Heading east for Germany we didn’t have a route in mind, only a stop in the southern city of Freyberg and a destination in Switzerland where our next organised interview would be but sure enough, catching up with some friends in a last pitstop before departing The Netherlands we were informed that we would find a lovely route through Germany winding up the Rhine River. In Tim’s words, “it may be a little longer but it will save you a lot of climbing and the route is set up for cyclists”.
The Rhine is the 12th longest river in Europe, stretching more than 1,200 kilometers from Switzerland to the North Sea via Germany and The Netherlands. The river formed a trade route dating back to the Roman Empire when supply boats were hauled up this river. Thanks to the beasts who hauled the boats, cyclists now enjoy well formed trails along the rivers banks.
We joined the Rhine in Cologne, where we also met with an old friend who would join us for a days cycling.
A school teacher from northern Germany, Inga was keen to catch up, enjoy some cycling and understand how she could get her school involved in the Ride To Learn Adventure Learning program.
Our day with the extra company was surely entertaining – Inga bore the brunt of a head on collision with a recumbent bicycle, we enjoyed the local food culture and friendly gestures of locals we passed – such as this bottle that made it’s way on a string from the houses above our picnic.
When we arrived into Koblenz Inga jumped onto a train to begin the mission of returning to her home and Kristina and I continued toward our next stop – Freyberg – where we planned to meet the team behind our awesome hub-powered lights, Supernova. These lights have saved us on many occasion as we’ve battled to find our camp after dark.
Gregor welcomed us to the Supernova hub and proceeded to get the team rewiring our lighting systems while we enjoyed coffee and a tour of the showroom. Learning that we were not intending to take in the monuments of Freyberg, Gregor insisted on jumping on his bike and taking us for a tour through his home town, whilst telling us of all the wonderful things Germany invented – like the bicycle!
Departing Freyberg we headed into the alpine country of the Black Forest – which seemed a lot more green – here I shot ahead on the train to catch up on some work while Kristina took a few wrong turns into the forest.
It was after dark and bucketing rain as my worry-levels went through the roof wondering where Kristina had got to. All our tracking/communication devices were not showing any signals until finally I managed to resurrect my drowned iPhone and Kristina happened to be in range – she wasn’t perfectly sure where she was but was headed into the town not to far from where we planned to stay for the night.
I headed out to meet her and eventually intersected her coming down the main street absolutely drenched and cold. A nearby italian restaurant welcomed us in and treated us to some Irish Hot Chocolate and delicious pizza – a happy ending to some stressful moments.
The next day was mostly downhill as we made our way out of the Black Forest and towards Lake Constance where we would cross into Switzerland – we’ll pick from here next week.
Make sure you check out the showreel from Germany below.
Ciao for now,