Southern Black Forest Cycle Route 2020

Day 1
From Bülach along the Rhine on the German side to just after Bad Säckingen

YouTube German:

Sat June 29, 2019, Namedy

8:37 am, Good morning you out there, I thought to myself. Had chosen a perfect place yesterday. Woke up with the sun this morning Slept well. Then I got up and packed everything together. There wasn't much because I didn't need the tent.

Then I made coffee and sandwiches at the table, and had breakfast. When I had packed everything together, I drove off briefly, stopped again, looked back wistfully at the square and then finally set off. Another wonderful day. I had to refill my bottles at the next opportunity, but still had enough to drink. At some point I passed the bridge that was destroyed by World War II. It was the Remagen Peace Bridge . It was formerly called the Ludendorff Bridge. I took a closer look at this structure. Unfortunately the museum was closed for renovation. But I saw no signs of renovation.

So I drove on and shortly before Bonn saw a strange ship. At first it reminded me of the Nautilus. In fact, it was the Moby Dick , built in 1976. I was amazed when I saw the bicycle sign and was confused at first. There was Plittersdorf, 0.4Km. I knew Plittersdorf from the two girls near Raststatt. So it couldn't be Plittersdorf. Quickly google maps and then everything was clear. And then there is this beautiful tree root. There was a lot to marvel at.

My destination was the campsite near Cologne, Camping Berger . Today I didn't want to do so many kilometers. So I got there at 3 p.m. and reported to reception. I had never registered before and had no problems. Not this time either. I was assigned the place, whereupon I put up the tent, packed everything and stowed it in the tent. Since it was very warm again, I went to the Baar for a drink, a cold Cola Zero, what else?

And since I arrived early, I got my dirty garment bag afterwards, bought washing taps at the reception, which also had a small shop in the back, and put my dirty laundry in the washing machine. Then I went upstairs to the wash building to take a shower. Again, I wasn't looked at in any weird way when I went into the ladies shower. The shower cubicles and toilets were neat and clean, as before.

And as usual I spread out on my collapsible camping chair, pulled my camping table towards me, set up the netbook and made my pictures, data backup and diary entries. I loved these two parts.

Later I went to get my washed clothes and hung them on the line behind my tent, between two posts. Then cook something to eat as always and let the evening fade away. I'm looking forward to Cologne and Cologne Cathedral tomorrow.


S0 June 30, 2019

Like every morning, wake up, get up, pack everything together and fold and stow my dried clothes. Then go to the front to pay for the space at the reception. I also stocked up on groceries and my breakfast in the little shop. I said goodbye and was given a friendly goodbye.

Then I drove along the beautiful Rhine towards Cologne. It wasn't far anymore. From a distance you could already see the Cologne Cathedral and the 3 famous Krahnhäuser. I always thought when I saw them how they did it, floating so freely until I drove past them and saw that there was still a glass elevator that probably supported the houses. I never noticed them. It was fascinating to drive past them. Freedom was just opening up in me. I now felt where I always wanted to be, here and on the move.

Shortly before the city of Cologne I had my breakfast in the sunshine on the Rhine. Chocolate drink and sandwiches. Then I drove on towards Cologne Cathedral. In the city I still had to be careful, broken glass bottles kept falling on the floor. Then I turned to the cathedral and it was impressive how big it was. I was there a few years ago, but it was different now. I would have loved to go in, but since I was alone and there were beggars everywhere, I didn't want to take the risk.

I was a little ashamed when I saw all the beggars and could afford such a trip. Actually very sad. I already had little money and was satisfied with little, but the… Really sad. So I left the cathedral square with mixed feelings. Outside I saw a beggar who could hardly walk, and I gave him € 5. I would have loved to give something to every beggar.

The bridge with the many locks impressed me. That must have an additional extreme weight, these many locks. But I hardly thought about that.

When I arrived in Düsseldorf, I thought by the way, it would be great if you could meet the musicians in their city like that, the sons of Mannheim, the Toten Hosen in Düsseldorf, Herbert Grönemeyer in Bochum, etc. What a nice thought. In Düsseldorf I was fascinated by the extraordinary houses. And shortly after Düsseldorf there was a well with spring water or something. I had to smile. There were certainly 10 cyclists standing there and waiting until they were about to refill water. I also took the opportunity.

