Well a lot has happened in the last few days. After my post and Naeva’s follow-up you might be thinking we are not having fun and our trip is disaster filled. But not true. There were no more falls off the bike and Amos (knock on wood) had one of his most cooperative and well-behaved mornings ever. In terms of what has happened…
Most importantly we made it to Suzfeld, Linda Fehringher’s village. Linda was the German student who lived with us for 8 months last year and became part of our family. Once we planned our bike trip and it was going to be close to Linda’s home town, we had to visit. We decided after some debate not to deviate from our planned route (Kristina still thinks it was a good choice, I would have enjoyed the adventure and change of scenery from the rivers). Instead we left our bikes in Erlagen with Michael and Beate Romheld (Scott family friends) and trained to Suzfeld. Sulzfeld is located near Meinigen in the Thuringia Mountains. Part of the former East Germany, Thuringia is a similar but less well-known than the Black Forest where Kristina was born and lived, and her family has visited many times. Needless to say she is smitten with Suzlfeld and the area. It is full of history – both recent and hundreds and Thousands years old and lovely German towns and villages with neat houses with slate walls and roofs, shutters, perfect window boxes and nice gardens. Scattered in ar a few old cob buildings and newer, modern buildings.
It has been great to see Linda again, meet her lovely grandparents and explore her little village. We have slept in (yaah! – the “rest” day in Oschenfurt a few days ago was less restful than desired due to a few factors including rain pounding on the tent and cooing pigeons in the tree next door and then some long bike rides in rain and cool weather we were very ready for Sulzfeld), gone on lovely walks through town and up the hill above the village and to the “Echo” tree (it was an impressive echo location and of cours Amos’s favourite), walked to a classic Gastoff (restaurant) overlooking the nearby villages and hills and saw semi-wild pigs along the way, Kristina, Naeva and Linda explored nearby Meinigen while Amos and I watched a super exciting Giro stage (which included the Dutch pink jersey wearer crashing into a snow bank and losing the race – stage 19 for you Giro keeners!), two games of Ticket to Ride, a lovely dinner in the ski town of Oberhof, and many delicious coffees and meals. And we still haven’t celebrated Linda’s 20th birthday with her. That happens tomorrow morning before we bid adieu and return to our bikes.
Naeva last updated you on bike ride to Oschenfurt … We had a nice rest day exploring Oschenfurt, doing laundry, watching Amazing Race, shopping, some homework and dinner out at the Campground restaurant. A Campground restaurant is like nothing you would find in Canada – Kristina and I ate local Wild Boar, yummy salads and Spargel soup. The kids Schnitzels. The next day the weather had turned and we biked close to 80 km in the rain and then tried to dry out at the youth hostel in Schweinfurt. We followed that up with another longish day of biking to Bamberg where I finally had my front right shifter fixed and we ended up at a wonderful campground along the Main-Danube Canal. Which brings me to the second important thing that happened – we finished the main and our now biking roughly along the Main-Danube Canal towards Passau and the Danube (and our rendezvous with Adrienne and Maika). The last two days of biking along the Main were a bit dissapointing – the weather sucked but also we spent a lot of time alongside the highway or with pretty bland scenery. Not along did the Danube Canal bring improved weather but also we left highway biking for much more pleasant riding through the country side. Our only complaint … The signage left a bit to be desired. E.g. We biked for 50 km without ever really get lost (a few wrong turns that we quickly noticed and a few more stops to consult the map and gps than we have to date). Translation – a million times better than biking in Canada! We are getting picky.