Main/Rhein 2009 – Würzburg to Wertheim

Day 5 – Wednesday 2nd September – Würzburg to Wertheim

Distance: 63.66 miles; time: 5 hours 31 minutes; calories: 4162

After a rather fab 9.5 hour sleep (the advantage of a big cycle ride the day before) we had the best breakfast yet. Yum!

Pippa and I planned to meet at the reception desk as we checked out. I happened to get there first and after I’d handed in my key I just passed the time of the day with the receptionist, asking her the weather forecast (very favourable for cycling) and then commenting that it was now low season for hotels. No it wasn’t, she said, September is their busiest month. I said that I didn’t have accommodation booked for Wertheim that evening and she suggested strongly that I sorted something out ASAP. She then proceeded to google accommodation for me and to phone up to enquire if there were spaces. The first couple of places were fully booked, then she found a place with two single rooms but they pointed out, as we were about to book, that they were 3km from Wertheim up a mountainside (well, 200 metres elevation). We decided that would be pretty hard work after a 60 mile cycle ride so kept looking. In the end the receptionist found us what sounded like a nice hotel in Wertheim for 55 Euro per night and booked it for us.

The receptionist obviously enjoyed chatting with us and came down to the garage to help us with our bike extraction. She was telling me about some bad experiences in Manchester when people had said “Heil Hitler” to her, but that in America they didn’t realise she was German so were nice to her. Hopefully I made up for the nasty mancunians.

So off we set along the road, passing a unicyclist and lots of people with kiddie trailers on their bikes. The weather was about perfect for cycling, warm and sunny but with some cloud cover to prevent us getting too hot. It was probably about 22 degrees out there so just right.

We drafted a peloton of Swiss pensioners at one point to have a bit of a break, then went round them and set off along the long, straight paths.

We stopped at Karlstadt for some Waldbeertorte and Tea and I also decided to top up the credit on my German phone as we decided we need to prebook our accommodation in future. There was great consternation by the supermarket checkout girl when I asked for the top-up as they clearly don’t do them very often. In the end it worked, but took the manager to come down and help her.

The next section, to Lohr, we did at a much faster average speed. We had lunch outside the bakery in Lohr which was a bit waspy (Pippa isn’t keen on ’em) so she was taking a walk down a side road when the Hase Pino tandem went past.

We continued on at a good pace, probably an average of 15mph, as the weather was just perfect for cycling and the wind not too strong.

We stopped at Marktheidfeld for drink and ice cream. I had a banana split and Pippa asked for a lemon sorbet; they didn’t have sorbet but persuaded her to try a Prosecco-becher which is fizzy prosecco with fresh fruit and a ball of lemon ice. Quite boozy, I think.

After this stop I decided it was time to paddle in the Main so did so in my cycling sandals. Pippa kept well away from the water but got a photo of me and trike almost falling in.

The final push to Wertheim found the day cooling off and becoming cloudier. We found our hotel, a very nice one, which included a gated underground garage for the bikes. After our showers we went in search of an internet cafe along the quaint and narrow streets of this old glass-blowing town. The one internet cafe had unfortunately closed down so we instead had a very slow meal and an early night.

We have now crossed into Badem-Württemburg so hopefully I will understand the accent a little better!

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