For those of you just stumbling upon this blog or tuning in, I am currently cycling the Rhine River along the Eurovelo 15 route! You can read more about why I’m doing this and my first week here. Also, it’s important to know that I am not a cyclist (which is very clearly reflected in the time it takes me to get from point A to point B).
The last time I posted, I was in Strasbourg, an unexpected little rest day. I’m currently in Cologne, for another rest day (this one planned).
Here’s my recap of the past few days.
Day 8: Strasbourg – Camping Municipal des Mouettes
We actually planned on going from Strasbourg to Karlsruhe, but it was a HOT day. Mid 30s and intense sun the whole day! I was absolutely exhausted within a couple hours of cycling, so we called it a day earlier than we had anticipated. We saw a campsite on a lakeside and jumped right in. The water was cold and refreshing, and then we got ice cream (well, I got ice cream; Phil got a beer) from a little nearby shack. It felt like the perfect summer day.
Distance: 70 km
Time: 6 hours
Day 9: Camping Municipal des Mouettes – Altrip
This day felt really long. The scenery didn’t change much and it kinda felt like we were on the same road the whole day. It was a tough day in the sense that every kilometre felt like ages, and also because when we arrived at the campsite, it POURED. I’m talking big flashes of lightning, loud booms of thunder, and getting wet.
Distance: 90 km
Time: 9 hours
Day 10: Altrip – Bingen
Since we were still about 20/30 kilometres behind schedule due to our short day leaving Strasbourg, and we had a reservation for the campsite the next day, we knew this would be a long day. It was our catchup day.
We got to Worms (where we were supposed to arrive the night before) at 1pm, and knew we had a LONG way to go. Luckily, the scenery was pretty lovely- we cycled through vineyards and cute towns, and passing through Mainz was so wonderful. The promenade was lively and fun to cycle down. If I had more time, I would have loved to stop for a meal on the promenade.
We finally rolled into the campsite at about 8pm and it was pretty nice. It was right on the water and there was a beer garden right on the site. Fabulous.
Distance: 125 km
Time: 12 hours
Day 11: Bingen – Bad Breisig
This day was possibly my favourite thus far.
It didn’t start off so well. We packed up our tent early with the intention of taking the ferry over to Rüdesheim and going on a cable car over the vineyards (apparently SO lovely), but just as we finished packing, it started raining. We decided to skip the vineyards (who wants to be in a cable car when you can’t see anything but grey skies?!) and to just start our ride. It kept raining for a couple hours, but it cleared up during the BEST bits of the day, and possibly even the whole route.
From Bingen until just before Koblenz, you’re cycling through the most lovely area. Think castles, rolling hills, and the cutest small towns. People actually just cycle this section of the Rhine (the Upper Middle Rhine Route or “Romance Route”). It was absolutely beautiful and lively and we never got bored. The time passed soooo quickly.
We actually had our itinerary set for Neuwied, but we really wanted to stay at a campsite in the outskirts of Bad Breisig, and I’m SO glad we went those 20ish kilometres extra. The “mini-hotel” at the campsite that we had reserved was incredible. It was essentially a tiny log cabin that was mainly a giant bed, but it had a table and chairs too. Before we arrived at the campsite, we went grocery shopping and bought smoked salmon, pasta, and a ribeye steak that was 30% off. We cooked that up, took it inside our tiny little cabin, and had a really cosy romantic meal. We finished the night off with a movie on Phil’s laptop. The dinner was about €15 and the mini hotel was €30. Not bad for a mini-splurge.
Overall, one of my favourite days of this summer.
Distance: 100 km
Time: 9.5 hours
Day 12: Bad Breisig – Cologne
Again, this was a lovely day! We mainly cycled along the river and it’s promenades which was really really nice. You’d think on a Rhine River cycling route, you’d be cycling next to the Rhine for the most part, but you actually don’t see too much of it, making this day EXTRA special.
If you can, eat lunch by the river (there are loads of restaurants) before Bonn. We thought a big city would have a nice riverside area with restaurants, but it doesn’t. Before Bonn is where all the cute parts of the Rhine are.
It’s only another 40ish kilometres from Bonn to Cologne, and those flew by. We stopped for ice cream which probably helped.
We were cycling pretty quickly and we were stoked to get into Cologne because we knew we’d be having a rest day. We arrived earlier than we told the apartment manager, so he bought us ice cream while we waited for the apartment to be cleaned. Such a kind gesture and a really great way to kick off our rest day and a half.
We ate Mexican food for dinner and then crashed. The pillows are pretty much the same size as me and I LOVE IT!
Distance: 73 km
Time: 6 hours
Day 13: Rest Day in Cologne
To be honest, I don’t feel like there’s much to do in Cologne. It doesn’t help that we are here on a Monday, which happens to be the day all of the museums are closed. I don’t really mind, though, because I don’t feel guilty about laying in bed for half the day, blogging from inside my covers, and eating chocolate cookies. It’s a true rest day.
We did, however, get out of bed to get some Chinese food for lunch, and that was a great idea. The Cologne Cathedral was something we figured we should see, too, so we saw that. Very pretty from both the inside and outside. I learned that it took 6 centuries to build and that they don’t wash the outside because the church is made up of sections of different coloured rock (because it took 6 centuries to build) and that they thought the dirt actually makes it look more uniform.
I like whoever made that decision.
We only have 4 days of cycling left until we’ve completed our first tour, and wowowowow has it seem to have flown by! To be honest, I’m really excited to get off the bike for a while. I can’t sit without wincing a little bit and I think my bum has been flattened into a pancake from sitting on it for the past two weeks!
At the same time, I’ve grown to really like cycling, and I reckon I might even miss being on a bike after this is all over!
I think we head into The Netherlands tomorrow, and I’m a little apprehensive to be cycling there, as I’ve heard they take it VERY seriously. But I only have 4 days left, so bring it on!