Auntie Helen's Third German Rivers Cycle Tour

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Auntie Helen, 26 Apr 2010.

  1. Auntie Helen

    Auntie Helen Ich bin Powerfrau!

    Yep, I'm off touring again! This time with the lovely Uncle James and also with Wowbagger and Mrs Wow, from 29 May to 6 June.

    As it's James's first tour, I'm revisiting the Mosel river which he's experienced by boat and which is a lovely region. We're having a week cycling from Trier to Koblenz, then a quick dash down the Rhine to Bingen, then back up to Koeln before getting the train back to the Hoek van Holland.

    It will be 1 Recumbent Bicycle, 1 Tandem and 1 Normal Bike so we will undoubtedly look like a rather strange group! Particularly with Father Christmas coming along.

    I'll try and write a few updates as before, if you're interesting in reading it.


    On this map our tour route is marked in red (on the left hand side near the middle):
    MapOfGermany.jpg

    Anyway, we're off on Saturday 29 May for the overnight ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. James and I will cycle from home to Harwich (16 miles via the scenic route) and the Wows will be coming by train.

    Sunday is a Day Of Trains (although not quite as many as Pippa and I took last September when travelling from Hook of Holland to Bamberg). We will be taking the train to Trier which involves a train from the Hook to Rotterdam; Rotterdam to Venlo; Venlo to Kaldenkirchen (a 4 minute journey, unless by then the Germans have managed to get the Dutch to authorise use of the new Eurobahn train on Dutch railways directly from Venlo through Germany); Kaldenkirchen to Mönchengladbach; Mönchengladbach to Koblenz; and finally Koblenz to Trier. If we catch all the trains as planned we should arrive in Trier by 4pm.

    Monday – Trier to Bernkastel-Kues (43 miles).
    TriertoBernkastel-Kues.jpg
    We start our cycle ride along the Mosel river which is well known for its vineyards and lovely scenery. Our destination, Bernkastel-Kues, is a quaint town and is famous for its medicinal wine (Doktor Wein) which I am sure James and Wow will sample.

    Tuesday – Bernkastel-Kues to Cochem (47.5 miles)
    Bernkastel-KuestoCochem.jpg
    More Mosel, more cakes, more beer, more wine...

    Cochem has a rather handy internet café so hopefully I can write a little report at that point, at least. A 50 mile day is a fair trek for us all but that gives plenty of opportunity to stop for some refreshing cake/beer.

    Wednesday – Cochem to Spay (42 miles)
    CochemtoSpay.jpg
    We cycle from Cochem past Koblenz which is the confluence of the Mosel and the Rhein rivers - from this point onward we're travelling along the Rhein.

    The hotel at Spay is really nice - it was Pippa and my favourite overnight stop - and I look forward to their excellent food, along with the bike fettling tools. In fact, I liked the hotel so much we're having two nights there, doing a mini excursion on Thursday and returning back to Spay.

    Thursday – Bingen to Spay (31 miles)
    BingentoSpay.jpg
    We will get the train to Bingen (opposite Rüdesheim) and will perhaps spend a bit of time looking around Rüdesheim (which involves crossing the Rhine by boat) before cycling back to Spay.

    Friday – Spay to Bad Breisig (31 miles)
    SpaytoBadBreisig.jpg
    Along the Rhein and past Koblenz again, continuing northwards through a few industrial bits as well as some lovely scenery. We end up in Bad Breisig which is a quiet but pleasant town.

    Saturday – Bad Breisig to Köln and then by train to Hook of Holland (42 miles)
    BadBreisigtoKln.jpg
    We continue cycling up the Rhein with our expected end point at Köln (a chance to visit the Dom, perhaps). We then catch the train from Köln to Mönchengladbach, Mönchengladbach to Kaldenkirchen/Venlo, Venlo to Rotterdam and then if we have time we cycle from Rotterdam to the Hook, or if we're short of time we take the train.
    RotterdamtoHoekvanHolland.jpg
    We take the overnight ferry back to Harwich and should arrive in the UK at 7am on Sunday morning.

    Should be a cracking holiday and we'll take lots of photographs, no doubt. And will eat lots of cake. And the others will drink lots of beer. Probably.
     
  2. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    Good luck with it. Have you not thought of pushing on to Düsseldorf and spending a day and night there? It's got a couple of cracking art galleries and also offers an excellent night out and is altogether a much better place than Köln.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Auntie Helen

    Auntie Helen Ich bin Powerfrau!

