Distance: 18 Miles
The notes I made after today’s ride said: Rinse and Repeat. It is only the second day of riding, but a routine is getting established. We get up and decide what to wear, checking to see if we’ll need extra warmth or the rain gear already on before we depart, and organizing what goes in the panniers for the day. Then we go find breakfast.
Breakfast was generally the same, but there were a few new items to choose from, which was nice. Still only ONE miniature candy bar next to our breakfast plate.
Shortly after breakfast, we attended the briefing and got ready to leave for the day. They have two different briefings. The early one is for people who speak German and the later one is for the rest of us and we are the much smaller group. Once the briefing is over we are free to begin riding when we’re ready to go.
I think I have been remiss in not mentioning yet how much I absolutely HATED the bikes that we were given on this trip. I woke up that morning with a crazy scheme on my mind: I asked Mike if we could please wait until the bike store opened and buy new bikes for the rest of the trip? He looked at me like I’d grown two heads overnight. He, being the voice of reason said no, pointing out that we already have too many bikes at home and if we bought new bikes, it would be really difficult to get them back home with us. Having experienced this situation, it is a lesson learned the hard way and I will pay more attention to the bikes provided on these trips in the future.
Some people on this trip rented E-bikes (or brought their own with them) for the trip and while we’ve never thought about using one for a trip like this before, I was sorely tempted to check and see if they had any extras for rent this time!
Yesterday, we rode quite a bit of the route with a guy from the USA named Tim. He joined us again this AM. Our route was fairly straightforward. We would have to cross three bridges today. It was really cold –and the camera doesn’t come out as much when it’s cold.
The ride wasn’t always the most scenic – in Pfalzel, we passed through a big industrial area. We even had to stop and wait for the train to go by.
At one point we arrived at this map for the route and ran into several people from our group checking things out.
We were passing through one of the towns along the way and saw this cute building on the side of the river. It was a restaurant, but it wasn’t open yet for the day. We took a break here to eat our lunch.
Our trip leader had told us in our briefing that we’d be passing near two different old Roman villas that had been discovered recent years. After a couple of twists and turns (some of them wrong) Tim, Mike and I went to the first one, called Villa Urbana in Longuich.
It was neat to see because it was just sitting in the middle of a vineyard. The site, which was discovered in 1984, has been reconstructed.
I had been expecting more of a ruin, so I was pleasantly surprised. The villa was built in the 2nd century (A.D.) and was ruined around 350 (A.D.) during one of the wars with the Germanic tribes in that area. It was quite fancy in its day. It had its own baths and the Roman version of indoor plumbing.
It wasn’t open when we got there, so we just walked around outside and peeked in where we could.
We didn’t end up going to the second one that day because of where it was located -too far off the beaten track for us.
As we left Villa Urbana, we only had about 5 miles left to go. Along the bike path there are a variety of different little monuments and statues. Some of them did have small signs on them, but we don’t speak German, so didn’t have the first clue. I saw three of these columns with heads on them today… not sure what they were. I can’t find any information on line about them.
Since I called a halt to take a picture of this one, we took a short break here too. While we were resting and enjoying the view and the sliver of sun that had come out, we spotted the Patria making her way to Mehring.
A bit further along the bike trail, we saw a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. We tried to decipher the sign that was there without much success.
Google translate struggled with it too –but the gist of the sign is that St. Francis keeps watch over the ships and sailors on the river, no matter the weather or time of day.
We finally arrived at Mehring and crossed over the 3rd bridge of the day. The towns and villages along the river all have their names up on the slopes and are visible from the river.
The Patria was moored a short way upriver from the bridge. We had to pass through Mehring to get there. It was still early, so we decided to stop at the first place that looked open and ordered apple strudel, which was very good.
After our strudel we rode to the Patria and got our showers and fresh clothes on. We walked back into Mehring to find a grocery store. There were wine-tasting shops along the way, but they either didn’t appear to be open, or we didn’t know how to ask for a wine tasting.
It is ironic that we were passing through a famous wine region and didn’t get many chances to sample any of it.
On the way back from town, the sun came out and warmed things up a bit. We noticed that some of the other passengers were hanging out upstairs on the “sun deck” so we went up there too.
It was a nice afternoon, chatting with some of the other English speakers (there aren’t many on the trip) who happened to be up there with us.
We had a nice dinner that night and retreated to our cabin immediately after since there didn’t seem to be any interest among the group for hanging out and getting to know people better in the evening, which I found a bit disappointing. That said, Mike and I are happy being by ourselves too. I worked on my trip notes and checked E-mail, etc.
Here’s the view from our cabin today:
Categories: Destination: Mehring, Germany