Germany - France
June 2o24

 Mainz - Koblenz 21  June 2024
110 km / 65 ml

There were definitely no hills today.  My ride was along the cycle route following the course of the Rhine.  I was on the path within 200 meters of leaving Lucas’ place.  And just kept on it, all the way to Koblenz.  The Mosel / Moselle and the Rhine meet here, the Rhine continuing on north, and the Mosel heading west to where its source is, somewhere in France.

Back to the Rhine.  At Mainz, as I said, it is very wide, unusually so at the moment because of all the rain there has been.  Once out of the industrial suburbs of Mainz, the Rhine begins to cut a gorge through some rocky areas, some of which are planted with vineyards, perilously terraced.  All along there are castles, monasteries and churches set up high, no doubt controlling the traffic along the Rhine in past centuries.  It’s reminiscent of Wagnerian stuff, as much as I know about Wagner.   Gotterdammerung, and all that other Romantic nonsense.  Kaisers huffing and puffing about the Empire, and Hitler hallucinating about the 1000 year Reich. The Rhine has a lot to answer for.  The Rhine is busy, not just with the cruise ships, but mostly with huge cargo carrying river boats, heavily laden and low in the water.   On both banks of the river there are railway lines, the majority of traffic being freight.  The Rhine valley and river are clearly important trade routes here in Germany.  And there is a cycle path all along the river, which is easy and hill free riding.   With nice scenery to see as you pass by.

My plan had been to camp just outside Koblenz, but the weather forecast is not good, with heavy rain and thunderstorms promised from early evening.  So, I though better and booked a small hotel just outside Koblenz.  It’s fine, but the restaurant is closed on Friday for Ruhetag.  I mean, Monday Ruhetag, or midweek Ruhetag, I get.  But Friday or Saturday Ruhetag just seems nuts to me.  I guess the Germans are intent on having their Ruhetag come what may, and on whatever day they want it.  So, I am eating at a pizzeria across the road from the hotel, which is fine, but only serves alcohol free beer, and a whole range of them.  And, alcohol free schnapps as an offerta at the end !  Looking at the people working here, I guess they are probably Syrian with serious religious / cultural beliefs, and so no alcohol.  I doubt if it’s a licensing thing, because everywhere sells beer in Germany.  Alcohol free beer is, well, not exactly the real thing, and does have a slightly metallic and malty aftertaste.  Only to be consumed in extremis, I think. Like tonight. 

Tomorrow, I will head down the Mosel / Moselle.  The river meanders all over the place, and has the famous Mosel vineyards along its banks.  I can’t say that I am a great fan of German wines.  The ones from the Rhine area aren’t much to write home about, and Mosel wines I find a bit too fruity.  Anyhow, I’m happy to be proven wrong, so I will give them another try as I pass through.  I think it will take me about three days or so to get to where I will branch off in France on to the Path of Peace for my final leg north and back to the coast.

Berlin-Lutherstadt  :   Lutherstadt - Bernberg. :   Bernberg - Blankenberg  :  Blankenberg - Einbeck  :  Einbeck - Kassel  : 

Kassel - Kirchheim  :  Kirchheim - Marburg  :  Kirchheim - Limberg/Diez  :  Limberg/Diez - Mainz  :  Mainz - Koblenz  :

Koblenz - Krov  :  Krov - Remich  :  Remich - Verdun  Verdun : Verdun - Reims  :  Reims - Amiens  :  Amiens - Arras


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