wanted to do a tour or see the treasures in the museum. But, I think the outer building was spectacular enough! What a treat.

large_DSCN4813.jpg

Another treat awaited us when we arrived home to enjoy coffee and an amazing cake!

Wednesday 15th July 2015 (day seventy-two)

Koblenz

Ok, so today I was supposed to hit the road again on my bike, but I still needed to go and collect Sarah’s bike which had been left at our accommodation in Lahnstein. Angelika suggested I donate it to the local refugee camp here in Koblenz. This is a great idea as it is too difficult to try and sell it anyway. Thing is I needed to go and collect it and ride it back to Ang’s place. Not a problem as it’s a great bike, even with only one gear working, the problem is it was made for someone about 30 cm shorter than me. I must have looked a treat riding along with my knees just about hitting the handlebars.

I did, however, manage to ride it back to Koblenz (only 9km) and the lady at the Radler kiosk smiled when she saw me again asking for a beer.

DSCN4875.jpg

I had a walk around town, went to the tourist office to see if they had any info on the area I am cycling to tomorrow, no luck – advised I go to the book shop. Lol, none of the tourist offices we have encountered have any information on any areas that is not them directly, so I will have to try and find some info when I ride closer. Also rode to the main train station to see about a train ticket for when I do eventually move on from the Rhine area. This one I did have a win as the best price I found online was 49 euros plus whatever for my bike. I was sold a ticket for 32.50 euro with included my bike and booking fee. So happy there.

Now to find back Ang’s place. Easier said than done, and I do admit I got hopelessly lost. I think I rode every road in Koblenz on that silly little bike, it was almost 7pm by the time I rang the doorbell.

Just in time for a shower before dinner. 

Posted by Cindy Bruin 01:16 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

2015 JULY GERMANY - THE END OF THE RHINE,

Is the end of the line for some!

Thursday 9th July 2015 (day sixty-six)

Rudesheim to Wiesbaden

Dry by the morning, we packed up camp after a quick breakfast and finally rode out of Rudesheim, via the Rewe supermarket for our usual slab of meat on a roll for lunch.

It was a little cooler as I wore my jacket for the first hour of riding. Our destination today is Wiesbaden, which is on the other side of Mainz. Again an easy ride and the last ‘longish’ ride for the Lemons who will be farewelling their bikes and their cycling holiday goodbye.

The campground we were looking for was a little hard to find because it was actually a canoe club with caravan storage attached. Toni went in and managed to get the information from the owner that yes it was a campground and yes there were hot showers and toilets – we used the facilities of the club house and yes it was only 5 euro per person per night, no extra for tents. Cheapest camp site since Groede in Holland.

After we set up our tents and unloaded the bikes we headed off for a ride into Mainz. Lucky for us there was a KD kiosk on the way so we could stop and have a cheap Radler. Love these KD kiosks.

Riding over the bridge into Mainz was like the official end to our cycling trip. And a proud achievement. We had a few bumps, delays and a sad accident along the way which will scar the trip, but all in all it went pretty good. Well I think so anyway. The weather was mostly kind to us, we don’t have a lot to complain about there. Riding into Mainz we wanted to find where the railway station is as this is where the Lemons will be leaving from on Saturday. This is where Lyn and I would have been training down to Switzerland also, but plans have changed.

Train station found, we walked the rounds of the surrounding hotels deciding our last night together would be spent in a hotel as a treat.
We then did a lap of the centre of Mainz, of course there is the usual churches and cathedral that you are supposed to visit but we gave these a miss as there have been so many already.

Riding back over the bridge heading back to camp, of course there was a stop at the KD kiosk where we joined the local bums in having a cheap afternoon beer. Fitting in like locals we are!

Back at camp I was struck down with the start of a migraine and oops who is the pill carrier when we travel? Lyn of course, so I had nothing with me to take to ease the pain in my head. Toni had a couple of headache pills that I gulped down and a rub of the migraine stick (that’s April – I’m still using the one you gave me) and I was in bed before 6pm. Lemons were ready for dinner at 7.30 and I attempted to look at the menu but went back to the tent to sleep instead. Good choice for me.

Friday 10th July 2015 (day sixty-seven)

Mainz

It was cold last night, not sure if it was so because I was ill or if it was a low temp, but it was cold. I will be grateful for our hotel bed tonight, as my head is still not 100%.

We packed up camp, the Lemons for the last time.

Riding into Mainz we stopped at the KD kiosk and the shop keeper already had the fridge door open and was looking at me saying ‘drei Radler?’ Yes please, see we are locals, the shop keep already know what we want.

This was going to be our last Rhine Radler also!

large_180_DSCN4736.jpg

We found our way easily to the hotel we booked yesterday and it was after 12pm so we were able to book in. We pushed the loaded bike through the foyer into a little courtyard at the back where they would be stored for the night. The owner lady followed us and Toni asked if she wanted their bikes. The woman seemed a little confused at first but then after Toni explained they were going home and would just be leaving them at the train station the woman agreed to take them. Problem of bike disposal solved.

All the bikes were unloaded and all our gear was taken upstairs to be sorted and repacked.

We had a pretty relaxing day, lazing in our room chewing up the internet. We did venture out to get some lunch at a local kebab place and of course found a kiosk selling cheap Radler. Later in the afternoon Lemons managed to get all their gear back into the two bags they came out with, plus just a few items of mine that I wanted to get rid of.

