Category Archives: Mosel 2010

Me, James and the Wowbaggers do the Mosel and Rhein

Mosel 2010 – Harwich to Home

Day 9: Sunday 6 June – Harwich to home (16.1 miles)

We were slow off the ferry as our section was the last to disembark, which also meant there was a huge queue for passport control. James and I saw Wow and Mrs Wow cycling around towards the station – we were about 15 minutes behind them so they were already on the train by the time we had got out onto the road.

We cycled home through loads of puddles (there had evidently been a significant thunderstorm last night) and got in at 8am, where we were met enthusiastically by the dog (who had been looked after by my in-laws).

All in all a good holiday. The trains could have been easier but we survived, and we certainly had our fair share of cake!

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Mosel 2010 – Bad Breisig to Hoek van Holland

Day 8: Saturday 5 June – Bad Breisig to Hoek van Holland (by train, mostly) (20.21 miles)
James and I made our way down to breakfast at 8am and saw a rather perturbed-looking Wowbagger who wasn’t feeling at all well. I know how exhausting train travel is at the best of times so hoped that he would recover quickly – fortunately the breakfast and coffee and paracetamol seemed to have done the trick.

We paid for our rooms and fetched the bikes from the storage area, then cycled the 0.76 miles to the railway station. We were there very early but wanted to give ourselves time for another exploding inner tube or other unexpected event.

The train pulled in the and the bike carriage had a fair number of bikes in it already. Still, we squeezed ours on and chatted to a Dutch couple who were at the end of a three week cycling holiday (from Rome to Koblenz). The cyclists were all staying on till at least Köln so we didn’t have to shift bikes around for an hour.

We had some awkward bike-shuffling at Köln, which involved me getting off the train and so many people crowding round the door that I couldn’t easily get back on and one of my wheels dropped between the train and the platform. And nobody came to help me. The Germans clearly need more lessons on how to queue, but all was well in the end.

We got off the train at Düsseldorf, along with almost all the other cyclists, and then made our way off the platform down below. I carried the trike down the stairs and Jan came along with some of their luggage but then a helpful person told James and Wow that there was a lift (we’d found one but it was closed). So they went off to find the lift – which took them to a different bit of the station and they couldn’t connect in with where Jan and I were waiting. In the end I went to the platform we were supposed to be leaving from and found James just arriving there in the lift, so I went back to fetch Jan and my trike. We had time for a drink and doughnut before the next train came.

The train from Düsseldorf to Venlo was one of the new Eurobahn trains which was very nice – loads of bike space, wide doorways, comfortable seats, decent loo. However the train couldn’t go right into Holland (for some unexplained reason) so we had to get out at Kaldenkirchen, 3.5 miles from Venlo, and swap onto an older Deutsche Bahn train. Which was not very suitable for trikes at all, and we manhandled my trike rather badly to fit it on. Wowbagger went down the train a little (realising our bit would be full up) and found a bike carriage which was still busy but more manageable.

After our four minute journey we had to deal with the rush of Germans desperate to get off the train rather than wait for 1 minute for us to move the bikes that were blocking the doors. Various ladies in Saris stepped over my oily chainring to get out. Someone needs to teach those Germans to queue!

Anyway, we had a 10 minute wait on the same platform and then our next train arrived. It was the usual yellow doubledecker NS train and we fitted all three bikes on OK. We got off after 45 minutes in Eindhoven (as engineering works meant this train wasn’t going all the way to Rotterdam – I did check!) and walked straight across the platform to the next train which was going to Utrecht.

At Utrecht we had a ten minute wait but the train that arrived, headed for Rotterdam, was only a single decker and had a really silly bike area which was extremely difficult to fit the trike and the tandem in (and James thought that just his bike on its own wouldn’t have fitted that well). the air conditioning wasn’t working very well either and it was really hot. Several young girls got on and insisted on standing in the bike area, rather than going to sit down somewhere, so I had to ensure my trike didn’t roll and deposit oil on them.

When we arrived at Rotterdam we were all hungry and weary so we refuelled with some chicken sandwiches (and James found a pastry) and then we set off to ride to Hoek van Holland.

I remembered not enjoying the first half of this ride with Pippa when I did it in September as it was really busy but, being a Saturday and not rush-hour, it was easier this time. I had prepared a GPX route to follow but had decided to go with the official signs as our route, just using my route if we got lost. It all worked fine and we arrived at the pancake place just outside Maassluis and had a pancake with strawberries, ice cream and cream to fuel us for the second half of the 20 mile journey.

