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    • Day 28

      Day 28: Dudenhofen, Germany🚴🏼⛪️🌳🏰❤️

      July 31, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      We wrapped up July with hitting the 1500 mile mark. We had some tough riding in the hills on the edge of the black forest. We climbed out of the Rhine river valley to various castle ruins. We enjoyed the riding by the luscious grape fields, And the hard claims were rewarded with great views from the castles. It was a tough ride today as temperatures were approaching 100°, and we covered 75 miles. Sundays are always a little tough to find shops that are open, but we found a Döner and Pizza shop 4 miles from our endpoint and grabbed some cokes and falafel wraps for our hotel room. We spent the evening relaxing in the AC of the hotel room, and took a nice little walk through the small village as the sun was setting. We also found an ice cream vending machine and bought the most delicious pistachio ice cream to end the day.Read more

    • Day 8

      Mannheim, Heidelberg and Speyer

      October 5, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 64 °F

      Ship docked at Mannheim around 7:30 a.m. After breakfast we boarded buses for Heidelberg. We toured the castle built in the 1600s. Returned to the ship and departed for Speyer. Spent some time touring the town and the cathedral. Beautiful area. Tomorrow we travel to Strasbourg.Read more

    • Day 22

      Rest day in Otterstadt

      September 11, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Relaxing day off the bikes, with slow start and then visiting the local lake for swim and games in arvo

      So I did some math today... and my total kms stands at 729km (over half way!)

      I have a reasonable level of excitement as we are heading to worms tomorrow... I can't wait to visit a worms supermarket, or a worms church, or a worms cafe!!
      (Illy tells me it is pronounced essentially as 'warms'...but smeh i will keep calling it worms)
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    • Day 7

      We Set Sail on the Rhine

      August 27, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Today was the day to formally begin stage one of our adventure. Our home for the next week will be the MS Andante, a large passenger "barge" able to carry around 80 passengers. Our Ghostrider group constitutes about 25% of the total, the rest are mainly German speaking so I don't think that we will be able to do much socialising with them.

      Over the next week we will be moving south along the Rhine till we reach the city of Basel. Each day consists of a mixture of cruiisng the river and riding our bikes. The schedule means that we are always back on the boat for our evening meal.

      Yesterday afternoon the boat cruised from Mainz to Gernshein where we moored for the evening. Today we began with another short cruise to Mannheim. That was the cue to unload the bikes (and it is quite an undertaking to unload around 70 of them) and begin our day's ride.

      The cycling was quite easy with numerous stops along the way. The main stop was the famous city of Heidelberg. Entry to the city was via a huge ornamental gateway. We were very impressed by the beautiful old city centre and arrived to find the entire central square was filled with colourful tables and umbrellas.

      After exploring Heildelberg, we resumed our ride to Speyer, our destination for the day.
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    • Day 7

      Tag 8

      May 12, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      Di letstä Täg het z Wätter chli gwächslet. Ir Nacht rägnets nümm geng und dr Himmu isch blau u nümm grau☀️, derfür heimr mega starke Gägewind... Am Rhii entlang gseh mr mega viu Gäns, Änte, Störch und Bisamratte. Hüt hei mir ä Ruhetag in Speyer u gniesse d Sunne u z Bier😊Read more

    • Day 8

      An evening stroll is Speyer

      August 27, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      At 830 a group of 9 Ghostriders assembled at reception for a guided walk of the town of Speyer. Our guide was Frank, a lovely and knowledgeable man whose family had lived in Speyer since the 1870’s. We learned that the area was settled by the Romans over 2000 years ago although the town was first referred to as Speyer in about 600AD when the formally nomadic Franconians settled. In the 11th Century a king of the Holy Roman Empire decided to build “the biggest and greatest Cathedral” in Europe and so work started of the Speyer Dom. Subsequent kings made additions also, although the work was essentially finished by the early 12th Century when the local line of Kings ended. The Cathedral was subsequently severely damaged by Louis 14th on one of his rampages when he burned down most of the town and not really restored until Emperor Napoleon got involved in the early 19th Century. However, he rebuilt in a Baroque style and once he had buggered off the town fathers decided that they couldn’t stand it and re-did the whole western façade in the neo-Romanesque style to better match the original sections. We were also shown the wine bowl which is at the front of the Dom and is filled on special religious occasions (takes 1580L) and served to the people of the town. The next stop was the Jewish Courtyard which has the ruins of the synagogue which was originally built in the late 11th Century (but destroyed with the rest of the town by the aforementioned Louis). The most amazing future of the courtyard however was the ritual baths (which survived the destruction). Located 10m underground the baths were where the members of the synagogue would perform their ritual cleansing – for women after child birth and monthly, for men every Shabbat evening. The baths are 900years old and simply amazing – the Jews were invited to Speyer in the 11th century for their financial acumen but the community (at the time almost 8000 in number) was totally destroyed in 1940 when all members were arrested and taken first to an internment camp and then to a concentration camp – none survived. It was a late night but so totally fascinatingRead more

