14th March Krefeld > Leverkusen
At the Lanxess site in Krefeld we met Frank and other employees for water bottle selling round two. Our own branded water bottles had been made which was quite exciting!
Although there were not as many people that entered the canteen here as we had hoped, we had an enjoyable morning, were well received and more importantly, raised some funds for WaterAid. On arrival of the hotel in Leverkusen, we updated our blogs before heading into Cologne. The cathederal here was absoluately stunning, I think the most impressive I have seen to date. After exploring the city, we were in desperate need of beer and were shocked to find that it was only sold in 200ml glasses(!?). This is traditional here as it is said to keep the taste fresh – annoying none the less!
15th March Leverkusen
Our third day of selling water bottles was by far the most successful! “Wasser fuer einen guten Zweck!” (water for a good cause) was our catch phrase!,we must have repeated that a few thousand times!
Made about 400€ for WaterAid which was fantastic! Went into Leverkusen in the afternoon and treated myself to some new underwear and stocked up for the next few days food supplies! Ingo and Frank took us in the evening for a big meal, German style! Fried potatoes and half a cow for starters, and “Himmel und Erde” which is apple mashed potato with blood pudding! Lots of Weizen-beer too, probably one too many for the following day.
16th March Leverkusen > Dierdorf
Woke up, feeling really tired and of course a little hungover. We both left together and headed for Cologne where we went our own seperate ways at the Lanxess Arena. Mike went on to meet “Die Fantastischen Vier” and I went on to meet Melanie a few days early. The rest of the day was hard, cycling into the wind with big hills and fast unfriendly roads not helping my mood! Having failed to reach the 140km target, I also realised that I had miscalculated the route so realised I would need to cycle 170km for the following two days to be on time.
Having called it a day behind an Aldi, I wandered off into the woods in which there were signs that they were often frequented by the local youths. Cooked up some dry Tortellini which I could barely eat, then fell asleep at 20:30! Over.
17th March Dierdorf > Worms
Woke up feeling fresh and pushed on. I was quick to leave the main road, and instantly enjoyed cycling through the beautiful valleys before making it to the River Rhine. After waiting such a long time to eat breakfast, I was not happy to be joined by an angry goose who wanted my food – had to keep chasing him off with my frying pan!
The next part of the journey was confusing as unbeknown to me, the Rhine split into two and I unfortunately followed the wrong river here and then had to backtrack which wasted an hour. Once back en route, cycling was a dream with the wind behind, and a nice cycle track. Took a shortcut as the river took a detour. This was very hilly although nice cycling through the hop fields. Felt great on arrival to Worms, even better after a quick pit stop! I then attempted to plough on into the night but it was far too dark to cycle in the woods, so pulled up in the side of the Rhine cycle track and slept.
18th March Worms > Tuebingen
Up at sunrise and managed to navigated my way through Mannheim. Didn’t get too lost and was pleased that I had got through this huge city without a suitable map. Continued south and made good progress. It began to get dark, and the roads busier the closer I was to Turbingen. On arrival, I met Clare, whom I went to school with! Clare was finishing off an internship in Turbingen for a transaltion company. We chatted about the ‘old times’ and I enjoyed a great meal which was very much appreciated!
19th March Tuebingen > Ravensburg
After leaving slightly later than planned, I really went for it and pushed on into the strong wind and rain, which later turned to snow and hail with increasing altitude.
Thankfully the sun came out on the way down which was a gentle decsent, meaning I could enjoy the beautiful valleys and good riding for longer! Lunch was somewhat of a problem as all of the shops and bakeries closed at 13:00 on Saturdays, although did eventually find somewhere. Followed the Danube cycleway for a bit and then to Ravensburg where I met with Melanie and went out for dinner.