We cycled through the very picturesque town of Maassluis and at this point picked up my route, rather than the official one, as it looked like it would be more scenic. We took the North Sea Cycle path and it was lovely – along the Maas river, looking out on water and barges and swans and wind farms. We went much faster, without having to stop for traffic lights the whole time, and it was also cooler away from the buildings.

The ferry was visible from over three miles away as it’s so huge. As we approached Wowbagger and Mrs Wow peeled off to visit a supermarket in Hoek van Holland and James and I went straight to the ferry check in. After we checked in we had to wait for five minutes before boarding as they were moving around some containers, and we were eventually sent up the ramp to just park along the side of where the cars were (there’s usually cycle parking at the front or in a room but I suppose we were later so these areas were already closed).

We wandered around for a while and then watched the ferry cast off, doing a very impressive turn pretty much in its own length. We then went to sleep and woke up in Harwich.

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Mosel 2010 – Spay to Bad Breisig

Day 7: Friday 4 June – Spay to Bad Breisig (31.17 miles)

Today is the short day of riding – just 31 miles.

We checked out of the hotel in Spay and set off, retracing our route to Koblenz. The cobbles were as irritating as they had been last time round.

At Koblenz we stopped to look at the Rathaus with its amusing fountain and then decided we felt like we hadn’t yet expended enough energy to stop for cake so we’d push on. We crossed the Mosel and started northwards along the Rhein.

I remember this part of the journey having less good surfaces and this memory was correct – it was bumpy with tree roots, cobbles and crumbling asphalt. Some bits were good, then you’d get a dodgy bit again. Some chaps we saw yesterday in St Goar saw us today and they kept trying out their English on us with rather variable results.

We planned to stop for tea and cake at about the fifteen mile mark but found an unexpected dearth of cafes so it wasn’t until Weißenturm at 19 miles that we stopped. The place I had eaten at before was closed so we ended up in a Kneipe, a bit like a pub, which didn’t do food (well, they gave us a bowl of Pretzels). However it was cheap – two small beers, an apple juice, and orange juice and the bowl of Pretzels came to 6,10€.

After Weißenturm the surface improved a bit, including cycling through some fields away from the river. We also had to wind our way under some elevated roads and over railway lines so there were a few obstacles to negotiate with the trike and the tandem, but we managed it.

We arrived at Bad Breisig at 2:15pm and were all tired and thirsty, despite doing just 31 miles. Rather than checking in we decided to eat lunch first so put the bikes in some racks and sat down opposite them.

The waitress had just taken our order when we heard what sounded like a gunshot – and was my inner tube exploding in my right front tyre. I fixed it whilst awaiting my salad lunch (much to the amazement of a table of ladies next to us), rather wishing I’d stored the trike out of the sun. Anyway, the food was good and we checked in to the hotel without any problems.

I went out in search of an internet cafe (I have found this computer in a different hotel) because we decided we’d rather get the train from Bad Breisig tomorrow and do our riding at the other end, in Holland, if we have time. I’m glad I check the train times as there are engineering works in Holland so we’ll have to take four trains there, rather than two, although it fortunately doesn’t add too much extra time onto the journey. The German train bit is OKish – Bad Breisig to Düsseldorf (an hour and a half), then Düsseldorf to Venlo which is just over an hour but which involves a change of train at Kaldenkirchen (just by the border) as they still haven’t validated this new train in Holland. It might be worth us riding that bit rather than catching the train – I think it’s only about 3,5 miles. Mind you, we might just be lazy and hop on the next train…

After I visited the Internet Café James and I walked to the supermarket to buy a few supplies for tomorrow and we went to the railway station to watch our train come past to see where the bicycle carriage is (right at the back, it turns out).

We had a very nice evening meal at our hotel (Hotel Anker) with an ice cream dessert (I had Apfelstreusel as I hadn’t had quite enough German cakes yet). We agreed to get started early tomorrow morning in order to facilitate things for our 6-7 trains – we want to catch the 09:33 from Bad Breisig.

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Mosel 2010 – Spay to Bingen to Spay

Day 6: Thursday 3 June – Spay to Bingen to Spay (62.06 miles)

After breakfast we retrieved our bikes from the garage and set off to Bingen along the main path. There were patches of cobbles but it was a generally good route, with loads of cyclists out and about which was a surprise.

