If you ride the Rhine from Mainz to Koblenz or vice versa you will see more castles than you’d witness in 3 seasons of Game of Thrones and more cyclists than the London Prudential 100 (fund raising bike ride in London that attracts thousands ). The terrain is FLAT and the scenery quite stunning. Especially on a spring day as goregeous as this one. I rode this stretch last year from Mainz to Koblenz and the apocalyptic rain that day didn’t provide much opportunity for photo taking or stopping to absorb the sights. 95% of the ride is virtually aside the Rhine on either a tree lined and tarmac surface tow path or alongside the road on a dedicated bicycle lane. Not as many steep vineyards as the Mosel but the views across the river and all around you as you enter the Rhine Gorge near Oberwesel are pretty spectacular.
Pre ride most days I take time to get up early and take in the local town before the hordes of tourists descend upon the
streets . The light at that time of the day is also pretty special.
For no other reason than I liked the contrast of the sky and pink and other colours .
A house built in 1342. A mere 434 years before white man disocovered Australia . #madetolast
The view from the Rheinlust Hotel bedroom was pretty special too.
Pushing off from Boppard you are pretty quickly presented with the first of many castles sitting on either side of the river. It’s a bit like when you go whale spotting and take 400 photos of the first whale only to see about 10 whales that day and by the end you’re taking almost none.
This was one of the rare barges we passed on the day that was carrying shipping containers and not gas, oil, or coal. We counted 210 containers on her decks. Thinking about it that’s 210 semi-trailers not plying their way on the pristine German roads . Which probably explains why they’re pristine.
A year ago yesterday I rode this exact same stretch of road. I stopped and had Russ.K take my photo that day. Just near the small riverside town of Oberwesel.
A year plus one day on I had Russ.K take the photo from the same location. It’s a bit like one of those “spot the differences” competition .
As mentioned earlier in the blog on this ride. This 6 days between Luxembourg and Frankfurt could be weight gaining days given our 25 km regulatory stops for “kaffe n kuchen “.
Ironic that there’s no free tap water in any German restaurants yet outside it exists in abundance.
There are some seriously long barges on the river and you have to admire the boat handling skills of their captains as they navigate the current of the river, other vessels and all whilst not being distracted by the stunning scenery.
Readers of my blog from last years Spain to Norway ride will recognise this beauty of a castle . No better defence than to place your home in the middle of a large river. Makes forgetting the milk a little bothersome if you pop down to the corner shop though.
There a story behind every photo. I had propped up the bike on the other side of a railing and Todd was holding the front wheel for me, out of shot to steady it. Unbeknownst to either of us a train was hurtling towards us from the left. As it roared by the push of air wobbled the bike to the extent that had Todd not been there my next phone call would’ve been a sheepish one to my mate Scott.G who has kindly lent me the bike. #yourenotgoingtobelievethismatebut....
As we closed in on Oesteich-Winkel and the conclusion of the day appeared on the horizon we crossed the Rhine by boat from Bingen. A first and only time of the trip that a crossing wasn’t a bridge. €2.70 per person and bike for less than 10 mins travel time. Fair value I thought. Days like the one we had on Saturday and this day last year (and nearly every day inside the Arctic Circle) make you appreciate even more days like today. Life is a balance and you’ve got to enjoy the highs when you can for there is no guarantee they will last.