Six Wheels In Germany – Month 17 Part 2

This report had so many photographs that it was best to split it into two. For the first part of this report please click here.


The next day (Sunday) I was flying back to Amsterdam but we had a fair bit of time in the morning so walked along the front at Teignmouth.

Teignmouth Sunday Morning

Teignmouth Pier

Teignmouth hotels

There were various artworks on the promenade which had the theme of environmental damage. This snail was made out of used plastic milk bottles and was huge.

Milk bottle snail

In order to fortify ourselves for the drive to Bristol Airport (and, then for the rest of them, back to Tonbridge in Kent) we had some freshly-made doughnuts which were really lovely.

Fresh doughnuts

They dropped me off at Bristol airport with plenty of time so I stayed landside and ate the food I had bought in a petrol filling station (sandwich, crisps, bottle of water – all costing less than a single small bottle of water airside at Amsterdam!) and then went through security. Of course my metal humerus set off the detectors so I had to stand in a special booth which scanned me but I am used to this.

Bristol airport is a very decent airport with good seating airside and the toilets were good too. I had a book to read so the time passed very quickly and I was soon on the aeroplane – a brand new Airbus. I had a window seat which meant I got a good view of London/Greenwich and the Dome.

Flying over London

And then of Brightlingsea where James’s boat lives.

Flying over Brightlingsea

And Walton, Frinton and Clacton.

Flying over Walton Frinton Clacton

I arrived at Amsterdam and was met there by Klaus, Claudia and Lara who had enjoyed a day at the beach near Amsterdam and picked me up on their way home (they had offered to do so which was rather nice!)

The English Quiz

Royals Café in Anrath does an occasional English quiz (questions given out in English) and Babs had recommended that we make up a team. Last month I was unable to do it (was leaving for Berlin the next morning) but this month my diary was free.

We ended up with five (friend Uli also came) – me, Sarah (an English friend of Christine), Christine my neighbour and her husband Andreas and of course Uli the cyclist.

Sarah and me (sorry for the gurning!)
Quiz Helen Sarah

Christine and Andreas
Christine and Andreas

Uli and the ladies of the team he joined
Uli and his ladies

We enjoyed English drinks along the way

English drinks

And here was the final score…

Team scores

We were the team ‘The Discombobulators’ and won!!! We got a voucher each for a free breakfast at the cafe.


The visit of the Wowbaggers

My erstwhile cycling companion Peter (otherwise known as Wowbagger) who visited last year with his wife Jan – and took part in the Potato Peeling contest

I cycled to meet them at Venlo and we stopped for some soup.

Peter and Jan

We rode back via Hinsbeck and stopped at the memorial to the Queen Mum.

Queen Mum plaque

Friends of British Royalty

Peter and Jan are both definitely not monarchists so this was an amusing photo opportunity!

We stopped for cake in Grefrath on the way back.

Cake in Grefrath – came over for another week with Jan, this time on two solo bikes rather than their tandem.

A day or two later we did a ride to Straelen via the top end of Venlo and on the way bumped into a chap on a decent racing bike who struck up a conversation with me about handbikes (which was what he initially thought I was riding). He wanted to show me a special bike area they had now in Venlo so we followed him the short distance and were amazed by the facilities – race tracks, BMX tracks, club house building and more.

Racetrack 1

Racetrack 2

Here I am with Henk’s lightweight bike.

Helen and Henk's bike

Here is Henk on Alfie – he went around the longer racetrack once. I think Alfie was a bit slow for him!

Henk on Alfie

Peter and I then had a race around the smallest racetrack (with some gentle banking). Peter won.

Smaller velodrome

We spent about half an hour with Henk there and it was all very interesting! Maybe in the future I can gather up some other weird bikes to have a racing day there. But I will undoubtedly lose any race I start!

Sign of Velotrack

Here’s Peter on his bike

PEter and Thorn bike

And Jan on hers. They are remarkably similar!

Jan and Thorn bike

And Alfie passed a milestone this month – 40,000km (that’s over 25,000 miles).