As we cycled through Boppard a church bell was ringing and then a procession appeared from the church to block the road – with a fire engine in front of it. We stopped to watch as hundreds of people filed past saying Hail Marys. First there were adults in green blazers with hats and white shirts, wearing various medals and carrying flags/standards. Then there was the choir or altar boys in robes. Then some nuns and people in a different uniform with various musical instruments (which they weren’t playing at this point), then a very ornately-dressed chap who was inside four poles with material between them (rather like the hangings of a four-poster bed) and was holding a mask up to his face, although he smiled at us from the side. The general congregation followed, with a chap holding a loudspeaker at the rear (a man in a suit had been speaking into a radio mic towards the beginning of the procession). It took about ten minutes for them all to go past and was interesting, if a bit weird. I asked a passing cyclist if it was a public holiday today and she said yes, a catholic holiday but she didn’t know which. I later discovered it was Fronleichnam which is, I believe, Corpus Christi.

We carried on along the route getting passed by lots of cyclists today, although we were travelling light without all our luggage. There were many more younger people out today and they are much quicker than the pensioner cyclists we usually see. We also saw lots of dogs with cyclists, in baskets on the handlebars or back rack or in trailers.

We stopped at St Goar opposite Loreley (where the Rhein narrows) and I had a slice of black forest gateau with a cup of tea.

We continued on into the sunshine – the day was getting really hot now. We passed loads of castles up on hills and a few mini castles in the river as toll gates. The surface was generally good for cycling and there were an awful lot of cyclists out in the fresh air. We raced various barges and passenger ships, enjoyed watching barges navigating around the fast, narrow bit of the Rhein at Loreley, and looked forward to a drink in Bingen.

We arrived at Bingen at 2pm and had lunch by the Rhein. Our original plan was to get the train back but that seemed a bit faffy and expensive so we decided to ride the 31 miles back instead.

The ride back felt quicker but was also busier. There were masses of motorcycles going past – there must have been some kind of rally – and they were all very shiny. We stopped in St Goar again (a different place) for an ice cream.

We continued on to Boppard where we had decided to have dinner. We found a nice pizza place and sat outside in the shade. The sun was beginning to go behind the hills beside the route now so the journey back to Spay would probably be in the shade. Wowbagger did a little bit of cyclist-counting today; he decided to count 100 cyclists and this was 97 going the other way and 3 overtaking us, and this was all in three miles.

When we got back to the car park of the Hotel in Spay Wowbagger cycled round it a few times to make 62.4 miles which is 100km. It was a long day but with beautiful weather, if rather hot. The weekend is apparently going to be hotter so we will prepare with lots of water.

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Mosel 2010 – Cochem to Spay

Day 5: Wednesday 2 June – Cochem to Spay (44.72 miles)

We were woken up by the binmen at 5:30am emptying a dozen bins right under our window. The roadworks started at 7:30am and there was lots of noise and vibration. Breakfast was good, despite the vibration from the asphalt-flattener outside.

We checked out at 9:30am and extracted our bikes from the underground room and set of.

My route was on the right hand side of the river but the ‘official’ route is on the left hand side. I couldn’t remember why I’d routed us different from the official route so decided we ought to follow the signs… and I fairly quickly discovered why. It was right beside a busy road and not very pleasant, whereas we could see the route on the other side going through fields down by the water, away from the road. After about six miles, at Treis-Karden, we found a bridge to cross over. There was a weird ferry earlier we should have taken as it was a very clever piece of machinery; a guide wire is strung across the river and the ferry is attached to this wire to stop it being washed downstream.

The route on the unofficial side of the river was much better as there was a grass verge between us and the cars. We stopped for cake in Brodenbach – we all had a wonderful strawberry-topped cream cake and a cuppa.

We continued on and saw some giant carp in a lock and a woman with ‘off-road lady’ on her jersey. There was a family of three people each with identical panniers to each other (and to James) which must have been a nightmare when they put them down in a pile – six identical blue panniers. We kept seeing this family, passing them on the road and they would pass us again whilst we were stopped to eat or look at something. This happens surprisingly often – that you see the same people several times.

This section of today’s ride seemed quite into wind but was picturesque, particularly going into Winningen where you climb up into the wine terraces and look down onto the Mosel and to Koblenz.

We were overtaken today a couple of times whilst going along, but never by someone with luggage. Our average speed had slowed considerably to 8.7mph but we were still faster than almost everyone else out there.