It got later and later and I arrived in Duisburg. I found Duisburg to be an interesting, but also a dirty city. I also have to say that I drove through an industrial area. Slowly I had to think about where to stay overnight. So I checked my cell phone and found something like camping in the forest ...

So let's go there. It was about 10km and I drove along a long meadow. It was full of people, Turks or something. They had a party, nice to look at. Unfortunately I was tired and so I just drove past them. Finally arrived in the forest, it turned out to be a private facility. Oh man, what a crap Google tells me. I was annoyed, is no use, has to go back. Then check again and I found a campsite in the direction of Oberhausen, but closed at 8 o'clock. I could do it. So back at speed the 10Km and hopefully 15Km again.

But after about 12 km I was completely exhausted. So I looked for a suitable place to stay until I landed back in Duisburg. It was getting dark and I almost fell asleep while driving. When I saw this bench with a table, it was clear to me that this was the end of work. So I made myself comfortable, locked my bike with the trailer twice and put the rain cover on my bike over it. This is not only intended to protect my bike from the rain, but should someone tamper with my bike, I wake up to the rustling of the plastic. Almost 3 times secured.

After I had eaten, a man who lives in Duisburg came by and said that this is a safe area, which reassured me immensely. We chatted a little more, then he left and I slipped into my sleeping bag. Shortly thereafter, a dog started barking all the time. Still I fell asleep. During the night I woke up 2-3 times because the dog was still barking all the time. That made me worried about the dog. Still, I fell asleep again.


Mon 01 July 2019

Got up at around 5:30 a.m. today. The night was restless. It was comfortable on the bench as far as you can expect from a bench. It was more the dog that kept barking all night. And apparently none of the neighbors care. I would have liked to help, but at the time I didn't know how. When I approached the house, maybe to see something, a neighbor up on the terrace, who was holding a coffee cup in her hand, worried more about peeing on the house than about the dog. That just caused a lack of understanding in me.

So I packed up the rest and drove out of Duisburg along the Rhine. Whereby driving out means that I drove back and forth a bit until I got out. Yesterday I found Duisburg dirty and there was garbage everywhere. But I have to admit, I drove through the industrial area and see it a bit more distantly today. I drove through Duisburg and there was a beautiful sunrise. Nevertheless I was happy to get out of Duisburg.

After Duisburg I drove a lot on the Rhine next door, enjoyed the weather and the type of ship on the Rhine. But had more or less strong headwind all day, which didn't make pedaling any easier. Sometimes e-bikes overtook me and I jokingly thought, yes, with an auxiliary motor it is no art. It took me about 2 hours for 20 km. But how do I put it so beautifully, my way is my goal.

In between I bought drinks and something to eat at a kiosk, gave away the return bottles I had collected and was able to save some money. I sat outside and enjoyed the sandwich. It was a little cloudy, but that was fine with the hot weather. And it went on with a headwind. Had about 70% headwind today.

I was happy when I reached Grietherort near Grieth at the campsite. When I got there, I first had to see where the owner was. Somehow I found the campsite, how should I put it, to be deserted. Then there was a lost soul who told me that the owner was down by the lawn mowing. So I went there and lo and behold, there was a thin man who seemed a little lost to me. He greeted me nicely and we went up to the reception. A dog greeted me there, too, was no longer the youngest. I paid for the night. He also offered me that if I wanted he could cook something. I kindly informed him that I had my food with me. It seemed to me as if his wife had died and then time stood still.

Immediately he opened the doors to the shower area because he had treated them with mosquito repellent. I went to my place to choose. When I went there, I noticed how deserted the place was and how many campers had come down. Even though the sun was still shining, the place seemed gloomy to me.

After setting up the tent, I went up to the showers. Everything had come down a bit. The man met me again. He felt a little lonely to me.


Well and the treatment of the mosquitoes was not exactly crowned with success. There were still some insects on the ceiling. But they didn't bother me. The sanitary facilities and washing machine etc. were no longer up to date, to put it nicely. Nevertheless, the shower was good.

A Dutch couple with bikes and a tent came by and told me that unfortunately the dam in Holland is currently closed to bicycles due to renovation work. Too bad. There was no further conversation with them, but that was okay. So I let the day, which was all in all beautiful, end.


