Sunday was a celebration day for us, our precious Elia turned ONE.
What a joy it is to have two fabulous grandsons, and a baby on the way!
Now that my feet are firmly in socks and sandals on German soil, I can talk about practical issues without embarrassment.
The question I am asked the most is ‘how is my bum?’
The answer is: fine.
I know that’s hard to believe. Fine doesn’t mean perfect, and after an hour or two of cycling, standing up on the pedals helps to alleviate any discomfort, but I think my lady parts are gonna be ok.
I seem to have a lung issue which I’m not very happy about. Copious amounts of tree pollen and the general road and field dust billow into my lungs all day.
Same applies to eyes and ears. I put allergy drops in my eyes every morning and that seems to keep the sneezing at bay. I cover my mouth with my stretchy scarf thing when riding through swarms of gnats.
Finally my old gloves (which I may have stolen from Megan) fell apart, and when paying for coffee the cashier would throw my change at me as to not come in contact with a tramp. They are now a murky grey with large holes.The old bony hands get a bit tired of holding onto the handlebars, so I bought them a fancy new pair of white gloves, which I don’t like nearly as much. I can’t wipe my nose on them.
One can get a bit blasé after a while, once the actual riding technique has been learned, about paying attention to small things like pavement edges and sand pits, and those small paths around closed booms. Especially pedalling with one hand on a hip at 25 kms per hour. My luggage weighs about 18 kilograms, with computer on board, so one must avoid pointy stones while checking for a speeding car, while watching for the track signs, while looking for photo opportunities.
Today I rode past an army barracks onto a small path, and had a regiment of soldiers running at me in single file. Didn’t get a look as I was doing a wobble to avoid crashing into them.
Crossing the bridge between France and Germany was fine, no cycle track, so cars just had to hang back in a queue behind me. But I have to say this, the smell of cows was waiting!
On the French side – nothing, just fragrant trees, but just half a kilometre across the Rhine… ..phew!
Do the French import their meat from Germany? After that it was chicken schtink, then a farmer spraying his field with pig swill which made me gag.
The Mercedes factory is just south of Rastatt, and a car-carrier truck piled up with brand new Mercedes sedans pulled into the road ahead of another large truck, as it was coming along at German speed. There was a lot of hooting, but no crash.
If you book a hotel on the day, don’t expect to find somebody actually on the premises. One must call at about 5pm, and hope to find somebody there.
I was the only guest at ‘L’Ermitage last night, so had my supper in the room. The owner said she would bring it up on a tray in 30 mins, but after an hour I went down to see if I had misheard. She was having her supper with the chef. She brought it in for me, and I was very pleased. Some leaves and hunks of cheese, slices of ham and a bottle of water. The remains of the day.
Strasbourg is lovely. Avenues of plain trees along the canals.
I bought a little stork, which is symbolic of Strasbourg, hoping it will bring me more grandchildren.
This man was playing the sax so beautifully, I couldn’t move…
Tram way in central Strasbourg.
I stayed in Marienthal last night, it was a bit further off my track than expected, as places to stay around here are hard to find. It was another story getting there…
Today was a green and gritty ride, a long way on the eastern dyke, which is forbidden apparently. I was forced to do some bush-wacking, and scale a strange overpass.
Found this monument to Goethe in Sessenheim. He met his beloved Fiederike there.
Lunch place at Rastatt.
Found a place in Neuberg for tonight, the Sonne hotel. Terribly slow internet, but great Greek food!