Lunch was in Koblenz at a rather unusual outdoor seating area with self-service food. There was a pond with incredibly noisy frogs in it. There were a whole stack of bicycles outside this place and at one point the wind blew and they all fell down like dominoes, which was rather amusing. A lady also asked us to look after her baby while she went to the loo, which doesn’t happen every day; we obviously looked trustworthy types.

We fought our way around the building site that is the Deutsches Eck, the corner where the Mosel flows into the Rhein. It’s not very picturesque with JCBs and piles of gravel in front of it but we took the requisite photographs anyway.

The cycle route had been temporarily moved from the riverside so we set off slightly away from the river. I decided to find a bank to get out some cash so I left the others in a pleasant plaza whilst my Garmin took me to a Deutsche Bank. When I got back they all had ice creams so had used the time wisely.

We joined the Rhein Radweg after some faffing around more building works. This bit of the path is quite rough and is cobbled in many places which made it less comfortable travelling.

We saw a KD-Line boat (the major pleasureboat company on the river) being towed alongside a barge – it had clearly broken down. At one point they passed another barge towing a smaller barge alongside it and did some kind of foghorn-sounding competition.

We arrived at Spay just after 5:30 and put the bikes in the garage. The fluffy saddle Pippa and I had laughed about last September was still there.

Alter Posthof is a lovely hotel and we chilled out and washed our clothes before having a fantastic meal, including even a dessert.

Oh, and James wore pyjama shorts to dinner under his trousers!

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Mosel 2010 – Bernkastel-Kues to Cochem

Day 4: Tuesday 1 June – Bernkastel-Kues to Cochem (48.24 miles)

At 7:30am when I opened the shutters in my room the panorama was hidden by fog.

We could hear a helicopter which turned out to be spraying the vineyards – not organic then!

We ate a very good breakfast including bread, cheese, yoghurt, müsli, rolls and fresh fruit. I read a local newspaper for the weather but also discovered that Horst Kohler has resigned although I haven’t quite worked out why yet (something to do with Afghanistan?)

We set off at 10:10 and started off on the other side of the river to the main Radweg route. However it was a bit bumpy and we were relieved when we were able to cross over to the other side with the better route. We passed lots of campsites along the way and people were very friendly, saying hello. Dogs all looked a bit surprised as we wafted past.

We stopped at Traben-Trarbach for an excellent cake and tea stop. I had to pay for the tea this time – just 1€ – but that’s fair enough, and the cake was just fab.

The sun came out and it was warmer but then clouds would come across and it was cooler. We kept stopping to put on or remove our windproof jackets.

At Zell we stopped for ages to watch a black kite wheeling around above us. It was divebombed by a mistle thrush or fieldfare and the little bird even plucked a feather from it. It was lovely to watch, especially as the little bird chased the kite away. This part of the route is almost an ox-bow lake where the river flows only about a half a mile apart whilst we have to cycle the long way round the hill for 7 miles. It got much warmer as we got to Zell, some hints of the better weather that we are promised for later in the week.

As we left Zell we climbed a fair way up to look down on the town (very picturesque) and then had a lovely long downhill, ending up at the village of Alf opposite Bullay where we stopped for a salad lunch. There was a quadricycle outside the Italian where we had lunch, and a local kid was running around with a water pistol but had obviously been told not to shoot the customers as we remained dry. The loos were the first we’ve seen with a shelf inside the loo – I’m pleased to see they haven’t all disappeared!

After Alf the Radweg tends to be just beside the main road with a grass strip separating them. It is a fast road if not as pleasant to ride with cars going past, but we made good progress and increased our average speed for the day to 10.2mph.

We were actually overtaken by someone today – this is the only person who has overtaken us! However I lost my bet about the drop bar bike for touring as we did in fact see one. So I owe the others a drink.

We arrived at Cochem which looks lovely with a large castle dominating the town. Our hotel was the simplest yet but is still comfortable and we have a view of the river and all the passing tourist boats. We found an Internet Cafe (where I am writing this) and then had a Schnitzel evening meal, followed by apple pancakes with ice cream and cream. Yum.

Tomorrow is a slightly shorter day at 42 miles and we will be going to Spay which is a wonderful hotel in a little village. Tomorrow will be our last day on the Mosel, too, as we join up with the Rhein at Koblenz. Weather forecast is unbroken sunshine and about 20 degrees so it should be wonderful cycling weather. All going well with the bikes and with us, we’re eating very well and James and Wowbagger are consuming vast quantities of Bitburger.