Tue 2nd July 2019

Somehow I wasn't unhappy to leave the campsite this morning. He looked sad and lonely, although there were many campers and a few tents. So as always, have breakfast, pack up and off you go. I hadn't seen the owner while driving away. It was so quiet too.

When I drove down to the Rhine, there was still a restaurant. But that was closed. There was currently no ferry at the bottom of the Rhine. So go back up and to the main street, where there was also a bike path. This sometimes led over rural areas, which I found very nice.

I followed the Rhine as best I could. The signage was sometimes poor and so I kept getting lost. The navigation system was more suitable for recording routes than for navigating. Maybe I'm just too stupid.

Then at noon I arrived at the Dutch border. As so often, started talking to a man who had just come from Holland. He lived in Holland. Then I passed the gate of the fence and yep, I was in Holland. A few meters ahead came a crane where I took a break. Since there were a few clouds in the sky, the temperature was pleasant. Then someone from my WhatsApp group said: "OK - and from now on it will be written in Dutch"
I replied: "Instellen met een boot over de Rijn"

The bike paths were beautiful to ride. Hardly any potholes etc. The only thing that annoyed me over time in Holland was that outside of the villages / towns, scooters were also allowed to ride on the bike paths. Sometimes they came in from behind and honked the horn. But if you think they're slowing down, of course not. And wearing a helmet with the scooter driver, out of place. The further I drove in the country, the less the scooters became, which I didn't mind at all.

When I arrived at the Den Hoogen Berg campsite near Boven-Leeuwen around 4 p.m., I was warmly welcomed. The owner and his family greeted me nicely, spoke a little German and I spoke a little English. So we could have a good chat. Right next to the reception was a chicken pen, in front of it a seat and then a small meadow for the tents. Very familiar. I liked that very much.

The killer was the toilet / shower trolley. Really beautifully lovely directed. I had never seen anything like it before. Everything well looked after. I ordered bread for tomorrow. There were 2 other Dutch couples present. We quickly got into conversation, from my side, as best I could in English. After we had set up the tents, we had a great evening, ate together and chatted. You invited me to dinner, so dear of them.

After dinner I sat in my chair and made my data backup and wrote my diary. Then I retired to my tent, read something and soon after it was over. Close the tent, cuddle in the sleeping bag, fall asleep.


Wed 03 July 2019

Got up well today and had breakfast with the others. Then, as always, packed everything together and said goodbye. As always, the day was wonderful. Here in Holland, the Rhine, or whatever it is called, is a bit confusing because it divides several times. So I drove towards Utrecht.

Utrecht was an interesting and beautiful city, even if I only saw a small part. I wanted to check at the train station to see if there was any money in the account again. To do this, I had to use the escalator to cross the station. I attracted attention as I went up the escalator on my trailer bike. Arrived at the top, straight to the ATM. No, the money won't come until tomorrow. I still have some. So on the other side down the escalator again.

After Utrecht the scooters annoyed me a bit again. I was happy when I came to the country. Then I lost track and slowly my right knee made itself felt. But it was possible to drive and in between I took a break.

I thought the windmills were so beautiful. Then I saw this beautiful pink truck with a trailer. I was amazed when the owner came with her dog. We talked and that's how I found out that she drove the beautiful vehicle to the Czech Republic and back in 2018. She expanded it herself. Really nice.

Around 4 p.m. I thought about doing some shopping and camping freely, or with the money I still had, to the campsite. Once again my inner voice said, campsite. No, free camping is better on the beach and buy something for it. That was a stupid idea ...

When I left Hilversum after shopping for groceries, I arrived at the Gooimeer / Eemmeer and wanted to spend the night at the stand. I had to find out that this is forbidden in Holland and that you can be arrested for it. How stupid is that. Now what to do, I didn't have any more money until tomorrow. So the campsite is canceled. In addition, there is no campsite nearby. I was just overwhelmed, my knee started to hurt more and more. I should have prepared better. So I decided to go back to Germany.

In the Nijkerk area I had such severe pain in my knee that I could sometimes only kick with my left foot and in the end I could only walk with support on the bike. A racing driver asked if everything was ok. Well, thanks anyway. Was nice. So I looked for somewhere to hide, to spend the night. In the meantime it was getting dark and I couldn't find anything suitable. At the end, where I couldn't anymore, I passed a farm. Then one drives into a large meadow. There were hay bales wrapped in foil to the left and right. Next to it was a house with a large hedge. Well, they don't see me when I'm quiet. I went around the corner of the hedge, there was a tent. Anyway, I sleep between the hay bales.

