Tuesday, August 9, 2011

From Germscheid up to Oppendorf/Bedburg

Thursday, 4th of August. My first real cycling day! Because looking after my legs and knees for the last days, while my thigh felt very keen from time to time (and surely especially while doing exhausting cycling) I now felt able to cycle with power. (Still no muscle soreness at all.) While I wanted to follow the Rhine river, my first few kilometres were still somehow hilly (remember: edge of Westerwald). I was guerdoned with an 8…kilometres downhill upon a twisting road!

From Bad Honnef, North Rhine-Westphalia, up to Bornheim I cycled along the Rhine river. In Königswinter I took a ferry to switch sides and had a nice talk with an old lady who was also on a bicycling tour together with her more than 80 year old husband. She had travelled so much all across the world with her bike in earlier times, that I felt just like a newbie. She commended my bike as a very good one– I was so glad, because I love my old vehicle and think it's good quality, too.

Close to Bonn there was so much bicycling traffic (mixed up with promenaders). While the sun was shining so bright everybody was outside although it was Thursday early afternoon. I don't like these slowly Sunday drivers, often overweight, clinging to their handle bar and tottering as if they'd need all their concentration not tilting over. Excursionists!

To hear all the various dialects while cycling through different parts of Germany is funny. The dialect allows to transport an anyway individual part of the character. And once I needed an emergency toilet, so I asked a woman who was working in her garden. And she not only let me in but also gave me some freshly-picked plums while saying: "Vitamins!" in broken German (I think she was Vietnamese).

In Marten I had to climb a hill with my bike and then on the wide top navigate by looking at the position of the sun (that means the shadow) through a complex system of windy paths across a forest to find my way down to the little Erft river – did I mention that the bicycle guiding system in North Rhine-Westphalia is absolutely bad? Sometimes they write the name of a town on a sign, sometimes not, although you're just trying to follow. They don't try to guide you, it is much more a hide and seek – they don't put a sign when the surrounding area changes, they put it somewhere else, maybe as an award for guessing the right direction.

To cycle the Erft river was so pretty and therefore I was able to do the next reparation inside this very nice location. Once again I had trouble with my gearshift, the chain switched all the time up and down the gears while making bad noise. Now I saw why. Bless god I took a chain tool with me (and have had not listened to my boyfriend …).
Note: Klaus is the best companion in life I could imagine. Normally he knows nearly everything, is technical gifted (and also in many other ways) and he is the one person I want to spend my life and share my thoughts, my feelings and everything. You are great, I love you so much.

Although today's stage was planed with 80 kilometres it took me 105 (probably 10 to 15 kilometres is due to the subject of searching for the route). This was the first time I was able to reach today's couchsurfing host at the right time (I try to arrive between 6 and 8 P.M. and I caught 7 o'clock). And I came late enough only to see the the puddles and wet streets but not get wet myself, because the rain was over. What was left was some stormy weather.

It was the first time for Franzi to host (and she wasn't able to surf so far, too). Right now she has passed Abitur, is sweet 19 years old, still living with her mother until she'll hopefully starts to study teaching degree for secondary schools next semester. Franzi was so sweet-natured and willing to be a courteous host. And it sounds so nice when she's giggling! It makes me smiling when I remember it. I had a gorgeous evening together with her, her mother and her mother's boyfriend, and let's not forget the two dogs! We talked about education and the educational system. It's just such an open, living house, where people – and not only couchsurfers! – can come and sometimes stay for a while. Franzi, visit me and Klaus in Bamberg!

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