    • Day 9

      Exploring Speyer

      August 28, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      After an early start to do my exercises on a cool morning with a lovely sunrise and then breakfast we were ready for our briefing at 8.45 – more “bad” news. We were unable to get mooring at Sonderheim or Pitterdorf so there was a reduction in the ride – 20km (turned out to be a 31km day in the end with some extra meandering that we did) – and we had to be at Germeheim by 2pm to load the boat and be away from the mooring by 3pm. Again – suck it up and peddle on.
      We “saddled up” and headed out – first stop the Cathedral of St Mary and St Stephen – this time we could go inside however. As I said it is built in the Romanesque style and is the largest of this type in the world. The interior is very plain, but in its way very beautiful in its simplicity. I visited the crypt also, again this is the largest Romanesque crypt in the world. It consists of 4 rooms and includes a chapel as well as the tombs of a number of the Holy Roman Emperors and their wives. It is still used for services today. After that I went and climbed the tower – first there was 200 steps to the Kaisersalle (Kings Hall) here they had a display of murals which had been painted on the ceilings in the 19th Century – however in the 1950’s these were deemed not to be in harmony with the simple Romanesque nature of the Cathedral and many were destroyed although a number were saved and are now housed in this special room. From here it was another 190 steps up to the top of the tower and so very well worth it was as the view was amazing!!!! Coming back down the tower I noticed that a group of Ghostriders were in a café down the square. I ducked in there and asked them to watch my bike while I nipped further down the street to look for the Spatzel maker that was the aim for my souvenir from Germany – first attempt proved fruitless but a very kind lady directed me further down the street to a homewares store where I found one – bonus – on sale for 14.99 euro’s. I re-joined the Ghostriders and we headed off down the river towards Germeheim.
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    • Day 10

      Speyer (DE)

      July 17, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Not much happening on the route toady. Still a few barges carrying cargo but not nearly as many on the lower section of the Rhine. You can see now why the Rhine is considered Germany's economic transport vein, and one of the world's busiest waterways.

      The route largely runs through nature-reserves and wine-growing regions. Some of the best Riesling wines are produced in this region.
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    • Day 59

      Day 59 - Strasbourg to Speyer, 77 miles

      June 13, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      OK so it must be even further north that the Rhine route gets interesting!

      Weather hasn't helped as more rain today but it was flat and that tail wind was still there. Despite having dipped in and out of Germany tonight is the first time I've stayed. Similarly to yesterday I thought I'd see how far I'd get. Didn't leave until about 11.30 to let the worse of the weather clear then hit the road in drizzle north towards Germany. Once in Germany the EuroVelo 15 has long stretches on cyclepaths through the woods next to the Rhine. Nice and quiet but with all the rain the Rhine was very high which led to a few interesting flooded points.

      If it wasn't woods it was industrial areas and I guess when cycling round Europe other ever day is going to be picture postcard scenery!

      Despite the late start another good day on the miles side. Fingers crossed for a bit of sun tomorrow but looking at the forecast it's not looking good!
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    • Day 34

      Urban hiking in Speyer

      November 27, 2023 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 3 °C

      Mit donnerndem Fortissimo, ja fast schon bedrohlich, spielt die gewaltige Hauptorgel auf, lenkt ganz zwangsläufig den Blick nach oben - und genau so ist es auch gewollt..... seit vielen hundert Jahren.

      Ich stelle mir gerade vor, wie das gemeine Volk vor langen Zeiten, gebannt und ehrfürchtig starr, beim Aufspiel des mächtigen Instruments dem Gottesdienst während einer Krönungsmesse oder Trauerfeier der dort zur ewigen Ruhe gebetteten Majestäten, auf dem großen Platz davor beiwohnte.

      Willkommen im Dom zu Speyer.

      Heute, bleiben Sarkasmus und Ironie mal schüchtern im Hintergrund. Vorweihnachtlich besinnlich, ist das Motto dieses kalten, grauen Tages und der Weihnachtsmarkt einer bezaubernden Stadt wie Speyer, bietet dafür den passenden Rahmen - mit bevorzugtem Domblick obendrein.

      Selbige Märkte waren nie so wirklich mein Ding - meist viel zu viele Menschen für meinen Geschmack und leider auch zu niedrige Dächern auf den zahlreichen Verkaufsbuden, an denen sich Klaus K. immer wieder gerne seinen Kopf gestoßen hat - so war's eben!

      Das Weihnachtsmarkt Spektakel in Funchal auf Madeira vor drei Jahren, hat diesbezüglich einiges bei mir verändert.

      Während Corona bedingt in Deutschland nahezu nichts mehr möglich war und alle öffentlichen Veranstaltungen abgesagt wurden, wussten die portugiesischen Insulaner trotz der Pandemie das Leben zu feiern und Weihnachten erst recht.

      Krasser hätte der Unterschied fast nicht sein können - mich hat das damals sehr beeindruckt.

      Auf Glühwein, Waffel und Mandeln verzichte ich heute - mir ist eher nach Pizza und Espresso im Restaurante "Porto Vecchio" am Rhein.

      Einladendes Ambiente, charmante Lage am Yachthafen und obendrein, flackert ein behagliches Feuer im offenen Kamin - diesmal nicht auf YouTube.....
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