So I made myself as comfortable as possible to get away as early as possible the next morning. While I lay there, wrapped up, making as little noise as possible, I heard people next to An who also slept in a tent. Probably the family. Anyway, the main thing is to rest. Rubbed Voltaren on my knee and hoped it would get better. At some point I fell asleep exhausted ...


Thursday 4th July 2019

Got up at 6 a.m. this morning. The outside of the sleeping bag was wet from the humidity of the night. I slept badly. It had gotten quite cold in the night. I quietly packed my things between the hay bales so as not to be overheard. At the neighboring house behind the fence I could hear people sleeping in the tent. I was frozen through easily.

When I was done, I snuck out onto the street, where I could move normally again. When I passed the house, I looked into the garden. There were several tents there. A plaque indicated in English, German and French that you could stay here without paying. I grabbed my head like that. If I had hobbled a few meters further yesterday, I would not have had to play this hide-and-seek. I was angry with myself.

My right knee only hurt a little. When I got on the bike and started riding, it hurt a little more. So I mainly pedaled with my left knee and the right leg was only there for support. It was still slightly inflamed.

My hands froze during the morning ride this morning. It was really fresh. Yes, long cycling gloves, that would have been it now. But I sorted them out before the trip, since it's summer. During the day it got warmer and warmer. But the first thing I did was look for an ATM, which I found around noon and got money out of it. I hadn't eaten anything and had not drunk much. That wasn't so bad, because it wasn't hot.

After that I went shopping and munched on a delicious sandwich and chocolate drink. At around 3 p.m. I reached the border with Germany. I almost kissed the floor, I was so happy. Yes, one should better prepare for a country in the future. But it was clear to me that I would attack Holland again at some point.

The knee coped quite well, so there were few problems. Nevertheless, I was happy when I reached the Niederrhein campsite in Kleve that evening. The reception was very nice. But somehow he was a bit gloomy. Whether it was the weather ... no idea. When I moved into the place, it was too quiet for me. Hardly any activity. But the wash house was clean.

After setting up the tent, I got into conversation with the neighbor and with Dutchman. But the mood didn't really want to arise. I took a shower, rubbed Voltaren on my knee, and then cooked something. This day was a challenge as far as the knee was concerned, but overall it was a beautiful day that I was still able to enjoy. I planned something for the next day, made an entry in my diary and then it was almost time for the end of the day. I fell asleep well because I was still overtired from last night.


Fri July 05, 2019

Slept well and extensively that night. When I was packing up, a few things went through my head. There are campsites that are deserted. At the moment I don't see a soul, even though it is 8.30 in the morning. The Dutch couple and the man who also camped are already gone. It's a sad or a heavy mood. At this moment I notice that I am missing security, togetherness. Then feel a little lost. Often think of Miriam, the two days had been just wonderful. I miss something this time.

When I had packed up together, I drove off. The day turned out to be very nice again, lots of sunshine. There was always something to discover. Nevertheless, my butt didn't really take part today again.

In my WhatsApp group I wrote back and forth, including:

Foster parents:
We are excited about your tour! Greetings sitting on comfortable chairs over Lake Constance.

I sit comfortably on the saddle ... in the morning. Towards evening I am comfortably on the pedals. Have done a little more than 1300 km so far.

Wau very good

Tell my butt, the will is big, my ass is unwilling, weak or flat in the evening.

In the afternoon I passed a place that we also have in Switzerland, Heiden. My foster parents wrote that they also came to a place called Trogen, as in Appenzellerland CH. That makes me smile. Yes, you are somehow connected to Switzerland or vice versa. The ride was really good too. I made good progress today and mostly had a tailwind. Nevertheless, I did not reach Münster as I had hoped. But it's not bad either, I enjoyed the day and therefore took breaks again and again and had lost a little twice again.

In the evening I arrived at the campsite near Dülmen . Yes, I liked that much better. Here was life, I need it and do me good. The entrance to the campsite took some getting used to. Potholes without end, broken road etc. and went up a bit. Hard to ride a bike. So I pushed the bike to the entrance. From then on everything was fine again. I let the evening end calmly.


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