Düsseldorf – Köln

Today I decided to go to Cologne/Köln, where I was born in fact. It’s only about 30 miles from Düsseldorf so a nice day’s ride there and back at slow cycle path speeds.

I set off at about 9am after reassembling the trike (it’s living in my car whilst I’m here as there’s no suitable shed at the house).

I decided to cycle to Koeln on the eastern side of the Rhine and to cycle back on the western side. The path varied quite a bit from lovely asphalt to distinctly grassy field (although I think that was a mistake on my part, going off the main route!)

The Rhine is a very interesting river and a vital artery in Europe for trade. There is a never-ending stream of barges going up and down on the long voyage.

After about 18 miles I stopped for some refreshment.

Then I carried on past the very industrial town of Leverkusen.

There are loads of cycle paths in the region and sometimes it took a while to work out which sign was the one I needed.

A good bit of Schadenfreude from the Germans after last night’s drubbing of Argentina:

A doggie in a trailer. There were loads of children in trailers but this was the only dog trailer I saw today. The owner said they had made it from a beer crate.

You can always tell when you’re getting near to Cologne due to the whacking great cathedral someone’s built there:

I crossed the Hohenzollern Bridge to get to the other side of the Rhine and to begin my journey homeward.

The bridge has now become a site for Love Padlocks. Deutsche Welle article on Love Padlocks (in English)

Lunch was Schnitzel and salad.

I then cycled past the huge Ford works at Merkenich. This is the reason I was born in Germany – my Dad worked for Ford. I hadn’t realised how enormous the place is though – it felt like I was cycling for miles to get past it.

After all that cycling it was time to stop for afternoon tea and cake at Dormagen, ten miles from home.

As there aren’t many bridges across the Rhine I decided to take the car/bicycle ferry from Zons to avoid going too far out of my way when returning to Duesseldorf (I am staying in the south of the city).

My little Rhine cruise cost 1 Euro 50.

I got back rather warm and a bit dirty from some of the worse cycle path surfaces, but I had a very enjoyable ride. 57ish miles on the clock and the bike is now back in the car, with its tyres let down a little as we’re in for a hot day tomorrow.

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