Alfie does 40,000km

With Peter and Jan I did a ride to the Rhein at Uerdingen and then south along the Deich to Lank-Latum which was rather nice.

Wow and Jan at Rhein

We also joined a group of friends of Gudula’s (and Gudula and Frank too) on a ride to Kamp-Lintfort and a café named Baerlaghof.

Ride with Gudula and friends

For the ride back to Venlo with Peter and Jan we were joined by chum Oliver who rode 50km in his Mango to my house, then rode with us for 10km towards Venlo before having to head directly home as he was running short of time. He had a 107km round trip to ride with us for 10km. But it was great to see him again!

Wows with Oliver

I waved the Wowbaggers off on the train (it had been good to see them) and rode home.

James visits

The next day I rode back to Venlo, this time with Lara, to collect my husband James who was coming for a two week visit.

James and Lara

James came by bike (via the Hook of Holland ferry and train) as we will be doing a cycle tour together mid-September.

Ines from Berlin visits

A few days after James arrived my friend Ines came for a long weekend. She lives in Berlin but I hadn’t been able to see her when I was there at the beginning of the month – fortunately she had some holiday and decided to spend it with me in Niederrhein!

Helen and Ines

Ines has a friend in Berlin who really recommended visiting the church in Kevelaer which is just 40km away so we headed there by car one day to have a look around.

The first church we saw was quite new – it’s St Antonius. I loved the colour of the interior, very light and airy.

Newer Kevelaer Church 1

Newer Kevelaer Church 2

Newer Kevelaer Church Windows on floor

It had beautiful hinges on the doors.

Newer Kevelaer Church Door Exterior

The next church we visited was the Basilika St Marien which is the focal point of pilgrimage in this area. It had amazing decoration inside and although I don’t usually like over-decorated churches I found this one rather appealing!

Inside St Marien 1

Inside St Marien 2

Inside St Marien 3

Inside St Marien feature 1

Inside St Marien feature 2

Inside St Marien 4

Inside St Marien 5

There was also another smaller chapel which had been the original building at the end of the pilgrimage.

Small chapel

And then another church which was full of shields/badges that people had (presumably) carried with them on pilgrimages. The range of places, names and styles was very interesting!

Badges 1

Badges 2

Badges 3

We also did some general wandering around and looking in shops.

Another day we cycled to Straelen and enjoyed some waffles (photos below), and James posed beside this Penny Farthing.

James and Cafe Krone

Ines tried Penelope of course!

Ines in Alfie

It was lovely to see Ines again (the last time I had seen her was at the start of my Berlin to London trip in 2012).


Lara painted the wall in my study as the wallpaper was a bit marked after we moved a wardrobe.


I have been applying for a few selected part-time jobs here. I’ve had one rejection and was offered an interview by one job although I actually turned that down as when I got the full job details it turned out to be full time and looked rather boring. I still have a few irons in the fire and hope for some success soon.

Poppy had a visit from the Hundefriseurin (dog groomer) and she is now sporting a very good short haircut – now winter is coming!

Cakes this month

Choc muffin

Claudia's ice cream

Helen's banana split

Apple slice


Carole's Flan

Carole's flan 2

Carole's gateau

Black forest gateau 2

Klaus's ice cream

Helen's crepe

Schnitte and Windbeutel


Mohn Kuchen

Chocolate tart


Cheesecake at Olympic Stadium



Cherry cake

Fruit cake with cream

Nuss Sahne Kuchen

Plum Cake

Grillage Torte

Cherry cake

Stachelbeer cake

Chocolate cake

Ice cream

Apple pancake

Zucker pancake


Waffle with Kirsche

Straccia Kuchen

Fruit slice

Grillage torte

Kaese Sahne Kuchen 1

Kaese Sahne Kuchen 2

This has been a shorter report than normal (yes, really!) due to all my visitors – I’ve been doing so much that I’ve had very little time to write my blog. But I’ll be on tour with James in a few days’ time (we are doing the Ruhrtal Radweg) so expect daily posts about the cold weather and the rain…


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