Time flies when you’re doing nothing and before we knew it, it was 8pm and time to venture out to find dinner. A quick visit to the supermarket found me a half cooked chook and a salad to devour back at the hotel. Lemons went for a Vietnamese meal, which also hit the spot. We had a TV in our room but of course all programs were German or dubbed in German, not even CNN or BBC to catch up on what’s happening in the world.

Saturday 11th July 2015 (day sixty-eight)

Mainz to Bacharach

Breakfast was included in our room rates so we again ate like there was no tomorrow to get our money’s worth.

Check out was at 11.30 which gave me just enough time to cram all my stuff back into panniers and load my bike up. Funny doing this solo, as the other 2 bikes sat empty, no doubt adjusting to their new home and adopted country.

Lemons left their bags in the foyer and I left my loaded bike in the courtyard as we all ventured to the supermarket together for the last time to get lunch supplies. I wanted a meat roll for the days ride and Lemons picked up the same to have on their train journey today. They are heading off to the German Moto GP and then fly out of Frankfurt on Monday.

OK the time had come for the last selfie pic of the 3 of us and then it was kisses and hugs goodbye and time for me to ride off. My journey continues alone for a little while now.

large_180_FSCN4756.jpg

And then there was one …

My immediate plan is to head back to Koblenz where I will be storing my bike for a few weeks as I take some time off the saddle. I still have 10 days to ride before I fly out and will stay close to the Rhine. The weather is nice and the riding is easy.

It was a hot one today, my exit out of Mainz was on the opposite side of the river to the one we rode in on. Unfortunately, the path was not near the river or shaded at all. And then I missed the campground where I had planned on spending the night. Not wanting to back track I just rode on to the next one which was at Bacharach. Same campsite we spent last weekend at, so it was familiar to me, but a few more k’s than what I had planned on pedalling. Not to worry, I was putting up the tent by 3pm and swimming in the Rhine by 4pm. That was a nice cool down. By 5pm I was drinking a cold Radler from the wurst kiosk and by 5.10pm I was necking the second one. One good thing about returning to a place you have been before, you know your way around and where the cold cheap beers are. Even some of the campers who were here last week, smiled and said hello welcome back.

I managed to pick up a couple of English novels at the campground in Rudesheim a few days ago so I spent the rest of the afternoon / evening lolling around reading. Very relaxing. Come 8pm I decided to take a walk up to the castle that is here in Bacharach, didn’t manage it last time due to the storm we had when I wanted to head up. Going at this time of night is much cooler and as it’s not dark until 10pm there is still heaps of daylight left. The castle is actually a youth hostel (which is booked out months in advance). Pretty cool, and great views from the top. It only took 10 minutes to climb the 356 steps. I splashed out and had a Radler beer up there, was going to eat also but the food was finished already and was nothing exciting anyway.

Strolling back down the steps decided to shout myself an ice cream, but that shop was closed already also. Job for tomorrow.

Back at camp I had rations for dinner, left overs donated by the Lemons, cup of noodles and schlong, coffee then bed as it is now close to 11pm. (thanks so much for leaving the electric kettle with me, even if it does take 20 minutes to boil) so much easier than digging out and setting up the gas cooker.

Funny today as I was riding, I caught myself turning around a few times to check on my pedalling buddies, only to remember they are no more. So yes you guys were missed today. And you know how I had to drink alone, but this one I have managed to get over.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 12:29 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

2015 JULY GERMANY - A FEW DAYS IN RUDESHEIM!

Relaxing by the Rhine with cheap beers, hard place to leave.

Monday 6th July 2015 (day sixty-three)

Bacharach to Rudesheim

It rained last night at about midnight. When I heard it I got up out of the tent to rescue my towel, but I needn’t have bothered as it did not rain for very long, nor very hard. The other clothes I left out were dry by the morning anyway.

It was sunny and hot already by the time we got up to have breakfast at 8.30. Took our time packing up and loading the bikes as we are not in any rush anyway. And also we have only a short distance to ride again.

The bike path was smooth and easy and a lot of it shaded, which was good. Think we made our best time ever as we reached the ferry in Bingen 55 minutes after we left the camp ground. So we cycled about 15km in less than an hour, that has to be a record. Lol

I really think the Lemons are enjoying cycling now, not enough that they will ever put bums on bike seats ever again, but enough that the thought of taking the option of the train is not there. This past week we have been able to really take it easy and do short distances and 2 night stopovers.
This was how the whole trip was supposed to be like all along. I hope they will at least have some positive memories of this bike trip, it’s been quite an accomplishment!

Good timing was with us again as we were just in time for the 11am ferry to carry us over the river from Bingen to Rudesheim – our home for the next 2 nights. Ferry cost 3.70 euro one way with bike and travelled diagonally across the river.

The Rhine is quite wide here with a couple of little islands in the water that seem to be a haven for ducks/geese. Rudesheim is also a popular spot for canal boat cruises to stop for a few hours of sightseeing or some even stay here over night. We heard quite a few Aussie voices in town today from visitors off one of the several canal boats moored near our campsite.

So the ferry dropped us off very near to the tourist information where we got a map and were advised where the campground was located. Only a couple of minutes from town, but an expensive one at 6.50 euro per person + 6.50 euro per tent per night. We were shown a spot by the river, behind a fence – no swimming in the river here I’m afraid. Facilities are very clean, so that is nice.

