74km Frankfurt to Niedernberg

The bike path we followedA warm house can be a real blessing sometimes and as we watched the rain pelt down on Sunday from a snug flat in Frankfurt, we were very happy not to be cycling. A big thanks to our friend Peter, who put up with us put us up for a few nights, showed us the town and helped recharge our batteries for the next leg of our journey. Peter also makes the best coffee in Frankfurt, quite possibly in all of Germany!

Our departure from Frankfurt means we are finally making a definitive move to leave Europe – yes, really! Our sights are now firmly set on heading steadily south through Austria, Italy and Eastern Europe, towards Turkey for the autumn. From there, who knows. But one thing is for sure, we will not be back in Europe next summer.

With this big challenge looming in our heads (how to arrange visas for many tricky countries and other administrative delights), we made a quick stop before we left Frankfurt at an amazingly well stocked camping and outdoor store, Globetrotters. We have never seen a shop that had so many things. Even Canada’s famous Mountain Equipment Coop didn’t quite measure up, although it’s a close second. At Globetrotters we were very kindly given, absolutely free, a replacement pole section for our tent (a great relief after we stupidly put a crack in ours a few days ago) as well as other goodies like waterproof covers for our shoes in case of rain, two nifty bandanas that can be hats or scarves or any number of other neat things and new underwear for Andrew. Lucky man!

It was close to midday before we rolled out of Frankfurt and back along the Main river, jostling with the hordes of other cycle tourists. The route along the river is certainly pretty but like the Danube Cycle Path it’s also extremely crowded at this time of year. Even with a bit of rain and chilly temperatures, there were still plenty of people to share the trail with, well into the evening.

By the time we got 60km or so down the trail we were quite tired so, even though it was reasonably early, we looked for a place for our tent. There don’t seem to be any campsites around here so we had to settle for a cornfield again. This one is not so secluded as our other “farm stays” though, since a secondary trail runs nearby and is used by joggers and walkers. We were pooped so we set up regardless – with a bit more energy we might have carried on to find a quieter spot – and no one really seemed to give us more than a passing glance as they went by. Being in the country, we think we’re pretty safe.