Hello from Worms (Tuesday night)
On Saturday morning , in Strasbourg, my bike crashed to the ground when we were getting it off the parkade bike storage rack and the “weird” sounds got worse. Luckily, we found a bike shop with a nice young guy who moved our bikes up his list of repairs and had us on our way in an hour after replacing some very stripped brake pads - the major source of the screeching noises. We’ll save the receipt for our grumpy bike rental guy, but I’m not holding my breath.
Our ride from Strasbourg up the French side of the Rhine to Roppenheim was very pleasant and we enjoyed a feast at the restaurant L’Auberge de L’Agneau - which had been a main haunt of the Baden officers when I was there. We enjoyed escargot, cuisse de grenouilles (frogs legs) provençale. Some might argue the point of these dishes is less about the snails and frogs legs, and more about the delicious garlic sauces. (Right Sharon?) We also had delicious steaks, frites and salad. Everything, including the decor, was the same as the late-70’s except the price!$$
Sunday we crossed the Rhine, leaving France behind. First we biked past the airfield near Baden which had been my home, briefly, and the home to 3 Canadian fighter squadrons. All ghosts of the past. The only plane that landed when we were in the area was a Ryan Air flight. Not as exciting - or nearly as noisy - as a fighter jet screaming by. Then we went through the farm fields of Hugelsheim that grow the most famous “ weisser spargel” or white asparagus - which is grown without sunlight. I had always detested asparagus growing up until I was taken to Hugelsheim and treated to the white asparagus - admittedly smothered in rich hollandaise sauce. Evidently, many famous people go to Hugelshem to have spargel. But it is not spargel season right now so we only saw the growing fields on the way by…. Next time list.
On Sunday we headed to Karlsruhe - named for Carl William - a Prince of the Baden area. The term Karlsruhe means Carl’s peace . Rumour has it that he was building the palace in Karlsruhe as a summer place to get a rest - or peace -from his wife. Let me tell you, if that’s true it’s one hell of a man cave. Picture enclosed. Karlsruhe, the city, is an elegant city formed in a traditional star pattern emanating from the palace. Mike and I stayed right in the core , near the palace and main squares. Lovely gardens and buildings - mostly rebuilt after a devastating destruction during the war. The only problem with our location was an energetic carillonneur in the main church tower across the road. Every quarter hour this musician would let loose.
On Monday morning we picked up Helen from the main station in Karlsruhe. She staggered off the intra-city having managed her heavy bike and panniers from Frankfurt. Together, we knocked off 55 km and pitched up in lovely Speyer, home to a huge basilica that dominates the downtown. The coolest thing that I saw in Speyer was a Lufthansa 747 mounted on a platform . Evidently, it’s part of the local aviation museum and the story of how they got it relocated from Frankfurt airport to this location is amazing. It looked like a plane was crashing into the town as we approached, but fortunately not.
Today is Tuesday and it was a tough biking slog because we took a detour to Heidelberg. Helen had never seen Heidelberg so e decided to head there for a coffee. Very nice shopping strasse ( street). The most interesting thing we saw on the ride today was the massive (10x10 km site ) of the BASF chemical company site- perhaps the largest chemical company in the world. We biked by it in Mannheim for literally half an hour. It’s so large that they have internal buses, and people get around by bike.
Today the weather changes and we had a steady head wind. My ebike battery is rather weak, even when running on low (Ecco) power, so I was literally running on fumes for the last bit of the 75km ride. Now in fairness, Mike offered me his battery if mine conked out . Bringing to mind the bible verse….
“ Greater love hath no man than a man who would lay down his e-battery for his wife”……..
Fortunately - for Mike - it never came to that so we won’t know how that story ended.
Our last 30 minutes into Worms tonight was very rainy and we arrived soaked to the skin to our hotel. I wasn’t smart enough to have my wet weather gear handy so bikes through the rain and arrived drenched. Hmm.
Tomorrow we continue our ride north.
That’s the news for now, Helen and Mike send love / hellos
Love Heather/ MomRead more
Hello from Worms (Tuesday night)