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Germany

Curious what backpackers do in Germany? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day31

    We arrived in Miltenberg two hours earlier than scheduled (no queues at the locks!) and I was keen to go ashore to explore. Gunther, our guide, said that it was only a small place with one street but I was needing to strech my legs anyway. What a lovely surprise it was, the one street was a delightful old village road with houses built in 1600's down narrow cobblestone lanes.

    It was very fairytale like and we seemed to have the area to ourselves. Quaint shops were in the first few hundred meters and as the road narrowed it turned into hotels and pubs. You had the impression this area would come alive in the evening. Even further on the street turned into the residential area where people lived with modernised interiors to these lovely old houses.

    A few of us climbed up to the remains of the fortification wall and towers that surround the upper edge of the town. The view of the town was rewarding and the park like gardens behind the wall were very green. As we walked back to the boat we were amused to see a statue of three boys doing their business outside a public WC.

    That afternoon we were bused around in groups of 6 to 10 and hosted with locals in their homes for afternoon tea. I thought it would be a bit awkward but it turned out to be very interesting and our hosts very friendly.
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  • Day32

    An optional afternoon trip today was to the historic town of Rothenburg. It is completely surrounded by the old walls and turrets built back in 12th Century. You can walk along the ramparts and admire the views of the town from there. We also saw plaques on the walls of the ramparts where families and businesses "bought" sections to help raise money to restore and keep the wall intact.

    It felt like you were transported back in time as there was no signs of modern life other than the odd cable TV antennae (and many had painted these to blend in). From the view on the ramparts into people's gardens with clothes hanging out etc it was obvious it was a normal residential area despite looking like a fairytale. Parts of the new movie version of Beauty and the Beast were filmed here.

    Another couple of things it is known for is the large Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop and museum. It also houses the headquarters for Birkenstock sandals. I'm so glad I went as it was such a charming place to visit.
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  • Day30

    With the strech of castles in the Rhine Gorge behind us, we arrived in the lovely little town of Ruedesheim It is in a wide and very calm section of the river and high on the hills around it are many vineyards.

    We hopped in a little train-tractor that toured quickly thorough the narrow streets to the Music Museum. This was housed in an old building that had paint friezes from the 16th century. The museum was filled with various mechanical musical instruments that had been restored to working order. Some had hundreds of moving parts and some used etched drums to play the music. Our guide set them playing and it was quite magical to see the one with violins hiding in cubbyholes of a piano playing (a violino).Read more

  • Day31

    We left the Rhine river and started cruising the Main river. The sunshades on the sundecks were lowered and the deck closed as we entered a section of river with 30 plus locks and many low bridges.

    We are getting used to locks but they have not lost their fascination for me yet. The river boats like ours are all made the maximum width and sometimes when we are in the locks only a few centimeters are free on each side. It's odd to look up and see a wall next to your window instead of pretty scenery.

    The photos below show some we went though during the day, taken through the front lounge window.
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  • Day326

    Today Peter and I bought our first home together...a three-person hiking tent from Leipzig decathlon! We decided to go for a new one as Peter's existing one is a snug two-person without a porch and its quite bulky. With the weight being at a premium when bike touring, a smaller more compact pack and a porch space to bring the bags into at night and potentially in the rain is going to be much more convenient.

    We also picked up an inflatable pillow each and a couple of long-sleeved tops in H & M SHOULD the summer ever decide to come!!

    The tent is going to take one hellof a road test so reviews to follow!!
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  • Day325

    Is spring here??!! I still don't know. Nature says yes! After watching a nest from the house stairs when passing each time for a week the "amsel babies" have hatched! (Blackbirds in English) . On the way out to meet friends in Greiz for lunch two or three very naked-looking bird shapes were just about visible in the foliage. With temperatures between 0-10 degrees C I hope that they'll fluff up quickly and thrive.

    The ride back from Greiz was a bit bleak, a biting cold wind and a saddle that is absolutley not living up to the hype of it its 500 x 5 star reviews and praise as a good touring saddle. Initial tests on the turbo trainer indoors were promising....when it came to it, a 14km round trip turned into a pretty miserable affair. Not a good sign at all!

    Afternoon plans had to fall by the wayside as this is a pretty critical bit of kit not to be right. Selle Italia is not my friend and someone will get an absolute bargain of a saddle on eBay when I'm back!!

    An evening spent shopping on bike24 until the early hours shooooould provide a plan B and C....!! watch this space.

    Before such a long sporting endeavour I'm trying to stay injury free by not doing anything too stupid..(aside from my day-to-day walking /running up and down the steep stairs of an old house in some novelty hugley oversized ant slippers, that is)...it turns out that a single HAIR from a toxic cactus of doom can have much more painful effects than misadventure in inappropriate footwear. Whilst lying on the floor to carry out the first part of kit inventory checking as P was bike tweaking, a cactus hair got into my calf and caused a huge hot red lump the size of a gooseberry which sends a wave of weird pain up my leg everytime I move my foot..like when climbing stairs..and cycling 😂😂😂. Cactus Jack and Selle Italia Diva saddles are on todays sh!t list!!!
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  • Day324

    A few days into being able to actually fully unwind after the stress of moving out I feel more alive than I have done in ages. My highly-treasured couple of exotic weeks that working 9-5 has afforded me over the years have been amazing but it really was a case of work-stress melding straight into "holiday stress", so I don't think I've had this true sense of "down time" for years.....!