After we set up camp we rode around to local shops, there is a Lidl, Aldi and Rewe less than 5 minutes ride away. And on the way we found a great bottle shop that was selling our beloved Radler for 1.20 euro – heaven. Yes we did stop and have a cold one, drinking it out on the foot path outside the shop. Uncouth? No, backpackers!

On to the shops where the supermarket Rewe was selling meat in a bread roll for 1 & 1.50 (same as Globus in Lahnstein) we were in heaven. Cheap lunch purchased, with a couple more cold beers we headed back to camp to picnic by the banks of the Rhine. Geeze, this is living, what are the poor people doing?

After lunch we rode into town for a nosy around. That’s when we noticed all the Aussie tourists and many other nationalities that come off the boats. They were all identifiable by their name tags pinned to their chest. Guess this is so they can be sent back to the correct boat if they get lost.
As it was still so hot, good excuse to have an ice cream, like I need an excuse.

More walking around revealed this is a town is set up to receive the tourists off the boats, full of shops that may appeal to the fly by tourist. And strangely enough, quite a number of shops selling leather, which just seemed like an odd location for them.

We headed back to camp, via the bottle shop for some more beer. Seems we are drinking a lot of beer these days?

Too lazy or hot to cook so we again went for the meat in a roll dinner. I bought a tub of potato salad to have with mine and a cool beer = total of less than 3 euro it was a bargain.

Tomorrow we will do the touristy thing.

Thinking of you today, Miss Pisa, hope your ankle is healing well.

Tuesday 7th July 2015 (day sixty-four)

Rudesheim to Assmanshausen to Rudesheim

Quite a productive day today. We woke to brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky again.  After a camp breakfast, consisting of the usual coffee/tea, bread roll with usually soft smelly cheese for me and jam or vegemite for the Lemons, we rode into town and locked up our bikes down by the ferry terminals.

Walking the short distance through the tourist streets we came to the ticket office for the cable cars. We had decided yesterday we would go the whole hog and buy a ticket for the Romantik Tour for 16 euros.

The brochure reads:
Live to see & enjoy the Rhine romantic of the UNESCO world heritage of the Middle-Rhine Valley.
Funicular trip from Rudesheim to the Neiderwald monument, with fantastic panorama
Walking tour to several viewpoints
Chairlift to Assmannshausen, better known as the red wine village
Boat trip from Assmannshausen to the castle Rheinstein
Sightseeing of castle Rheinstein – a significant cultural monument of the Rhine romantic, enjoy the impressive view 50 m above he Rhine
Boat trip to Rudesheim, passing famous vineyards, the Mouseturm, Ehrenfels castle

The funicular / cable car was fun. Only a small cabin, really only big enough for 2 adults (plus 2 kids they say) floats over the top of a magnificent sloping hillside of vineyards. Rows and rows as far as the eye can see. It was a beautiful sight and also climbing higher gave a brilliant view of the river from up above.

large_180_FSCN4507.jpg

A short walk took us to the Neiderwald monument, which is just a war monument, but impressive by its size. The statue of ‘Germania’ was built in the years from 1877 to 1883. The 38m high monument commemorates the Franco-German war of 1870-1871 and the reestablishment of the German Empire. Also great views of the river and vineyards below.

We took the shorter walk through the forest as by now it was pretty hot and we wanted to stay in the shade and not get too strenuous.

The chairlift down through the forest and over steep vineyards delivered us into the little village of Assmannshausen. Not much was happening here and there was very little to see except for the pricey menus and drinks lists of the cafes and restaurants, which were the only buildings showing any form of life. I guess they expect most people to use this time to stop for lunch, as the next leg of our tour by boat was not due to leave for about 2 hours.

We had purchased our lunch at the supermarket earlier on the way into Rudesheim so we picked a shady spot near the fountain and ate our lunch, then killed time by playing eye spy. Yes Shawn you were the ultimate winner! Champion eye spy player. After traveling 6 weeks with just women, we finally let him win at something. Lol.

Our boat was moored early so we went and sat on it for a change of scenery from the fountain. It was hot so we kept in the shade and rejected an overpriced (probably luke warm) beer from the boat bar.

Soon it was time to make the 3 minute trip to the other side of the river and we were dropped at the base of the cliff where Castle Rheinstein towered. We have seen many castles, along this leg of the Rhine, in various forms of existance. Some lived in, some turned into museums and some very little more than just rubble, but we have actually visited none close up, so this was an ideal opportunity for us. And this castle did not disappoint. It is family owned and they have restored most of it and had a go at furnishing it as it would have been. Quite impressive, great to see inside a real castle. You could actually stay in a room here too, but at 175 euro it was a bit out of our budget.

Just after 4pm we were back on the boat and were being pleasantly cooled off by a very light shower, but the sky did not look so nice and it was threatening more than just this light sprinkling. The boat was now heading back to Rudesheim, just a short 30 minute journey. The river was quite busy with cruise liners and freighters all pushing for their space in line, struggling against the current to get up river.

