Rivers and Roads

Day 6: June 15 2014, Bernkastel-Kues to Trier

What a fabulous day–my last official day of biking on this mini tour of the Main, Rhein and Mosel rivers. My spirits were high, everyone around me seemed way happier, the weather was perfect, the bike paths were lovely. No complaints!  And I really soaked up everything I like best about bike touring: namely the biking, and the eating. I felt strong all day, took stretch breaks whenever I stumbled upon a particularly inviting bench, and ate a delicious lunch….which included a salad!
Here were some of my favorite break moments:

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As I got closer to Trier, my destination, the mountains and hills slowly sank into a wider, lower river valley.

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I arrived in Trier at about 2 pm, and spent about two hours wandering around the city–birthplace of Karl Marx.

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Trier is also well know for just how crazy old it is.  It’s know as the Roemer Stadt, one of the oldest Roman cities in Germany. So, naturally I took pictures of things that look old:

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A victory ice cream cone helped me celebrate the successful conclusion of my trip!

Before I say my goodbyes, I will share a few thoughts that have been keeping me company on the bike.

First, why I like camping:
Actually, I love camping!  I love being outside all day long; I love the sanctuary of a well-organized tent; I love finding the perfect spot to pitch a tent; I love falling asleep when it’s still light outside; I love staying dry when it’s raining.

Some things I don’t like:
I’m not a huge fan of having to pee in the middle of the night; not crazy about awkwardly standing in the women’s bathroom looking for ways to keep busy while I charge my phone at the only outlet available; not cool when you are promised a hot shower, but it is not.
All things considered, Germany does camping pretty well!

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All the campgrounds I graced with my presence this trip had pleasant restaurants with outdoor seating available for dinner, and they all had a little bakery truck roll through at 8 am to deliver broetchen and pastries. That said, they were a little overpriced (compared to the hiker-biker sites on the west coast), there were no picnic tables, which meant I had to no place to sit other than my tent, and they tend to be closed (like many businesses in Germany) between 1 – 3 pm for Mittagsruhe–nap time.

It’s wonderful to observe how Germans set up camp. I especially love watching them prepare dinner. They all bring their own folding tables and chairs, and sit down together for their meal, many with a decorative knick-knack or flowers to serve as the table center piece. Amazing.

Ok–last thoughts: Bike paths. Germany is serious about its bike infrastructure. I was on designated bike paths for the entirety of my trip, and while the path was sometimes pavement, sometimes dirt, cobblestone, or gravel, it was always superbly maintained and I almost never shared the road with any cars.

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For anyone out there interested, this is a pretty fool-proof place to bike tour. Definitely good for first-time tourers, and excellent for families with kids. The towns are very close together, so you are always within 30 min of food, water, or a place to stay. And the regional trains make it super easy to hop on with a bike if you need to get somewhere in a hurry. Also, the signs are my savior. They make it almost impossible for even someone as directionally challenged as me to safely make it from point A to point B.

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Anyway, I’d do it again!  Anyone interested??  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to enjoy this river festival complete with techno DJ that I’ve just stumbled upon…

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Auf Wiedersehen!

3 thoughts on “Rivers and Roads

  1. Christine,
    It’s been a pleasure to read your blog about biking in Germany. You had almost perfect weather the entire time, and you were able to see some very scenic places. You were fortunate to be able to have almost no competition from auto traffic, which made your journey that much more enjoyable. Being outdoors all day is indeed a treat, and it’s wonderful to savor the outdoors from a bicycling point-of-view. If you’re looking for a different sort of adventure after your return to the States, try some of the bike trails in Pennsylvania which wind through old railroad tunnels–definitely an experience that you won’t want to miss! Enjoy the rest of your summer, and thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos.
    Rob Macomber

  2. Christine, I’ve so enjoyed your blog and living your bike tour vicariously. Kudos to you and kudos to Germany for vehicle free bike paths. And I can totally relate to your need for vegetables having just returned from Eastern Europe!

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