Monday, August 8, 2011

From Hüttenstadt up to Germscheid – and once again a train part…

Wednesday, 3th of August. I left Susanne at 11 A.M. shortly before it started to rain, wherefore I had another stop to search for my rain clothes. Naturally the rain stopped at the moment I had done my rain clothes. But since it was still some cold I kept it on. My first goal for this day was Wetzlar because of its wonderful historic city centre. It's a straight road which leads to this small town. There was a bike path next to the street. My heart didn't misgave me, when the path left the road – bike paths do such things sometimes, perhaps when the street planers don't want you to cycle upon a hill. This path was really winding and went on to veer away from the road. But I went on, because the landscape was so nice and I trusted in the fact that the path had to lead to somewhere.

After maybe one kilometre with slight down-grade the bike path mutated into a path of asphalt tile, then into a cart track, then into a muddy cart track, then into a muddy seldom used upward cart track … I started to push my bike, but I was still curious. Finally the so-called path ended as a overgrown thing, but at this time I could fortunately hear the cars riding on the road. The last maybe 50 metres I unloaded my bike and carried first my stuff and than my bike across the forest. Altogether it took me two hours, but I was so proud of myself that I wasn't frustrated or something like that, but just able to handle the situation. I was completely all in a sweat. My spats had been very useful; otherwise my shoes and feet would have been totally wet, too. But my clothes had been really dirty from the mud.

The historic centre of Wetzlar is actually as nice and well worth seeing as Susanne had told me. It has a Dom with only one finished tower, then there hadn't been enough money to build the other one…

Best of all: now I followed a bike path along the Lahn river. I bought two bicycle tubes in a bicycle store, and as I started to answer the question whereto I'm cycling: "through Belgium and …" the mechanic cut me off saying: “Ah … – that kind of trip.” As I had some problems with my gearshift I asked if he could take a look and in the end he fixed it for free “to sponsor the trip”. Very much thanks to Armin from bykx Radstudio in Solms-Oberbiel! Cycling along the Lahn was just great. But sadly after 50 cycled kilometres I had to switch to train, when arriving in Weilburg at 6 A.M. – there was no later connection from another station available and otherwise I would have arrived in Germscheid eventually at midnight. Maybe it wasn't the worst decision, because shortly after it started to rain once again. This day I decided to send some of my stuff back home, so I took advantage of the time during the train ride to sort out. In Limburg I had to change trains – it seemed to be the wrong time for travelling with the bike … Once again I had to carry my bike.

Olli, my today's host, picked me up at Altenkirchen train station and we drove with his car to his home in Germscheid, Rhineland-Palatinate. (Once again: Thanks to him and also the other couchsurfing hosts who helped me so much with my tour.) Olli is a friendly and relaxed guy. After school he made a motor bicycle tour, which was planed as an one year trip up to Australia and ended up as a two year tour up to New Zealand. Then he started to breed Galloway cows. He commemorated Dave, a dear friend of mine, who is so open and tender but so hard to reach inside.

When we attained the 150 year old farm house in a small village at the edge of Westerwald there was a bonfire and some friends and neighbours who celebrated hay harvest with eating and drinking together. I felt so welcome and had a very nice evening with some chit-chat. And Olli has such a lovely outgoing young daughter! I have also to thank Olli for agreeing to send my stuff back home. Cheers!

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