After finishing our trial run in Canada, we took a flight back to London, a ferry across the Channel and started our trip in earnest in Germany.
By now it was November and some days were very cold. We had to buy new gloves and spent many a chilly night in the tent. All of a sudden, eating breakfast in the campground bathroom seemed very appealing!
On this page, you’ll also find journal entries from 2007, when we returned to Germany for a family celebration (Friedel has many relatives in Germany), before heading out of Europe and towards the Middle East.
On Sunday we had our first full day in Germany, having just crossed the border from the Netherlands and finding a camping spot nearby the day before. Camping in Germany is a different experience altogether from Canada. Most people have little cottages with gardens, television, washrooms -- all the luxuries of home just in a scenic setting. When you come with a tent and nothing else, it certainly stands out.
After a week in Germany with Friedel`s relatives, we set off around 10am. The departure was a little hard, as we’d spent the last week getting to know lots of cousins, who are now not just names on a family tree but friends and everyone showed us such good hospitality while we were there. We
Another day where we really felt every muscle in our bodies and lacked any real oomph. Maybe it`s winter setting in, with the days being cooler (about 12C), wetter and shorter, or maybe it`s just all that cake. We`re sure we can feel every piece we ate over the past week! In any case, the
“I`m crazy, but not that crazy.” We pulled into a camping site about 4pm, hoping it would be open and we could spend the night. As we found the owner, she looked at our bikes, then back to us and asked where we were from. From Canada, we said. “But not with bicycles,” she said.
Woke up early to a freezing day, the first time it`s really been cold even inside our tent. We were thankful we decided to buy better sleeping bags before we left, as despite a night with temperatures below freezing, we didn`t feel the cold at all until we crawled out. A good layer of ice
We had a lazy start to the day, after a night high up in the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein. Our bikes needed a little love after so many kilometers so we took an hour or so and changed the brake pads, oiled the chains, cleaned up some of the gear cogs and pumped up the tires.
Just when you think you`re getting into shape, another day comes along where you feel loaded down, like you`re constantly going uphill. We started out well, having spent the night at a very enjoyable camping spot right on the Rhine river. In the morning, before we left our camping place, our neighbours came over and
After a good night`s sleep in the hotel, we woke up feeling well rested at about 6:30am. A quick pack of our bags and an early breakfast and we were on our way not long after 8am. Amazing how differently you can feel from one day to the next. The day before we struggled with
Waking up in our French campground, we headed towards Baden-Baden, a fairly short journey. Baden-Baden is a spa town which we’ve spent some time in before. We journied along the tip of north-east France, and eventually took the first crossing back into Germany. After getting into the town, we found the information office, and found
An early start from the hotel enabled us to enjoy a thick morning mist around the area. Thankfully, the route had many cycle paths along the roads, except when it came into each village, so we didn’t have to worry about cars not seeing us in the fog. Obviously the region is known for its
We knew we were in trouble when we saw a tank charging towards us. This was no military vehicle but something much scarier: an angry woman, steaming in our direction, loud German words flying out of her mouth. Andrew, who was cooking dinner just outside the tent, was first in the firing line. Unfortunately for
Today we did what we haven’t done since the trip began: we caught the train to save a couple days of cycling. We had a lot of debate about this but finally we decided it wasn’t cheating since we were using the train to go “backwards” on our trip – nearing places we last saw
“Stop! Doping control!” We turned our heads to look at the cyclist passing us, laughing all the way. Obviously he decided these words were as good as ringing his bell when he pulled out to pass us on the trail leading out of Würzburg – a funny take on the Tour de France and so
After much indecision on which route to take this morning, we decided the shortest way into Frankfurt was going to be up into the woods, cutting off one loop of the curvy Main river. But after so many days of riding along river paths, any venture inland was going to entail a climb or two
A 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
After spending most of early July complaining about the heat, we're now wishing the sun would come back. It's cold in Germany with grey days, a lot of rain and little sun. For the first time in well over a month we really snuggled into our sleeping bags last night and when we emerged this morning to make our coffee there was a near frost on the grass. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
We rose early and hit the road while the sun was just starting to warm the earth up; a welcome event after a chilly night in the tent. The air overnight and first thing in the morning was the coolest it’s been in some time, although it’s sure to be colder this autumn and we’re
Our plan for getting around the world never included trains, but in our last few weeks in Europe we have planned to meet many people in certain cities of fixed dates and sometimes it’s been impossible to make the distance any other way. With close to 15,000km under our belt by bicycle so far, we
Getting out of cities is almost always a challenge and leaving Munich was no exception, even though it’s a city we love and know well. We missed turns for the bike path we tried to follow, fought traffic and dodged numerous crowds of photo-snapping tourists before we finally reached the Isar river and the trail
The foothills of the Alps gave our legs got a workout today and a good thing too since the truly lofty peaks aren’t far ahead. We’ve got at least one mountain pass in our path tomorrow and within the next few days we’ll have the chance to climb to nearly 2,800m to Italy’s famous Passo
The pitter patter of rain falling on our tent woke us up this morning, just as it carried us off to sleep the night before. Usually the weather clears before long though, so we packed up all our bags, had our breakfast and started getting the bikes ready. Just as we were about to start
Caution: this post is being written to the soundtrack of the Teletubbies. As parents of a two-year old, free time is a precious commodity. Bribery is frequently required. Since an episode of the Teletubbies only lasts 24 minutes, we’ll keep this short and sweet. It’s the story of our Easter tour: six days through Luxembourg, Belgium,