Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 75--Full Circle, or...

...I Don't Believe It!

Last night we spent the evening watching the ships going up and down the river. At Loreley Rock, the river makes a sharp bend. It was interesting to watch the ships negotiate the turn. There were these signals. We tried to guess what they meant. The slash marks would change. I was thinking, maybe it was a signal to the ship about when to start the turn depending on the length. Or, maybe it told if there was another ship coming. Anyway, it was interesting to watch.
I took this this morning as we rode by.

One of the really big ones getting ready to make the turn. Another ship was right behind this one, and a smaller one was coming around the bend at the same time. I did a little video. It was pretty crazy watching them!

So, this morning...I used up the last of the fuel. Actually, timed that perfectly! The fuel ran out just after the water started to boil. 

We left Loreleyblick Campingplatz just before 8:00. It's Monday morning, so not so many cyclists. For most of the morning the only cyclists were other touring cyclists. 

It was a day of more castles. This time there were some on this side of the river.

This one is now a Youth Hostel.

We went by this church-looking place that was not a church, but was a place for collecting the tolls from the ships.
You can go there by ferry from the other side of the river. Speaking of ferries, there are no bridges between Koblenz and Mainz (there used to be one in Bingen, but it was destroyed in the war), but there are several ferries. Some people want a bridge to be built, but then this area of the Rhein would lose it's UNESCO World Heritage Site status. I think those in the tourism industry would be against a bridge.

We stopped in Bacharach for an early snack time at a B├Ąckerei. It was a nice village.
Pretty quiet...

Next we came to the Maustaum (Mouse Tower). There is a legend that the Bishop from Mainz had so much money, but the people had nothing--no food, no way to be warm. He put the people in a barn and set it on fire (said they would be warm now). Then, he escaped by ship to the tower. But, mice managed to get to the tower, get in, killed him and then ate him. Really, the tower was built, again, to get the tolls from the ships.
Under renovation.

After the Mouse Tower, we rode through a garden park that had a sign that said "No Bicycles". I told Christian, but he said we go anyway. About halfway through, we got caught. A man said no cycling. As Christian stopped, he didn't get unclipped from his pedal fast enough and tipped over. He said if the man had not been there, it wouldn't have happened. I said, if we had not been there, it wouldn't have happened! Karma comes round to bite you sometimes!

After our "walk" through the rest of the park, we came back to the route. It went separately from the street, but did a roller coaster ride up and down, whereas the street stayed flat. At the advice of some other people riding, we stayed on the street.

We passed this place with a strange collection of balloon type balls stuck to the side.

We came to a place where a gravel road went to the left, and the paved route went right. Christian wanted to go left. The man who had told us to stay on the street, said we should go right. Him and Christian had a conversation in German. We went left. It was shorter, and stayed near the river, but it was also muddy, and at times, a narrow trail. Not my favorite...

We came back to the route. Christian wanted to stop at his favorite lunch place. I still had some peanut butter, honey, and a bagel to eat, but I had a lemonade made in Hamburg. I was going to have some ice cream, but they didn't have it ready...their loss.

As we were leaving the Biergarten, a lady came over to me and asked me something in German. I said I didn't understand, and she switched to English. She asked about my trip. I told her I started in Mainz 2 1/2 months ago. Then I told her where I went. She asked if I was alone. I told her from Oslo, until I returned to Germany. She said, "I don't believe it!" She thought it was wonderful. I asked her name. It was Margot. She was at the restaurant with her 93 year old father. She was so nice! I waved as we passed her and her dad. When Christian asked me what she had said, I told him she didn't believe I had gone all that way alone. I also told him there are moments I don't believe it! 

Just 19km to go!

We rode into Mainz, and rode along the river to a point where we could see where we had crossed the Rhein to go along the River Main and the Main Radweg. 
On May 22nd, I crossed that bridge.

We arrived at Christian's at 1:15. His neighbor took a photo for us.
I have come full circle! 

Tomorrow I will pack everything up...Betsy goes back into the suitcase. Then we will see what we will do with the rest of the day. In the evening some of Christian's friends will come for a "Welcome back/Goodbye" party. Then, I'm off to the airport Wednesday morning.

Here's a parting shot for today. This ship is the Starlight. We saw it this morning, and we saw it here in Mainz!







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