Thursday morning the 29th, my host Nasr went to his German class. I did my laundry, then walked east along the Mosel River to the Deutsches Eck (“German Corner”), the point of land formed by the confluence of the Mosel and the Rhine. There, I caught a cable car to the imposing Festung Ehrenbreitstein that overlooks the east bank of the Rhine River. Continue reading
On Saturday, the 24th of June, I left Kaiserslautern. The Regional Express went all the way to Koblenz, but I got off in Trier, the medieval fortress town at the confluence of the Saar and the Mosel.
From my studies of Modern European History in high school and college, I had expected the Saar valley to be industrialized for its entire length. Wrong: in this fertile, winegrowing region, the Saar weaves through a floodplain covered in crops, vineyards and woods. Continue reading
On Friday, 16 June, Caitlin brought me back from the Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center (ARMC) to recover and to wait for my follow-up visit on Wednesday. The week off the bicycle gave me a chance to appreciate this part of Germany in more depth. Continue reading
On Friday the 9th of June, I enjoyed breakfast in the lounge of the Brook Lane Hostel with Arianna, a pleasant, intelligent, German-American touring cyclist. She is a special education teacher, riding down the Danube during the two-week Bavarian spring break. She rides every break she gets, and was able to dispense a wealth of useful information to me about riding, living and working in Germany. Continue reading
Monday, the 5th of June, was the day after Pentecost, celebrated as an official holiday in Bavaria. With everything closed, I chose to ride on. The weather was not ideal, cooler than before, and even cloudier than Sunday. Continue reading
Tuesday, 30 May – The expected front came through during the night, while I was translating in the hostel. With beautiful sunshine and a full extra day available, I decided to take a quick ride out to the Schönbrunn Palace to visit the gardens. Daniel had recommended that to me after coming back from the Vienna Philharmonic concert there last week. Continue reading
Wednesday, the 24th of May, I returned to the Danube River. Hütteldorf was a cute village, with a very old church just outside the Youth Hostel, but I was ready for the big city. After packing, I rolled easily down the side streets and along the bike paths by the Wien River from Hütteldorf to the Favoriten district in the southern part of Vienna. Continue reading
Saturday, the 20th of May, the forecast called for stiff headwinds and colder temperatures, so I was not sure how long the day’s ride would take. Only 67 km, but riding uphill 400 m into the wind had me worried. Rain was supposed to start after dark, so I was sure that I could have my campsite pitched and ready in time, regardless of how slowly I rode.
Tuesday morning, the 16th of May, I rose early, excited to be on my way again. Crossing to the right bank of the bank of the Danube, I quickly found myself in Austria on a dedicated bicycle path that led south into the fertile floodplain. The wind was out of the southwest. Had it been any stronger, it might have posed a problem from the outset. But the air was warm, and the day was sunny. I revelled in the fresh air and the smooth pavement leading me among the wind farms. Below the turbines, immense fields stretched to the horizon. I recognized corn and rapeseed, but not most of the other crops. This early in the spring, it all looks like a lawn that needs mowing. Continue reading
Natural Tunnel State Park, Thursday the 6th of May. I woke at dawn and dozed until 08:30. The Duty Ranger I had spoken to on the phone showed up while I was breaking camp. Perhaps because they are so happy to be vaccinated and able to talk to people, the rangers were very sociable. He told me that I could pay at the Park Office on the way out, which was more convenient than finding the station in the Lovers’ Leap campground. Continue reading