Last attraction was the Mausetrum (Mouse Tower), not sure why it’s call this, but the tower was completely under scaffolds so not much to look at.
Arriving back in Rudesheim we collected out bikes from their parking position where we left them this morning and headed straight to our beer shop for a coldie. And again we were in Radler heaven as we relaxed with a beer back at camp. 10 minutes later I did the second run and they disappeared down our throats just as quickly as the first.

It was around this time that we decided we would spend another night here in Rudesheim. We have a day to spare and we know where to get food and beer here so why move on just yet?

Just before 7pm we had to head back to the Rewe supermarket as this morning Toni had placed an order for 3 pork knuckles to be collected at 7pm. Dinner!! Unfortunately, while we were in said supermarket the heavens opened up and we were a little stuck for somewhere to eat the pork. McDonalds was down the street so we rocked up there and bought drinks so it would not be so obviously us sitting there eating a non McD product, but realizing we had no utensils it was decided we would head back to camp as the rain seemed to have eased again.
So we then had a lovely dinner riverside, much to the amusement of passers-by who saw us sitting on the grass chopping on a pork knuckle. I love Germany – cheap beer and pork knuckle – this country as got it all.

Wednesday 8th July 2015 (day sixty-five)

Rudesheim to Bingen, return

It got a little chilly last night, as I am back inside the sleep sock and sleeping bag was on most of the night. Brrrr, it was quite windy also. I thought it had rained during the night but no-one else could confirm this.

We have decided to spend another night here, still time on our side, then move on to near Mainz for the last 2 nights before the Lemons head off to their Moto GP race and then home.

We had a little sleep in, getting up at about 9 and all our surrounding bike campers had already well and truly gone. Not a problem, most of the bikers we have met are just biking and nothing else. Most of them are not stopping to drink the local beer or wine or to chew on a knuckle of pork. Their holiday, their choice. We are currently doing it super slow and relaxed but that’s the holiday we want to experience.

Weather did not look very promising for today, but at least it did not rain. Although I did wear my spray jacket most of the day, being it’s the only long sleeve item of clothing I have besides by thick jacket.

We rode to the end of town to get the car ferry across from Rudesheim to Bingen, 4.50 euro return for a 7 minute trip. Bingen did not really have much to offer, but it was a chance of scenery for us. We had of course stopped by the supermarket on the way out this morning, and we sat by the Rhine having lunch looking across the river towards the town we had just spent 2 days & nights at. The sun and clouds and wind took turns in dominating the weather today, felt like a day out in Melbourne. A look up at the castle on the hill, a visit to one of the oldest stone bridges in Germany and the sights of Bingen were done.

Ferry back and a leisurely beer back at camp before I went and spent 2 hours back in Mc Donald’s stealing their internet. I had a few things I needed to book and catch up on and spoilt myself with a non-instant coffee.
7.30 pm and my allotted 2 hours of internet were exhausted so I packed up and went home, via the supermarket where I picked up a slab of meat in a bread roll to have with my instant noodles. Wow the meals have gone down since yesterday’s feasting, lol, no problem, easy camp meal tonight.

9pm now and the rain has started to spit, I’m off for a shower, still light for at least another hour even with the crap weather.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 12:10 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

2015 JULY GERMANY - UP THE RHINE WE GO!

Travelling against the flow as the days heat up!

Wednesday 1st July 2015 (day fifty-eight)

Lahnstein to Boppard

Finally we depart Lahnstein. It has been nice to stop and be a little normal for 5 nights, but it was time to move on.

Still having not organized a new owner for Sarah’s bike I quickly rode it down to a local bike hire place, hoping they might be interested in purchasing it. Of course in usual fashion, they were not open, there was no one there to help me out. Ended up asking Uta our landlord if I could leave the bike for a couple of weeks and would sort it out when I got back (I’ll be back up this way in a few weeks re new plans). She said that was fine. Thank goodness for the kindness of other people along the way.

Took a little longer than usual to load the bikes up, at least I did anyway. Not having done it for 5 days the knack was lost. Also I am now have the panniers Sarah was using as mine were starting to fall off – hooks are not so good. I did have a micro panic that all my crap would not fit into the new panniers but it all seemed to go in and then on the bike and we were on the road at 10.30am. Quick stop at the supermarket to buy meat in a roll for lunch and at 11am we said good bye to Lahnstein and headed up the same bike path we had used on Monday. This was now my third trip towards Boppard.

Today was hot! In case you have not heard Europe is having a heat wave and although not as hot as Spain is suffering right now, the days here are still getting over 30 degrees. No breeze, no wind, sun beating down, full bikes, its hot! The river looked awfully tempting for a dip when we stopped for lunch, was it not for the steep incline to the water and the very strong current we would have happily jumped in.

Today being the first of July, it is like the tourist season suddenly opened. The river was choked with excursion boats, cruise ships and also lots of long freight boats carrying various things up and down the river. The current is incredibly strong as it shows on the boats struggling to fight it travelling up stream and the downstream ones are cruising at a greater speed and easy.

The trip to Boppard look longer this time, due to lunch stop and loaded bikes, but we were happy when we reached the ferry to cross the river and could see our hotel. Within 10 minutes we were all checked in and within 15 minutes we had beers in our hands purchased from the little kiosk on the water front. These were being enjoyed on the balcony of the Lemons room.

A second beer was enjoyed before we headed off towards the train station. The ride from Boppard to Buchholz only took 15 minutes (2.90euro one way) up a pretty steep mountain railway track. This is the walk I had read about on the internet and wanted to do. It was just 8km back through the forest to Boppard. Lemons opted to take the train back again.