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Mosel 2010 – Trier to Bernkastel-Kues

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.

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Mosel 2010 – Hoek van Holland to Trier by train (with small cycling diversion)

Day 2: Sunday 30 May – Hoek van Holland to Trier (22.96 cycling miles)

We were off the Ferry at 7:45am and cycled all of 200 metres to Hoek van Holland railway station, at which our train awaited. Unfortunately the train doors had broken and only one door was open (with an annoying alarm going the whole time). So everyone had to get on the train through that door, which involved squeezing past my trike. In the UK I wouldn’t have been allowed on, and in fact the train wouldn’t be permitted to run with only one door working – and not working properly – but this is Holland where things are a bit chilled out so eventually we set off, just a few minutes late.

Of course, each stop took MUCH longer because people had to go in and out of one door (fortunately a different door – the driver’s door – for most of the stations as the platform was the other side) and it soon became apparent that we would miss our connection at Rotterdam. Not a great start to the day, but couldn’t be helped. I was also impressed that, when the conductor discovered two Brit mountain-bikers didn’t have bicycle tickets, he just asked them to buy one when they got to Rotterdam, rather than chucking them off.

Despite missing our connection the trains are every half hour so we only had to wait 20 minutes for the next train which gave us time for a cuppa and a mysterious marzipan-pastry biscuit thing.

The train to Venlo had a much smaller bike space than normal and another chap had already put his bike into it. We managed to squeeze my trike in, Wow dismantled his Tandem and stacked it around the trike and the other chap’s bike, and James put his bike across the doors of the train, waiting with it to move it if we arrived at a station with the platform on that side. When the conductor came along he was very jolly and happy, rather than chucking us off for making it almost impossible to pass through the train, as well as blocking the door. The chap with the bike was getting off at Eindhoven, about half an hour before us, so we sat and chatted to him (he had a shiny new singlespeed bike of which he was very proud), taking turns to look after James’s bike in the doorway while the rest of us sat down in the seating area a little way away.

At Venlo we got the bikes out, crossed over the track, squeezed through the door and set off. The route supplied by a chap from worked really well and we followed it without any difficulties.

It was a bit windy and the rain came and went, generally reasonable conditions to ride in. Our average was 9.2mph which we knew meant it would be cutting it fine to get our connection at Mönchengladbach (we originally had 3 hours to do the 21 miles but now had 2.5 hours, which didn’t leave time for punctures or food or getting lost). We saw some nice sights on the way, such as several hares in a field, lots of carrots, potatoes and asparagus being grown, etc. The landscape was very flat (reminiscent of our corner of Essex, in fact) and all the shops were shut as it was a Sunday. The border between  Holland and Germany was just a bollard and some old, closed-up buildings.

It seemed like we were making good time to reach Mönchengladbach but traffic lights, as we approached the city, slowed us down badly. Our 10 minutes spare turned into about 2 minutes by the time we’d carried up the luggage to the platform. I took the trike in the lift but it was too short for the tandem so Wow had to carry it up the stairs. There was a large bike area on the train and we were able to sit nearby. However, having no food or tea was a bit of a hardship for a 2.5 hour journey that we now had on the train.

We got to Koblenz and had theoretically a 9 minute gap between trains (in which we needed to carry out bikes down the stairs from the plaform, along under the platforms and then back up again to platform 9, there were no lifts). The train was already there, however, and the bike carriage was almost full – there were already 13 bikes there. There were four people sitting by the bikes who looked most perturbed as we arrived and carried out bikes on – they were getting off at Cochem and wanted to be sure they could get out. I said that I would take my bike off the train if necessary when they got to Cochem. A big pile of mountain bikes, belonging to chaps sitting upstairs, were staying on till Trier, where we were getting off. We stowed our luggage by the door to the driver’s bit of the train and found some seats.

At Cochem we let the four people off and another two got on, one of whom (a roadie chap) was most interested in my Trice and talked to me at length about it. It turned out he wanted to buy an HP Velotechnik Skorpion, and was asking about the similarities and differences. We discussed Rohloffs and more in German, until his friend appeared (who was American) and they talked in English.

We arrived in Trier at 5:45pm, left the station, went straight across the road to a cafe and had tea and a bread roll, our first proper food since breakfast on the ferry at 7:00am. I also discovered that Germany won Eurovision – how is this possible?Huh??!!!!!!!

