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Cologne (Köln) – Xanten

Today was a day of many dead ends including falling of my bike at Monheim!

I left Cologne over the railway bridge which is festooned with hundreds of locks all engraved by lovers and locked to the steel mesh – be fascinating to know more about this ‘tradition’ On the other side I was barred from riding along the river due to the previous nights party (which I had failed to hear at all!) so I had to pick a way through the rubbish (no plastic bottles though that 25cents makes a HUGE difference). Then another detour around Chempark to get back on the river at Wiesdorf.

20 miles into the day at Monheim my little tragedy happened 🙁

As you can see on the pic. I should have kept right. However, I kept left, once I saw the path heading into the river I knew I had made a bad choice so I did a quick right up what was to be a very steep incline. I started to go to slow to be unable to unclip my feet, so over I went – the wretched handlebar ends hitting the rib over my heart – acute pain and agony. Now this scene was been witnessed by a about 10 folks sat on benches,  the unbelievable part is not one of the 10 showed a flicker of emotion not a “tut mir leid” between them not even laughter – It was if they were statues (Oops didn’t check if it was an Antony Gormley set up).

I eventually picked myself up and recommenced my journey. A few miles later, after another major detour (wretched signs show the route for both sides of the river, so easy to get confused)I found myself in Dusseldorf, along their festive waterfront I was wondering if I should find a krankenhaus but opted for a mega Italian ice cream or two instead 🙂

Onwards I went towards Duisberg past the blast furnaces of my youth (theirs have been turned into a museum rather than a caravan park like the ones I worked on in Renishaw). At Duisberg as part of the “Still Life” festival (very ironic in few of the tragedy of  of 20 deaths as part of the recent Love Parade in Duisberg)., the A40 motorway had been closed to form the longest table in the world. Amazing scenes!! Oh how I wish UK city centres could be closed to all traffic on Sundays 🙂 🙂

After 94miles of cycling at 10.2mph  along miles of paviors I arrived in Xanten for a good meal and sleep at Hotel Michael Neumaier 96 Euro all included.

The trail and pics are on Everytrail:-
Cologne (Koln) to Xanten at EveryTrail

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Spay to Cologne (Köln)

Today was the first day I encountered rain. It was very heavy in the night but when I set off it had turned to drizzle. Fascinating to start off next to a foundry that made huge boat propellers bought back memories of my time at Renishaw ironworks fettling shop. Its interesting the amount of heavy industry you see everywhere alongside the Rhine.

I then cycled past many attractive villages before going through the German Koblenz,which was quite disappointing as the riverside area is going through a major development programme, so I quickly moved on over The Mosel.

I came across one of the few reminders of WW2 at Ludendorff with the remains of the famous railway bridge that allowed allied troops & tanks to cross for 10 days before its collapse.

Then to complete the days 76.6 miles at 10.1mph I arrived in Cologne. Here the waterfront has been redeveloped in much as the same way as the latest developments I saw on my Thames Walk on The South Bank.

Here’s the day Everytrail and photos:-

Spay to Cologne (Koln) at EveryTrail

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Ottenheim-Schwanau to Maximillansau

A day in the blazing heat riding along the exposed top of the dam that holds The Rhine into a navigable river, its all very reminiscent of fenland rivers, alongside the main river are poulders which  are flooded when the water flow is to high for the river.

The German’s struggle with the signing so that in the main centres like Kehl (Strasbourg) you get a proliferation of contradicting signs! I also love the sign covered in German & French text that forbids entry but fails to give you any information as to where the route has been diverted too! These guys need lessons in the use of simple signage like the Swiss and French GR5.

I drank about 10 litres of water/beer/apple juice yesterday but still felt dehydrated with an headache. Hopefully, today will be overcast 🙂

Oh yes why do German hotels only have wired internet 🙁 and all WiFi is locked down?  and why can’t T-Mobile sort out my internet – instead of sending me messages that an error occurred and try again 🙁 To me its pretty obvious the glorious days of open internet have gone for ever..

Here’s my route yesterday:-

Ottenheim-Schwanau to Karlsruhe at EveryTrail

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Rorschach to Ellikon – Swimming differently

Today was yet another scorcher, last nights lightning made no difference.

I did 64 miles in just over 6 hours making it 10mph! Some of the places I went through were simply unbelievable eg Stein am Rhein a real postcard town!

Its pretty amazing to see folks been carried along in the current at 6mph, they just get out and walk back to the start! I did it outside my hotel in Ellikon – great fun 🙂 they also have a cunning ferry crossing too, basically its like a giant pendleum that swings across the river on a slider wire! The hotel itself, Hotel Zum Schiff dates from 1541 so is an interesting place although a fan would be useful.

Apparently the river is navigable all the way to Rotterdam now – so maybe I will just float down.Its at 272m altitude so compared to The Amazon its a pretty fast river.

Here’s the route and statistics:
Rorschach to Ellikon (Rhein Radweg Day 3) at EveryTrail

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