June 18, 2018
What an amazing day on the Rhine Radweg. The breakfast at the hotel was really good and kept us going all day.
The hotel was a Bett & Bike hotel, which means they provide space for bikes and encourage cyclists. We spotted this lovely sculpture outside another Bett & bike hotel.
We had a couple of power bars to keep us going, we didn’t need to stop for lunch. I have been having some trouble getting used to the taste of the local water. It tastes highly chlorinated and my tummy feels as if I have been drinking draino. This is why people might have been wishing me a Gutes fahrt yesterday. Sorry, toilet humour – Gutes Fahrt actually means Good Journey. As we are on the subject we both went to the public washrooms in Koblenz which cost .50 cent about .75 cent Cdn – an expensive wee. However, Ralf mentioned that in the urinal there was a picture of a fly – a target. The gentleman next to Ralf saw the fly and moved to a new urinal, he hadn’t realized it was a picture.
Today, I didn’t hydrate very well. I think we might have to buy bottled water, which I hate doing because I think it is a waste of money when (usually) the municipal water is good to drink.
The weather was a little overcast and cool, which made for a good day of riding. Although every time I stopped I seemed to be covered in little midges, my bright yellow cycling jersey seemed to attract them like bears to a honey pot.
As we were leaving the hotel we cycled around the Town of Andernach. As were many of the Towns we cycled through today it was once a walled city. The Town Castle was erected in the 12th Century. Last extension 1491 -1495 was the erection of the powder tower and addition to the Keep. Destroyed by the French in 1689, the ruins of the castle are considered to be among the best preserved of any medieval town castles in the middle Rhine.
The other claim to fame Andernach it has a cold geyser. I am guessing that a geyser is the same except this one shoots out cold water. You could take a boat trip to see it, but we were not that interested.
Today was a day of amazing villages, castles and vineyards. There were so many villages and towns with beautiful old buildings, it seemed as if we were stopping every five minutes for Ralf to take photos.
Occasionally the route sent us on a detour, always across cobble stones and more often than not up a short but sharp hill.
We would also spot two old men sitting on a bench looking over the Rhine.
We stopped in Koblenz briefly. The Rhine and the Mosel meet here at a place called the Deutsch Ecke (the German corner).
The Wehrmarkt building was originally built for priests and orphans from 1723 to 1729. Later on the building was used as a prison, and poor house. In 1816 the government moved in and it is now used by the Office of the Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service support. It has undergone many renovations and rebuilds over the years.
As we cycled along the Rhine there was less and less loaded gravel/coal river barges. However we did spot this loaded container boat with approximately 72 sea containers.
These are the signs that we are now following – good signs.
This small walled town had the levels of the river marked on its “gate”. The highest the river reached was in 1882 and it was almost 2 metres.
Every village or town has a large church, of course being Germany they also have lots of restaurants, bars and bakeries. What more do you need?
If you double click on the pictures you will be able to see them better.
The last section of the route followed along side the B9. River on one side, the road and then vineyards as far as the eye could see.
We saw more touring cyclists today. Some are “credit card” touring with a couple of bags or even carrying a back pack. Even this little girl had her own panniers.
Eventually we arrived in Bacharach. Many years ago Ralf and I had taken an afternoon trip down the Rhine on one of the many tour boats we visited some of the small Towns we cycled through today and I recalled this amazing youth hostel in Bacharach.
I have always wanted to stay in a castle, but couldn’t afford the prices they were charging. Tonight we are staying in a castle which has been a youth hostel since 1926. The castle was built in 1136, it was besieged during the Thirty year war and was destroyed by the French in 1635. The French destroyed a lot of things during that time.:) It was reconstructed in 1920 and became a youth hostel in 1926
Bacharach Town is a lovely historic Town.
The only thing I forgot about my last trip to this youth hostel is where castles generally are located! They are always located at the top of a hill for protection. After a 78 km ride we had a 1 km hill which we had to push the bikes up the hill. The incline was 16% for one kilometre.
For me it was well worth the push, so that I can say I have stayed in a castle.
Tomorrows ride back down to the Town of Bacharach should have me pulling on my brakes all the way down.
The Stahleck Castle was first mentioned in 1135. A Staufer fortification building with bulwark, fore-castle and water-filled moat. (Just to keep the riff raff out). It was owned by the Cologne Archbishops and residence of the electoral Count. The City of Bacharach walls were built in the 14th Century, the castle was integrated as a corner bastion. During the 30 years war it was besieged, the damage was repaired in 1666 and then it was blown up in 1689 by the French. It was reconstructed as a youth hostel in 1925.
We paid for dinner at the Youth Hostel which included salad, main and dessert for E9.00 about $12.00. We hadn’t seen many other people at the hostel and thought it might be a quiet evening. That’s when they came out of the stonework – I would normally say woodwork, but this castle is stone. Hundreds of children that were on a school trip. O.k. there was only 29 in one group from one school and another two smaller classes from two other schools, about 50 kids in total.
We spoke to a teacher and asked him if it was an end of school trip. He told us that this was part of the school program for history and outdoor activities.
He told us that in Germany at Grade 4 (age 9 or 10), the kids are divided into separate schools. The highest level of school is for the kids that are going on to University, the other schools the kids will go onto more general education and trade schools. I thought that was too young, to divide kids. The decision as to which level of school the child goes to is a combined effort – the child, the parents and the teachers. However, he said that it was not set in stone, between grades 4 -6 some kids will move up to the higher level of school and other kids will move down to the more general education. In Germany there are only schools and Universities, no colleges. At 18/19 you choose the career you are going to take at University. No wishy washy, everybody gets a gold star, everybody gets a trophy. If you can’t cut it at 9 years old you better pick-up your socks, work harder if you want to go to university.
Here are a few miscellaneous pictures that were worth including from todays ride.
I think I might add a few bikes in the front of the house in Brockville ! What do you think Lia and Diane?
I forgot to mention Ralf spotted two windmills yesterday, today Ralf spotted one and I spotted one. Running Total is Ralf 12 Jacky 6
This is the elevation for today – note the last few hundred metres!