    When you have so few days holiday to offset the year's drudgery of being sat in an office many people feel compelled to achieve the highest state of escapism possible during their permitted 23 or so days of vacation. For me, this was always the pursuit of a guaranteed warm temperature, a stimulating adventure, culture and something very far removed from my monotonous day-to-day. This is sometimes in itself a recipe for not being able to relax as you rush to hand over your workload in a comprehensive way, only to rush to the airport and due to the company-imposed limits of only 2 weeks holiday being allowed at any one time, you rush town to town to maximise the therapeutic or hedonistic return on the outlay you've spent on expensive long haul flights.

    What further adds to the sense of even holiday time not really being your own is the "profit over people" attitude exuded by companies that impose questionable restrictions of maximum duration holiday blocks (of 2 weeks at any one time for example), dictated of course by "the needs of the business"... alone that saying is enough to set off the incompatibility alarm bells ringing in me.

    How to fill a quiet day on the bike project number 1- I need to find a way of working for myself or for fewer hours!

    All in all the last few days in Germany have been an absolute joy.

    -Running a half marathon distance for fun through trails and forests alongside water tumbling down the River Elster.

    -Cooking healthy food from scratch and sitting down to enjoy it without the pressure of needing to use my freetime to rebalance myself after the confines of a day in an office.

    -Feeling creative and full of ideas, from a mind that is healthy and not under "stress". Being able to have the mental power to solve problems and feeling resiliant to obstacles.

    With this level of invigoration, I feel absolutley no regret about leaving my last job. Its especially clear to me now, that for the last few years I had sold out to an environment and culture that absolutely didn't meet any of my needs as a human, aside from earning money. I was merely trapped in my own fear to conform to and asire to certain societal expectations befitting someone my age. Whilst I'm now in a bit of a fortunate utopia of a longer than average break from work, I know this isn't a sustainable state of life any longer than the period I've currently allowed myself...it would of course lose its shine if this time were to be an open-ended period of nothingness. I'm going to savour the renewed energy and life lessons that will come my way.

    The contasts of the ups and downs in life certainly sharpen the focus.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Federal Republic of Germany, Germany, Deutschland, ꄓꇩ, 독일, ܓܪܡܢ, ドイツ, ጀርመን, ଜର୍ମାନୀ, เยอรมนี, เยอรมัน, ເຢຍລະມັນ, អាល្លឺម៉ង់, ประเทศเยอรมนี, สหพันธ์สาธารณรัฐเยอรมนี, A' Ghearmailt, Alamagn, Alemagne, Alemaina, Alemaña, Alemanha, Alemani, Alémani, Alemania, Alemanu, Alemanya, Alimaɲi, Alimaniya, Alimanya, Allemagne, Allemangne, Almaañ, Almaniya, Almanya, Almayn, An Ghearmáin, Budaaki, Däitschland, Deitschland, Deitschlånd, Deutän, Discüssiun sura la fundazziun, dotygu'e, Đức, Duiska, Duiskka, Duitschland, Duitsland, Dútslân, Düütschland, Duutsjlandj, Duutsland, Germania, Germània, Germania nutome, Germanio, Ġermanja, Germanujo, Germuanii, Girimane, Girmania, Gjermani, Gjermania, Gjermanie, Gyaaman, Heremani, i-Germany, IJalimani, Jámánì, Jamus, Jarmal, Jarmalka, Jerman, Jėrman, Jermaniya, Miemieckô, Nemačka, Nemčija, Nemecko, Německo, Németország, Němska, Niemcy, Njemačka, Njeremani, Olmoniya, Orílẹ́ède Gemani, Saksa, Saksamaa, Siaman, Siamane, Teutōtitlan, Tiamana, Tôitšhi, Tyskland, Týskland, Tysklandi, Ubudage, Udachi, Ujerumani, Vācija, Vokietija, Yn Ghermaan, Yr Almaen, Zâmani, Þēodiscland, Þýskaland, آلمان, المان, ألمانيا, المانيا, جرمنی, جرمني/آلمان, گېرمانىيە, ئەڵمانیا, גרמניה, דייטשלאנד, Γερμανία, Алмания, Герман, Германи, Германија, Германия, Германія, Ӂермания, Немачка, Німеччина, Нямеччына, Олмон, Олмония, ཇཱར་མ་ནི, འཇར་མན་, Գերմանիա, გერმანია, जमिन, जर्मनी, જર્મની, ఙర్మని, ಜರ್ಮನಿ, ஜெர்மன், ஜெர்மனி, ജര്‍മനി, ജര്‍മ്മനി, জার্মানি, জাৰ্মানি, ဂျာမဏီ, ජර්මනිය, 德国, ドイツ連邦共和国