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  • Day22

    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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    Ian Gilmour

    How hot is it?

    Beks Travels

    Would guess in high twenties in middle of the day, the water was fairly cool (but pleasant)

  • Day7

    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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  • Day7

    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


    Jönu Murgsi

    T bisamratte die sieche... keep on pumping kilometres <3


    Schon fast in Mannheim trotz gegenwind? Wow! Aber mit euren strammen wädli wundert mich nichts! 💪💪 Weiterhin proscht! 🍻

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  • Day8

    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

  • Day9

    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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  • Day10

    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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  • Day59

    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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  • Day301

    Day 302: Speyer Cathedral

    December 13, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    Although Heidelberg is actually quite a touristed city, we're mainly using it as a base for day-trips to nearby World Heritage sites. Today we set out on our first one, to Speyer Cathedral. This is a large Romanesque cathedral, one of the largest Romanesque buildings still remaining in the world. It was about 45 minutes away to the south-west, so off we went!

    Caught the train around 9:15, arrived at around 10am and then walked the 10 minutes to the cathedral. Did some filming of exteriors, then since we had Schnitzel we needed to alternate our visits. Shandos went in first, while I filmed a bit more, rehearsed my thoughts, and had a poke around the Christmas market too.

    Eventually it was my turn to visit inside. It was nice but quite austere. What's fascinating about it though is that it was built as the centre of a power struggle between the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope. Known as the Investiture Controversy of the 11th century, the Emperor had decided that he should be appointing his own bishops and other religious figures. The pope disagreed, because as God's sole representative on earth he alone should be deciding that stuff. Religious warfare ensued, as it typically did, and though the pope largely emerged the victor, Speyer Cathedral was one of the key sticking points - the emperor had it built specifically to showcase his power and wealth. The town had only around 500 residents, and definitely no need for a cathedral that size.

    Also some further controversies, in the 17th century when the interior was covered in baroque decorations, and then again in the 20th century when said decorations were largely removed to a museum, leaving the interior in its current, spartan state. Also interesting to see the crypt, where 8 German kings were buried. Their bones were long gone, after the place was ransacked by French soldiers in the 18th century, but their tombs had been preserved.

    Back outside, where we finished up and grabbed a quick bite at the Christmas markets before heading home. We'd noticed that morning there was a bus direct from Heidelberg station to Speyer Cathedral, and since the next train wasn't for 45 minutes and the bus was in 10 minutes, we'd do the bus instead. Our tickets were valid for both.

    Turned out to be a very bad decision - it was a local bus and took about an hour and forty minutes to cover about 10 kilometres. Once we accounted for getting to the station, waiting for the train and riding the train, the bus was probably only 15 minutes slower, but sitting there for that long was a bit depressing. The only upside was that we went through the village of Hockenheim, home of the German Formula 1 grand prix. I'd never known where it was (though admittedly I'd never cared to look), but that was sort of cool to see.

    Back home where we relaxed for a couple of hours then headed into the old part of Heidelberg on the tram. We're staying away from the tourist areas, so after a 10 minute tram ride and a little walk, we arrived. Lots of shops open and Christmas lights everywhere, though we couldn't see the famous castle. I didn't particularly feel like Christmas market food again, so we opted for a small hidden place called Schnitzelbank. Small little room essentially, in the basement of a side-street building, but packed inside and we had to share a table with others. I had a turkey schnitzel with Dijon mustard sauce, noodles on the side and a big salad to accompany. Way too much food to finish, but the schnitzel was incredible - close to the tastiest one I've ever had!

    No room for dessert, sadly, so absolutely stuffed we made our way home. More busy days ahead!
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  • Apr27


    April 27, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    Deze oude bisschopsstad met de Romaanse dom uit de 11/12e eeuw, vaak aangepast aan de smaak des tijds na branden en verwoesting, en waar vele keizers in de crypte liggen, was vandaag ons doel. Er waren middeleeuwse feesten, maar de fresco's die gedurende 7 jaar van de kerkmuren gehaald werden via een speciaal procedé, daarna op doek gekregen en nu ten toon gesteld worden, maakten meer indruk. En het uitzicht 60 mtr hoog (300 treden)!
    We verwierven kennis over de verwevenheid van Europese geschiedenis. Gisteren bezochten we al Schloss Hambach en het belang van de gebeurtenissen aldaar in 1832 voor de Duitse en Europese democratie. Vandaag ging het over de Frans-Duitse relaties; de Beierse koning Ludwig 1 ; de geestelijke Bernard van Clairvaux en de eerste Habsburgse koningen: gelardeerd met Riesling en worst zijn het boeiende verhalen. Voor het zielenheil van alle familie en vrienden hebben we een kaarsje gebrand.
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