We’re about to tuck into some Italian cuisine, in an Irish pub… what better moment to reflect on our time in Germany and Austria!
As mentioned in the previous post, there are a lot of pretty large hills in Germany. But they weren’t the only ups and downs that we faced. Our first Deutsche day (Day 5 of the trip) was great. After climbing several lofty peaks we finally rolled down to the Rhine river and followed it’s lovely flat path towards Mainz. It was a gorgeous sunny day passing through picturesque villages and vineyards. After lunch we took a dip in the Rhine’s cool waters to launder both ourselves and our clothes. Once back on the bike things started to go down hill, but not in the stop-pedaling-and-coast-to-the-bottom sense.
First of all, amazing though it may sound, we lost the Rhine river. Yeah, it seems rather silly, but we accidentally started following a little tributary towards Nassau. The next day, too stubborn to turn back, we decided to carry on and cut a corner to get back on the Rhine. Bad move, this simply led us over more fairly significant hills. A midst these pesky hills, in the drizzle, both suffering from colds, we suffered our first puncture. It was a pretty serious tyre splitting blow-out which put us in quite a pickle. Tim hitched the 2km into town to track down a new tyre but to no avail, while Mat attempted to bodge a repair. This is where we discovered that our inner tube valves didn’t fit to the wheel hubs. We pushed Tatu down to the Bike-shop-less town and set up camp in a cafe. Mat headed off on a bus to cover the 37km to Wiesbaden the next town in search of parts. Finally we hit the road again in the evening and were limited to a 60 km day. Luckily the rest of our time in Germany went relatively smoothly. We managed to follow the Main and the Tauber rivers across to Regensburg where we joined the Danube.
Germany is a stunning country and we met loads of warm friendly people. One chap even dashed out into the rush hour traffic in the drizzle to ask us about our tandem. Another chap, whose front lawn we used as a picnic spot, spent a good five minutes chatting with Tim. The fact that neither of them spoke a word of the other’s language didn’t seem to impede the banter.
We continued along the Danube as it wound it’s way through Austria with thankfully very little to report. Austria is another friendly country with excellent cycle paths, great weather and beautiful scenery which makes it quite a popular cycle touring destination. We have now made it into Eastern Europe so stay tuned for a tractor update soon.