Friday, May 23, 2014

The River Main, Not the Main River--Day 1

We have officially begun the tour! 

Once again I woke up at 4:30. At least this time I had gone to bed earlier, so I did get more sleep (I am, however, looking forward to sleeping past 4:30).

Christian had set our departure time for 9:00. He had invited his biking friends to come and ride with us as far as Frankfurt. He didn't know if anyone would come. No one did. We loaded everything onto the bikes and were ready to go at 9:00.
Ready to go!

My first thought when we took off was, geez this bike is heavy! But, I knew I'd get used to it.
We rode out of Mainz, going through the park again, to the train/bike bridge over the Rhine. Once we were on the other side, Christian pointed out the mouth of the River Main. We are spending at least today and the next two days following this River on the "Main Radweg".
The bottom sign is the route we are following.

Before I go on, the River Main is pronounced "Mine". The town of Mainz (also pronounced "mine" with a "z" at the end) is at the mouth of the River Main. So, there you go.
The mouth of the River Main, and Mainz in the background.

Moving on...The Main Radweg is a mix of pavement, gravel, and occasional dirt. Today was about 95% bike path. We were rarely on roads, except when we would leave the route. The gravel parts were crushed limestone stuff, very easy to ride on, but a bit dusty. Our bikes and bags are pretty much coated in a layer of dust. Along the trail was, of course, the River, but also a lot of farmland.
Some of the gravel.

We rode the 25 miles to Frankfurt mostly non-stop (I was taking photos whilst riding-successfully, I might add). Christian wanted to have lunch at a place in an area known for its apple wine. So, we got off the path in Frankfurt and rode to this area. Only, at first, Christian couldn't find Elizabethenstraße. I didn't know that was the street he was looking for until we stopped and he asked some women. I heard him say Elizabethenstraße, and I told him I had seen it. So, we turned around and went back until we came to it, then we found the place Christian was looking for. There were three restaurants that served the apple wine. We chose the one closest to where we had parked the bikes so we could see them. This is the restaurant. We sat outside. I had chicken, fries, and salad. It was one of the specials for €6.50.

After lunch, we returned to the route. Frankfurt is a big city, but it was easy to get through it on the bike path. Here's a couple of photos of Frankfurt (and the River Main).

Dom St. Bartholomäus

We continued on for another 20 miles or so to Seligenstadt, an interesting village on the river. We stopped because Christian said there was a really good ice cream place for me, and he would get coffee. While he drank his coffee ( I had finished my Zitrone ice cream), I wandered over to the walled area of the village. Inside the walls were some buildings, including one with water wheels, and gardens (even an area with a rooster, some hens, and a couple of sheep).

Christian felt much better after his coffee.

We rode around a bit in the village. To me it was just like you would picture a small German Village. I did a video, but I can't put it in a post until I can upload it to YouTube.

Back on the Main Radweg, we were riding along when I noticed two camels. Yes, I said camels! Apparently, the circus has come to town! All we saw were the camels.

We crossed the River Main on a bike/ped bridge. The camping place we were headed to was on the other side of the river. It wasn't too much longer when we could see the campground. We stopped and asked how to get to it. 

Now I am sitting in my tent while a thunderstorm rolls through. Good thing I got this new tent because the wind is also blowing like crazy! We are in Main-something. I can't exactly remember. 

It was a good day on the bikes. We did 55.4 miles. But, now I am feeling the effects of being awake since 4:30. Is 9:00 too early to go to bed? Oh, one other thing. I've determined that Christian is an excellent map reader, but not so good at reading signs. Fortunately, he has me to help him out!


Alexandra said...

Hello Colleen,
it is so much fun seeing Germany through your eyes! Keep writing! Can't wait to hear your wilde laughter again. Have fun and not too much rain.
Hugs to you both,

melody said...

What a wonderful blogger you are! The sky looks so blue and the adventure has begun! I love hearing of your day and look forward to reading this. Your bike looks heavily loaded but like you said, you will adjust to it. I feel your jubilance for the trip!