We then cycled all of 1.5 miles to Hotel Römerbrücke which was over the bridge over the Mosel.

It’s a very nice hotel with a cracking shower (in which I washed my clothes). We then set out to explore and find some dinner. Wow was photographed standing outside Karl Marx’s house as his profile is remarkably similar. Food was a great pizza but we got utterly drenched walking back and a bit cold so had to turn up the radiators to dry out our second set of clothing.

So, four trains, 23ish miles, tomorrow the tour proper starts…

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Mosel 2010 – Great Bromley to Harwich Ferry

Day 1: Saturday 29 May – Great Bromley to Harwich Ferry  (16.3 miles)

Wow and Mrs Wow arrived at 5:45 and had a cup of tea and piece of cake before we set off. It had been raining but was dry for us as we rode the 13 miles to the Cherry Tree in Little Oakley for dinner and a drink or two. It rained whilst we were eating so we put on our macs for the final three miles to Parkeston Quay, Harwich.

The shiny new ferry was looming enormously at the quayside.

Our cabin was decent and we watched a bit of Eurovision before going to sleep.

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Mosel 2010 – Overview

I’m off again! At the end of May I’ll be going with James and Mr & Mrs Wow to Trier in Germany, following the Mosel to Koblenz, then a bit of the Rhein to Bingen, then returning along the Rhein to Köln where we get the train back to the Hook of Holland and the ferry home. It’s a week long cycle tour and should be great fun. Watch this space for ride reports…

Anyway, we’re off on Saturday 29 May for the overnight ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. James and I will cycle from home to Harwich (16 miles via the scenic route) and the Wows will be coming by train.

Sunday is a Day Of Trains (although not quite as many as Pippa and I took last September when travelling from Hook of Holland to Bamberg). We will be taking the train to Trier which involves a train from the Hook to Rotterdam; Rotterdam to Venlo; Venlo to Kaldenkirchen (a 4 minute journey, unless by then the Germans have managed to get the Dutch to authorise use of the new Eurobahn train on Dutch railways directly from Venlo through Germany); Kaldenkirchen to Mönchengladbach; Mönchengladbach to Koblenz; and finally Koblenz to Trier. If we catch all the trains as planned we should arrive in Trier by 4pm.

Monday – Trier to Bernkastel-Kues (43 miles).

We start our cycle ride along the Mosel river which is well known for its vineyards and lovely scenery. Our destination, Bernkastel-Kues, is a quaint town and is famous for its medicinal wine (Doktor Wein) which I am sure James and Wow will sample.

Tuesday – Bernkastel-Kues to Cochem (47.5 miles)

More Mosel, more cakes, more beer, more wine…

Cochem has a rather handy internet café so hopefully I can write a little report at that point, at least. A 50 mile day is a fair trek for us all but that gives plenty of opportunity to stop for some refreshing cake/beer.

Wednesday – Cochem to Spay (42 miles)

We cycle from Cochem past Koblenz which is the confluence of the Mosel and the Rhein rivers – from this point onward we’re travelling along the Rhein.

The hotel at Spay is really nice – it was Pippa and my favourite overnight stop – and I look forward to their excellent food, along with the bike fettling tools. In fact, I liked the hotel so much we’re having two nights there, doing a mini excursion on Thursday and returning back to Spay.

Thursday – Bingen to Spay (31 miles)

We will get the train to Bingen (opposite Rüdesheim) and will perhaps spend a bit of time looking around Rüdesheim (which involves crossing the Rhine by boat) before cycling back to Spay.

Friday – Spay to Bad Breisig (31 miles)

Along the Rhein and past Koblenz again, continuing northwards through a few industrial bits as well as some lovely scenery. We end up in Bad Breisig which is a quiet but pleasant town.

Saturday – Bad Breisig to Rotterdam by train, then cycle to Hook of Holland (20 miles)
We catch the train from Bad Breisig to Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf to Mönchengladbach, Mönchengladbach to Kaldenkirchen/Venlo, Venlo to Rotterdam and then cycle from Rotterdam to the Hook, or if we’re short of time we take the train.

We take the overnight ferry back to Harwich and should arrive in the UK at 7am on Sunday morning.

Should be a cracking holiday and we’ll take lots of photographs, no doubt. And will eat lots of cake. And the others will drink lots of beer. Probably.

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Filed under Cycle Tours, Cycling in Germany, Mosel 2010, Recumbent Trikes