The track I walked was pretty steep in places and narrow also. Beautiful views and it was hot. The walk took me 2 hours and I strolled back into town just on 6pm.

Dinner tonight was pizza and doner at a local Turkish place. It was bloody hot, both the pizza and the weather. The pizza because they put chilly in the base sauce and the weather cause at 7.20 pm the sun was still really strong.

After dinner we strolled around the pedestrian streets and I had 2 ice cream cones. Correction: I had one sorbet cone and one gelato cone!
Nice little village, glad we opted to stay a night here as I enjoyed the walk through the forest and now flash having a room overlooking the river for 33 euro. Although, most camping grounds are river front and we will be experiencing them again tomorrow as we continue up the Rhine.

Thursday 2nd July 2015 (day fifty-nine)

Boppard to St Goar

We were up and at breakfast by 8.30 this morning. Wanted to get our money’s worth at the buffet. I think I definitely did by having about 9 cups of coffee alone. The rest of the food was a bonus as the coffee covered the cost of my 30 euro room.

We are cycling just a short distance today, only about 15km to St Goar so there was no great hurry to get going. The sun was shining brightly already and the clear sky was promising another lovely day. Check out was at 12 noon so we had a wander around the shops before heading off. Lemons are in the market for a new camera as theirs is playing up and now has a mind of its own. Turning on and off at will and snapping photos without being touched, like it’s possessed. They found a camera they were happy to replace it with but the camera shop did not take credit card. Do you believe that? How stupid, the same shop was selling 1000 euro cameras and did not take any cards, did they think people walk around with wads of cash? Anyway their loss as they did not make a sale from us. Will try at another town.

A little more shopping (like we have room for anything NOT) and we were on the waterfront at 11 am for a farewell to Boppard Radler beer! How very German Aussie of us!

large_DSCN4139.jpg

Checked out of our rooms, loaded bikes and need not have worried about any influence that little beer had on us as it was sweated out within 5 minutes of riding. Bloody hot already. And I mean bloody hot.

The bike path was excellent, smooth and easy to follow next to the river but completely unshaded! And we had an annoying head wind to contend with to boot. It was only a short distance of 15km but it was a hard 15km as we baked in the sun. By the time we reached St Goar we were all cooked and frazzled. We had planned on staying in the campground on the other side of the river, which would involve a ferry crossing, but after a visit to the tourist info we were talked into staying on the camp ground on this side of the river. Seemed to me there was a bit of an ‘us’ and ‘them’ rivalry between the two towns on the opposing river banks. Easily influenced, we chose the camp on this side as we were already on this side and it was just 1 km out of town.

Couldn’t find any kiosk selling cheap beers so we bit the bullet and sat outside and had a café beer. A large cold Radler for 3.60 euro was a welcomed extravagance. A little cooled off we rode the 1km to the camp ground, checked in set up tent and had a cheap camp beer to celebrate. 1.40 euro. Now don’t judge, it’s very hot today and we need to keep hydrated.

I have inherited Sarah’s tent as it was smaller than the one I had and as I am now in a tent alone seemed like a good idea. However, this one seems tiny compared to the big one I had even though I was sharing the other one with either Lyn or Sarah. But it’s all good. Camping here costs 8.80 euro per night for one person + 1 small tent, includes hot shower and 10% discount at their restaurant. BTW Sarah, found your head torch, was in the tent!

This camp ground is right on the river like most camp grounds are, so a foot dip in the river to cool off was a brilliant suggestion by one of us. Riverside here is a pile of rocks, unfortunately no nice sandy or stone beach to take us to the water. But nevertheless we managed to scramble over the rocks and dip out feet in and it was heaven. Instant cooling. The current was like everywhere else, very swift, but we were not venturing in too far. But soon we did have bums perched on rocks cooling the bottom half of our bodies. We were still fully clothed, but didn’t care as it would all dry quick enough in this heat.

Next minute an old bald head bobs past us in the water being swept along with the current. Don’t worry it was attached to an old wrinkly body – not just a decapitation floating past. Couple of old blokes were getting in the river 100 meters up stream and swimming rapidly (as fast as Olympic swimmers with the aid of the current) and managing without too much effort to swim to the shore a little way past us, climb out and repeat. We thought if those old buggers could do it so could we! And we did. And it was glorious. What a wonderful way to cool off. We still were very careful as we had been warned by several people, including the lady in the tourist office here about swimming in the Rhine. However, today the Rhine was DEVINE! And this was our Rhine leg of the stroke in our Tour de Spoke N Stroke.

We passed quite a few fellow cyclo tourists today. Like I said before this is a very popular section of the Rhine River, one of the most scenic parts and with the weather so nice, everybody is out. Camp ground is full of camper vans and caravans but also a half dozen tents belonging to 2 wheeled travellers. Mostly Dutch, who get a bit of a shock when we say we are from Australia, and more of a shock when we say we have cycled from Rotterdam. All these Dutchies have caught a train to somewhere in Germany and are only cycling for a week or two. Not like us superfit crazy Aussies.

We are so keen on riding, we are now heading back into town for a schnitzel dinner! Which we had for 7.90 euro with a Radler beer. It was still pretty hot so after dinner we went for a short walk up the main street (only one street in town) and I bought an ice cream cone to cool down a little. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it.

