Monday, June 2, 2014

Day 9--Extreme Touring on the Ilm and Salle Radwegs

I had a dream this morning that I slept until 11:30. In the dream I told Uta I had decided to skip Frühstück, and go straight to Mittagessen. In reality, I was up at 6:45. I had done most of my packing last night, so I had time for a quick shower before Frühstück. We had fresh Brot, a variety of Käse, and Fleish. I also had a banana.

We packed everything onto the bikes and said goodbye to Bernt and Uta. Our way out of Weimar was along the River Ilm, except we had a little bit of trouble finding it (mostly because there was ein Umleitung (a detour). As usual, our wrong way was a hill. Ah well, good way to warm up. By the way, it was cold, but die Sonnen was trying to break through the clouds.

Finally we were on the route and out of town. At one point, we had to go up a pretty steep hill. There was a family biking the same direction as us. The mom said to Christian that she thought this route was along the river (ie flat). At the top of the steep hill, we, again, made a wrong turn (down a hill that we had to go back up...of course). Christian had missed the sign. For awhile after that, I was in the lead to spot the signs.
Here is one of the 4 or 5 castles we saw today.

Schnecker mit Haus

Along the way our route became this double track, but paved road. The pavement had ridges for the downs and ups. 

Below is a Wetter Stein. Basically, the sign says: If the stone is dry--no rain. If the stone is wet--rain. If the stone is white--snow. If the stone is invisible--fog. And so on...I think it is the most accurate weather station.

Another Schloß
We saw a couple of these interesting cyclists near one of the small villages.

We came to the end of our time on the River Ilm. This is the confluence of the Ilm and Saale Rivers. Now we would be riding on the Saale Radweg. We were following the signs to Naumberg when Christian thought we were going the wrong way. We were supposed to be following the Saale downriver. I fired up the Garmin and put in Naumberg. We were going the right way, but Christian still didn't believe it. A father and son rode by us and Christian asked them. Yes, we were going the right way--Garmin 1...Christian 0.

Yup, another castle.

We continued following the Saale Radweg. We went away from the river, and climbed up a long steep hill. At the top there was a nice view of the valley below.

As we began our descent, we saw this monument built for WWII soldiers. I thought it was a strange place for a monument of this size.
Especially considering the way the route continued. Yes, the photo below is part of the bike route! We had to walk our bikes down this rocky path. Then when we were able to ride again, it was muddy from all the rain. At one point I almost bit it. Betsy did some fish tailing, but I was able to keep her upright (not without a little bit of a squeal).

Crossing the Saale. 
We finally made it to Naumberg. It was well past lunch time. Christian stopped at a Chinese Takeout truck (the food trucks of Germany). I got a cookie from the store nearby (I had bread and PB and Nutella--as usual). We went to the Naumberg Cathedral and ate our lunch on a bench nearby. I needed to use the toilette. There was one there, but I had to pay .50€. I must say, I think it's outrageous to pay to use a toilet. But, I didn't have a choice.

We went over to the Naumberg Dom after our lunch. Unusual for Germany, you had to pay to go in (Christian says cathedrals are usually free). We could see enough from the gate.

Christian wanted a coffee, so we went to the Marktplatz of Naumberg. I thought the fensteren on the roof of this building were interesting (4, 3, 2, 1).

 Another castle.
The rest of the route was fairly uneventful. We stopped in Weisenfels (I think) for food for dinner (pasta with sauted mushrooms with onion and garlic butter). We also bought water because we thought we would be wild camping along the River. There was no mention of anyplace to camp. However, we ended up finding an interesting little place. 6,50€ per person. There is only one toilet for each gender, and one shower for both, all in the same tiny building (if you want to take a shower--1€, no one else can use the bathroom). And yet, you can buy a variety of alcohol and even ice cream and cake! Priorities! There is a group of young kids and parents. I think they came by boat. The kids get a little loud, but the parents shush them. I doubt they will keep me awake!

Total miles for today: 56 (a lot on dirt, gravel, mud and cobblestones)

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