Day 3: Monday 31 May – Trier to Bernkastel-Kues (49.5 miles)
The washing had pretty much dried by the morning but the hotel room was a sauna.
Breakfast was very good – sausage, bacon, scrambled egg, rolls, cold meats and salmon, cheeses, cereal, danish pastries, yoghurts, fruit and more. I didn’t eat everything. Enjoyed my Tetley Tea (I brought teabags with me). There was a great view from the breakfast room over the Mosel River and the Römerbrücke. For 80€ for a double room it seems like very good value for money.
We did some bike fettling. One of my brakes kept jamming on yesterday so we cleaned the cable with Wowbagger’s Purple Lightning or whatever it’s called (it did the trick anyway). However we discovered a slightly perturbing raised section on the crosspiece that goes to my right front wheel, as if a weld has slightly enlarged. It may have been like that originally although I suspect not; when I get home I’ll send some photos of it to ICE.
We set off on generally good surfaces, mostly following the river but also doing a few detours around industrial estates. We travelled slightly faster than other cyclists and I posed a challenge to my cycling companions – if we see someone with drop bars who isn’t a roadie (i.e. who has luggage and is therefore touring) I will buy them all a drink. I thought I’d be pretty safe as everyone here has flat bars or butterfly bars apart from the few lycra-clad roadies. More people seem to be wearing cycle helmets this year which is interesting.
There were a few unexpected inclines around blind corners which meant I had to walk as I kept finding myself in the wrong gear and my new chain hasn’t quite bedded in so I get some skips when pushing hard on the pedals. Wowbagger and Mrs Wow seemed able to cope with all of these on their tandem. Our little group is attracting a fair bit of attention and lots of people are smiling at us and saying ‘hallo’.
We stopped at Pöllich for raspberry Torte and tea and coffee.
We then set off again and stopped at Detzem Lock to watch a barge go through. Two workmen were doing maintenance on the outer side of the lock gates and it was fascinating to see their lack of health & safety.
We had lunch at Neumagen-Dhron, a winery area, which was soup and a Nussknacker (a nutty biscuit thing). The cafe was full of cyclists including a group of English people.
The final stretch today was a bit chilly but the sun came out from time to time. We went through Piesport with all its vineyards; some vineyards are at the top of impossibly steep hills.
Bernkastel-Kues was our destination and we were at Hotel Panorama up a bit of a hill. We had a nice room with a view and a chocolate on the bed; Wowbagger and Mrs Wow’s room had a balcony.
We went by bike into Bernkastel-Kues after a brief rest to look around and decided to check out the recommended evening dinner location – which was closed. So we went back into town and found a good restaurant up a side street. They had a special offer on Jägerschnitzel for 8,90€ but I decided to have a Grillteller for 14,90€. James, Wow and Mrs Wow shared a bottle of local Riesling from the village of Lieser. The food was very good, quick and with large portions. Oddly, the place didn’t do desserts, so we shared my bar of Ritter Sport Alpenmilch with a tea/coffee. This was the second tea I have bought and once again I wasn’t charged for it.
We took a detour to see the Doktor Vineyards (famous in Bernkastel-Kues) and then rode back up the steep hill to our hotel.