Feeling full and hot we rode the short distance back to the camp ground. There are quite a few cyclist tents surrounding us this evening, but no doubt they will be all packed and gone long before I even wake up.

Bike Stats:
Time 1.22.34
Dist 18.52 km
Ave 13.4 km/h
Max 23.5 km/h
Cal 160
C02 2.77
Odo 529

Friday 3rd July 2015 (day sixty)

St Goar to St Goarshausen to Loreley , return

My night in the tent was ok, bit different to the last time we were in them. Very hot night, did not need any covers. Feel a little cramped in the tiny tent, but it’s a better one for me to carry alone and really there is plenty of room for one person.

Our camp ground is located on a bend of the River Rhine opposite the Loreley Rock. Legendary stepp rock, 132 m high. It rises steeply above the Rhine, which is only 90m wide at this point. The siren Loreley is supposed to have lured passing sailors to their death, as described in Heinrich Heine’s well-know (?) song. When water levels fall, one can still see the hazardous reefs of the Seven Virgins. According to legend, seven hard-hearted virgins were transformed into rocks there. At the foot of Loreley Rock one can still hear a sevenfold echo.

Today we are going to the Loreley Bob, also known as a summer luge!! One of my favourite past times and since we missed one earlier in the trip along the Mosel because it was not open, we are all looking forward to this bit of fun interlude. We took the bikes back to town and were just in time for the ferry to cross the river to St Goarshausen. It would not have matter if me had missed it as the river crossing takes about 6 minutes and the ferry runs continuously back and forth all day. The return trip with our bikes (which were free) was 4.50 euros.

BTW it’s another stinking hot day today, clear blue sky with beating down sun. At a guess temp is again going to reach well over 30 as it has the last few days.

Straight off the ferry we locked up our bikes up against the railing and took 3 steps to the bus stop where the 10.22am bus was going to depart in 4 minutes to take us up to Loreley, to the top of the rock.

The bus driver drove rapidly and safely up the steep winding road with ease, like he had done it a million times before. And there was a good chance he had! Dropped us off and said the bus back was at 11.42am. Most people would just come up for the view off the Loreley rock, which by the way was spectacular. From this high vantage point we could see both down river from where we had come to up river to where we were going. The distance views were a little hazy due to the heat I imagine, but it was still a great view. We looked down onto our camp ground and could see our lonely little tents and my washing flapping dry in the slight breeze.

Photos of the views taken, it was time to luge. A short walk down the road and before we knew it we were sitting in our luge-mobiles being given instructions of how to start, slow down and stop. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we done this before, just let us go.

What a hoot! As usual this was a fun ride and as we had purchased a 6 pass ticket for 12 euros, so we all had 2 runs, with Shawn clocking the fastest time! There was of course the tourist action photo that we all purchased for an extra 2.50 euro each.

We met the bus as we were starting to walk back to the stop not realizing there was a stop also at the bob. Another fun bus ride back down to river level.

The one thing St Goarshausen has over it’s over the river rival St Goar, is a big supermarket. We walked around inside the cool but were really uninspired to buy many supplies. Just some stuff for lunch which we ate back at the camp ground with a cold camp beer after we had collected our bikes and retraced our steps back across the ferry and to the camp.

The rest of the day was lazy, it’s so hot and we had seen the attractions so we had a lazy afternoon, ending up riverside where we lolled in the water’s edge trying not to be swept up in the current. Shawn did a couple of long floats down the river after walking to the end of the camp ground. I had another go at this, great fun, but still a little scary as the current is very strong and there are always huge barges and tourist boats motoring up and down the river also. Don’t worry we were careful and did not swim out to far that we could not easily grab a rock and be shore safe. The afternoon was so hot and the water so cooling, we hope our next camp stop a little way further up the Rhine has the same opportunity for river swimming or at least somewhere to cool off in. Especially if this heat wave keeps up.

I’ve been washing clothes as I take them off and they have been drying almost instantly in this dry heat. Lyn you would be so proud of me, strung up a line and all! It’s a little difficult not having my buddy along as Lyn always thinks of the washing things, and where’s a good place for the line etc. Now I have to try and remember all that stuff for myself. 

We headed back out on the bikes for dinner – I know we are still not back into the whole camping routine of cooking camp dinner. I think it’s cause it’s so hot, hard to buy supplies earlier in the day to cook up later. So Toni was keen on an Asian kiosk place we passed last night, so they ate there. I was not all that hungry (haven eaten a bag of chips with our afternoon beer, lol) so just picked up a spongy chicken burger and had a few more beers with them as they ate their dinner.

It’s now 10pm and just starting to get dark. Man I love European summer time, days are long long long. I know this weather is very hot, but I am loving it, much better than a few weeks ago when we were all freezing and buying extra bedding to try and get a good night’s sleep in the tent.

Tomorrow we have another short ride of about 15km up river.

Saturday 4th July 2015 (day sixty-one)

St Goar to Bacharach

A nice warm night again last night, although at one stage I did pull the sleeping bag over me and kick it off and pull it up again. Sun was beating down on the tent when I woke at 7am. We wanted to get an early start today, even though we are not travelling very far, we wanted to get the bike riding part of the day over and done with before it got too hot.