    ...except that I'm spending the entire month of July in Düsseldorf for a language course. I'm taking the trike with me, too, so should get some rides in around trying to get to grips with modal verbs (at which I am rubbish).

    Plus we're going from Köln by train to the ferry for an overnight crossing and it's all booked so no changes to route plans now.
     
  4. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    Then make sure that you get the Bikeline Niederrheinroute book. It essentially covers the area around Mönchengladbach to the Dutch border (MG is only half an hour on the S-Bahn from Düss). Whereabouts in Düss will you be staying?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Auntie Helen

    Auntie Helen Ich bin Powerfrau!

    I'm staying with a host family (which appears to be a 67 year old lady who may also have a husband about the place) near Friedhof Eller. There will also be another grown-up student there, a Spanish lady (apparently). I gather that I get a small kitchen and there is room for my car and my bike and they have wireless internet so I can carry on working (phew).

    I hope to get out most days to explore so I shall get hold of the Niederrheinroute book. I've got a good friend who lives in Hamm so I may go out by train to see him and go riding with him but that bit of NRW isn't the most attractive, it has to be said.

    I need to try to find some locals who are willing to ride with me for the company - but they'll have to be warned how slow I am!
     
  6. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    No Hamm's not very nice. There's a pretty town just across the river from S Düsseldorf called Zons and it has got some decent restaurants and cafes in it. Another simple evening trip is to a place called Kaiserswerth just to the N of the city.

    Rather than go to Hamm you could agree to meet you friend in Münster which is an excellent city for cycling as is the countryside around it and it is not too far from Hamm.
     
  7. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    Location:
    Herts
    Does this mean that I/we can look forward to another entertaining trip notes? PLEASE.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Auntie Helen

    Auntie Helen Ich bin Powerfrau!

    Well you can look forward to notes, whether they are entertaining or not I can't promise!
     
  9. ComedyPilot

    ComedyPilot Secret Lemonade Drinker

    FTFY :blush:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Auntie Helen

    Auntie Helen Ich bin Powerfrau!

    Initial post updated with route details, for those who are interested!
     
  11. Bergstrasse

    Bergstrasse New Member

    Location:
    Viernheim, Germany
    You can always visit the Dom in Köln anytime you are changing trains in the station. Have you thought about visiting the Chocolate Museum which is on the left bank near the cycle route: www.schokoladenmuseum.de? It is fascinating and offers free chocolate.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Auntie Helen

    Auntie Helen Ich bin Powerfrau!

    Yes, the chocolate museum is good (I have been there before) but has the risk of me buying lots of chocolate...
     
  13. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK
    <perk>

    Ah ha! That's one to add to my list - I fancy a tour of Europe visiting food museums, so far there's a cheese musuem in Gouda, and a chips museum in Brugges (I think).
     
  14. Bergstrasse

    Bergstrasse New Member

    Location:
    Viernheim, Germany
    A few more:
    The Bread Museum in Ulm: http://www.brotmuseum-ulm.de/index_english.php

    The Potato Museum in Fussgoenheim in the Pfalz west of Ludwigshafen: http://www.pfalz.de/de/freizeit-und-erleben/tolle-knolle-das-kartoffelmuseum-in-fussgoenheim (Open on the second Sunday of each month between 13:00 and 18:00) You will learn more about the spud than you thought possible. Sometimes you can also buy exotic spuds and the longest chips in the world.

    The Mustard Museum in Düsseldorf: http://duesseldorf.de/eng/tourism/discover/museen/index.shtml

    The Banana Museum in Sierksdorf on the Baltic Coast Cycle Route: http://www.bananenmuseum.de/
     
  15. TwoInTow

    TwoInTow Active Member

    Looks great. Can I ask you about the tandem and recumbent on the trains? I was wondering which trains you are using to get there and how you are managing the the oversized bikes etc.

    I am trying to sort out travel details to get to Donaueschingen to do the trail to Passau, and we have a Hase Pino with us, which is about 20cm longer than a normal bike. I was wondering if that was going to be a problem on the German trains - the IRE and ECs etc.
    (In fact, we may try to take it on the TGV which has bike spaces, and I'm wondering whether their flat 'no-tandem' rule will apply to the Pino, which is only a bit longer.)

    I'd appreciate any advice you have about taking larger bikes on trains in Europe!
     
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