We did really well and had bums on bikes, waving goodbye to the Loreley by 9.15am. 30 minutes later we were wandering through Lidl supermarket looking at all the things we could not buy for dinner because in the current heat nothing will keep several hours before we want to cook it. We decided on a cooked lunch and just scratch for dinner. Lemons bought some salmon to cook up and I ended up getting a cooked chicken which I ate with some crackers that Sarah had left behind, (thanks Sarah).

We rode into the camp just before 12 and decided to eat before we set up camp. Our tent possie is not next to the river but be managed to grab a spot under a tree riverside to cook and eat our lunch. River traffic was a busy as ever, but it’s nice, gives us something to look at besides the amazing scenery on the banks of the river. Such quaint little towns and villages on the river’s edge. All very narrow and spread out along the water front. Most are only 1 or 2 streets wide, wedged between the Rhine and the hillside behind them. All are dominated by a tall steeple of the town church.

After lunch we set up our tents, arriving early we are the first bikers to have arrived so got the pick of the positions available (the one with the picnic table). This of course was thirsty work so back on our bikes we pedalled back along the water front to a kiosk I saw that was selling Radler for 1.50 euro. We sat trying to hide from the sun as we drank our cool beer. Yes cool, not cold, Europeans have not yet grasped the meaning of cold beer, it’s just cooled. Short discussion about indulging in another beer or going for a quick look into the town, it was decided a quick look then return for a beer before we go for a swim. Quick ride into town, I had a Riesling flavoured ice cream cone (yes very nice thanks) and then we headed back to said kiosk only to be told she had no Radler left in the fridge. Bugger! We will be back tomorrow we warned her, so stock up!
Deflated, we rode back towards the camp ground when I saw a KD kiosk. This is a kiosk riverside where they sell the Koln-Dusseldorf ferry tickets, and we have learnt that if there is a kiosk attached to the ticket office they usually sell Radler beers at a good price. As we sat down the temp gauge showed it was 33.7, by the time we left 2 beers later it was 34.8. It was time for a swim. The river is really wide at the front of the camp ground here and there is even a little sandy beach that was packed with day trippers – being Saturday and all. It’s still pretty rocky in the river so I like to wear my Keen sandals, gives them a good wash too. We are surprised how clean the river seems to be. There is very, very little rubbish floating in it, considering the amount of tourist traffic on the river. And the water is pretty clear. The beer cooled our insides and the Rhine cooled our outsides.

We were sitting in the water at about 5pm, suddenly the sun disappeared and looking skyward there were dark ugly clouds heading our way. The campervan campers must have known something we did not as they all started to baton down the hatches, so we followed suite as much as we can to prepare the tents for a down pour. There was a bit of thunder and around 7pm it did finally rain, but not all that hard as Toni & I stood under a tree and managed to stay dry. The rain fell lightly, the clouds blew over, and we saw a few more lightning strikes and then it was all over. At least it cooled the air down a bit so it will be nice to sleep.

We were cooking dinner by 8pm and I finally got to us the can of tomatoes that I have been carrying since Rotterdam! Yippee. (Sorry small things amuse me at times). After dinner we sat enjoying an after dinner beer watching the steady stream of river traffic heading up stream to Bingen, which is about 20km away. Apparently tonight is a festival ‘the Rhine in Flames’. Not sure what it is all about, but there are going to be fireworks at around midnight in Bingen, not sure if we will be able to see them from here. I overheard a camper who had internet and was googling said that the boats were 150 euro per person, not sure what this included, but way out of our price range anyway.

We have booked in here for 2 nights (cost 5.50 per person + 3 euro for a tent) and tomorrow depending on how hot it is we may climb up the million steps to the castle up on the hill. This one they have turned into a youth hostel which I tried to book months ago but was already booked well in advance.

Oooo, it’s just turned 10.30pm and I can hear the fireworks in the distance. Just had a quick look up the river and I can see tiny sparkle lights in the distance.

Bike Stats:
Time 1.17.35
Dist 17.72km
Ave 13.7 km/h
Mx 22.9 km/h
Cal 168
C02 2.65
Odo 546

Sunday 5th July 2015 (day sixty-two)

Bacharach

A very lazy day today, basically we did nothing.

Breakfast rolls were collected from reception at 8.30 and by the time we were eating all the other bikers had packed up camp and left, we seemed to be the only 2 nighters left. Already this early we could tell it was going to be another scorcher of a day.

The day consisted of watching the river traffic, having a few swims in the river to cool off and having a few beers at assorted places throughout the day. First one was with lunch at the roadside wurst stand. We had lunch here, wurst and pommes washed down with the cheapest Radler beer in town at 1.50 euro.

After lunch I went into the main street to have a wander around and an ice cream. There is the remains of an old 13th century church that I wanted to take a look at. Returning a little while later to find the Lemons hard at work. Lol Both lay sleeping in the shade.

Another swim then I went to the camp site bar to use the internet to do a little forward booking, had to buy a big Radler 3.30 euro to justify sitting inside.

Being Sunday, no shops were open so we had no supplies for dinner so we headed into town to see what looked good. Local Turkish kebab shop looked good, and after ordering a ‘small’ doner confirmed it tasted good too. This delicious dinner was washed down with a beer and cola mixer 2.00 euro – yes beer and cola in the same bottle.

It’s a bit cooler again this evening and a cloudy sky is telling us there may be a drop or two falling on us later. But we are all tucked inside shower proof tents so are not too concerned. The little breeze is making it a little more comfortable to sleep.
Tomorrow we continue up the Rhine to a new location.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 11:58 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

2015 JULY - GERMANY - A NORMAL 5 DAYS OF REST OFF THE BIKE?

An apartment in Lahnstein for 5 nights to catch up and eat at a table.

Saturday 27th June 2015 (day fifty-four)

Lahnstein overcast

Sarah is flying home today.  I had looked up on the internet for train times to get her to Frankfurt airport on time. We walked the short distance to the Lahnstein train station wheeling my bike with her packed bag on it. The 10am train arrived on time and we had a quick goodbye before it carried her away.

And then there were 3 …..

Rest of the day was a little slow and lazy, I did my washing in the bathtub and went for a little ride around the town.
The Lemons arrived back around 9pm, totally exhausted from lots of train travel and still abuzz from the race.

Sunday 28th June 2015 (day fifty-five)

Lahnstein – hot & sunny 31

The roads on either side of the River Rhine were closed to traffic today to allow cyclists to ride on the road. Our host had told be about this when we checked in, it was part of a festival taking place this weekend. I decided to take advantage of this and go for a ride along the river without carrying any luggage.

The roads were pretty crowded with families, old and young peddlers and the serious lycra clad speedsters taking advantage of the closed roads.

It was a beautiful day and lots were out enjoying the time outside. I rode from Lahnstein to Boppard (approx. 20km) then crossed the river via ferry (me and 100’s of other cyclists), then rode back up to Lahnstein, via Koblenz on the other side of the river. The Rhine is slightly wider than the Mosel, but the scenery is just as lovely. Not as many vineyards up in this area, but lots of castles and old grand houses. Still lots of forest areas too.

Very enjoyable ride, but I missed the bridge crossing at the end and ended up almost back in the centre of Koblenz having to cross another bridge and probably adding about 5km that I really did not have to do. Still a nice ride.

Had to be back and showered by 4pm as I was meeting a lady that I had met online and who has been helping me out with a couple of travel issues. Angelika, turned out to be a lovely person and we drove up the Lahn River Valley to a small village where we had a nice beer next to the river. She is also helping me to sort out my current travel plans as I need to change a few things / directions now that I will be travelling alone after the Lemons go in a few weeks. Turned out we had quite a bit in common so it was a relaxing couple of hours and a new friend found. The Lahn river looked beautiful – just the little bit we drove up. I have put this on my list to come back and do a week canoe trip. (Lyn get that arm up and running – you might not be able to ride a bike again, but how about operating a paddle? On the list for 2017.)

Lemons had a nice day exploring Koblenz. They also did the cable car and visited the fortress. Great day for everyone!

We had a family dinner, easily cooked in our apartment kitchen and eaten at a real dining table. Funny how these normal things become a treat when you have been camping for a couple of days.


Monday 29th June 2015 (day fifty-six)

Lahnstein to Boppard return

We have splashed out and paid for another 2 nights at this apartment. It’s just nice to have a base and be able to spread out relax and not do too much.

We have a slow morning which included a visit to the massive 3 storey supermarket.

At 3pm we got all active and took off for the 13km ride to Boppard just up river. Yes this was the same place I had ridden to yesterday, but I did not stop to explore and we wanted to ride the chairlift.

The day was sunny and warm, nice riding weather and the path was easy, especially with no luggage on the bikes. We made good time and reached the ferry to cross the river in just a tiny time over the hour. The ferry was 4.50euro for one per and bike return and took about 10 mins to get across the fast flowing Rhine River. It took a little longer if it had to wait for river traffic, of which there were a few about today. Excursion boats and flash river cruises, this part of the river is very popular.

large_boppard.jpg

We parked the bikes by the river front and went a block in away from the river to explore a little. A visit to the tourist information office gave us a little information and then we walked about 10 minutes to the edge of the town to ride the chairlift. It was now 5.15pm and the ticket seller pointed out that the chairlift stops running at 6.30pm. She advised us it was a 20 minute ride up then we would have only about 10 minutes at the lookout to be back on time to get the lift down. This was doable, so we paid the 7.50 euros each for the return ride.

It was interesting to see the view of the Rhine River, Boppard and surrounding villages from this perspective. The ride up gave us great views and once up there we had a birds eye view of what they call ‘the bendiest bend in the Rhine’. We made sure we were back at the chairlift in time to get a ride back down.

We enjoyed our short time in Boppard and as we did not have time to do a walk that I’d read about we decided to book a hotel to stay here Wednesday night after we leave Lahnstein. We found a reasonably priced hotel which was on the water front, so a real bargain, happy that we would have more time in this quaint little place.

We rode back home to our apartment in Lahnstein in less than an hour. Love this bike riding caper, especially with no weights on the bikes. I even think the Lemons enjoyed the ride, although they would never admit to it. lol

Tuesday 30th June 2015 (day fifty-seven)

Lahnstein

Well, today we did absolutely nothing!

Tell a lie, we did put bums on bike seats at about 6pm to go up to the supermarket to buy dinner ingredients.

I did actually get a lot accomplished today as needed time out to get my future travels organized.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 11:44 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 15 of 16) Page [1] 2 » Next