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Southern Black Forest Cycle Route 2020

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

YouTube German:

Sa 06 July 2019, near Dülmen

Was really tired yesterday. So I slept well and deeply. The campsite was very busy yesterday. This morning, when I got up at 6:30 a.m., it was still quiet as I quietly packed up. But slowly one or the other woke up. When I finished packing, I pushed my long trailer to the front of the entrance and bought some bread rolls. Then I went on my way. The weather report said that it was sunny at first and then the weather turned off. Yes, it was sunny, but also a bit cool. It wasn't as warm as it was at the beginning of my trip.

I had a tailwind, that's something. But while driving, the longer the day went on, I noticed that I was a little exhausted. I was on my way to my friends in Hanover, which would take a few more days.

As I rested on a bench, I nodded slightly. When I was awake again, it was difficult for me to get up at first. Still, I wanted to go further, I had to. Around noon the clouds closed a little, sometimes the sun came through the clouds and warmed me a little. Still it got a bit chilly. So I put on my sweater and my windbreaker over it. With the shorts we went cycling. From about 3 p.m. the sky closed completely. Now it got really cold for summer conditions. So I decided to go to the next Heidewald campsite from 4 p.m., as it sometimes had drizzling rain. I didn't regret the decision, because when I arrived at the campsite, put up my tent, it started to rain. So I cooked in the tent, which was a bit of a hassle. Still, I was dry, which was very pleasant. A busy place, also with children, but that didn't bother me. And so I let the day / evening pass by as always.


Sun 07 July 2019

I woke up recovered from the night. It seemed dry outside. I got dressed, packed everything together and made my way to reception. My plan was to buy rolls and a chocolate drink. I should have ordered these in advance. The woman at the reception was so friendly and sold me her 3 rolls. I was a little uncomfortable, but very courteous and nice of her. Thank you very much for your kind gesture. So I paid, said goodbye and went out to my packed bike.

Then I drove off and the bicycle road was a dream for a while. No potholes, tail wind, what more could you want. Yes, you should enjoy these moments, because at some point it was different again. Still, there were tracks that were excellent. Again and again there were warning signs that warned you to be careful of oak processional weirdos . At first I didn't even know what kind of things they were. So I took a break, I googled and found out that this caterpillar species with the simple name Thaumetopoea Processionea L was not exactly the most pleasant companions when you came into contact with them on the skin. Your stinging hairs spread in the wind and cause itchy, allergic rashes, after which it is better to see a doctor. Their main preference, as the name suggests, is oak. The oak processional spinners build their nests on the tree bark. The small stinging hairs are distributed with the wind. You don't see them. The rash only comes when it's too late, really nasty.


Well, I was on my bike and hoped that someone like that wouldn't fall on me.

I should have looked better because after about 15km I noticed that it kept going up. Over time, I was really pissed off, also moderately scolded 2-3 times. Still, I always remembered last year, when I was really verbally freaking out every now and then. I didn't want that this time and kept calming down.

Sometime in the late afternoon I had made the mountain and it was "downhill", in a positive sense. I reached the Weserbergland campsite in Rinteln at 5:40 p.m. and started building up next to a family. It also has a lake for swimming. Unfortunately, I have to say, the first 2 weeks were very nice and warm, hot. Now it's cool during the day and cold at night, 8 ° Celsius. So I wasn't really tempted to jump into the lake.

My sleeping bag was reaching its limits. I did not expect that. So I still had my training pants and a light sweater in my sleeping bag. Once again I realized that good equipment makes a lot of difference and makes sense. The weather stinks a bit to me, was disappointed.

Still, it was a challenge and I don't want to miss these moments. What has been positive so far, almost everyone recognized me as a woman, and spoke to me that way. That makes it a lot easier for me to accept myself for who I look.

Mon 08 July 2019

Struggled to get up this morning. It was cozy and warm in the sleeping bag and really cool outside, 8 ° Celsius. But meanwhile my air mattress was losing so much air that I woke up once during the night and had to let the mattress in again. Luckily I still had the mat under the mattress so it didn't get too hard. I kept looking for a new mattress, but it seemed like you could only order it online or, more likely, I just didn't know where to look. You get used to sleeping harder.

With a bit of effort I got up at 7 a.m. After the toilet, I packed up the tent and material as usual and started at 8:30 a.m. Yesterday I had made sure that I could drive around the "mountains". In the course of the morning, around noon, I noticed that the navigation system was guided over the mountain for a certain part, not quite as high, but it was enough for me. Yesterday I wrote via my WhatsApp group that I had to drive over the mountain and you would see something in the background of the photo. My friends promptly picked me up:

"The mountain is probably not visible because of the clouds."
"I don't see a mountain either, where should it be then, grin"
"Maybe a mirage ..."
"There are no mountains there, only hills, grin"

The weather wasn't exactly sparkling either. It was more or less cloudy the whole day. Had barely seen the sun. During the day the highest temperature was 16 ° Celsius. I was sweaty and especially when I was standing on my bike my back was cold and my back was cold.

Still, I had asked to come over to Katrina and her wife Pia. At some point Hanover got closer and closer and I was glad that I had a tailwind for most of the time. That got me going well. When I got to Springe, I saw this great fountain. Fascinated, I watched the fountain, how the water came, the wheels turned, etc.
At 3:30 p.m. I finally arrived. But I was a bit exhausted from the last 2 weeks. Because I rode my bike every day without a break. That already sucks the body. Therefore, I also noticed a fatigue when traveling. A few days are good for me to relax. 3 days were planned for Katrina and Pia.

So I phoned Katrina in front of the allotments that I had arrived. We greeted each other, talked and she showed me her allotment garden. When we arrived at the little house, I was greeted by two small Chihuahuas dogs and then by Katrina's wife, Pia. I unpacked my bike and stowed my things. Katrina and Pia spent a lot of time in the allotment, lived there for the summer.
Later Pia cooked Spagetti Carbonare, which were really delicious, and then let the evening end in front of the TV. To sleep I could use the sofa which, unlike my mattress, was very comfortable.


Wed July 10, 2019

I had slept well with Katrina and Pia in the allotment house. The Hundi's had also welcomed me dearly. Later I got to know Katrine / Pia's friends, Tobi and Jenny and their two dogs. One is called Zeus.

It was really cold outside. The thermometer showed me 12 degrees at 8 o'clock in the morning. Inside they have a wood stove where they heat the house. First a coffee and breakfast.

3 days were planned here in Hanover. But the weather forecast was not exactly optimistic. My touring equipment clothes were not designed for these temperatures. Was a little frustrated with the weather. What I heard all the time before the tour, that will be a hot summer. It didn't seem like that to me right now. 3 days became 10 days.

I used this time to get to know Hannover better with Katrina and Pia. On Wednesday we went to the Rathaus Museum. The arch elevator was interesting. On the way up, it is first transported vertically, then at an angle of 17 degrees upwards. A window in the roof and floor of the cabin offers the opportunity to follow the progress up close.

The history of Hanover is also very interesting. Then we looked at the Aegidienkirche next door:

“On the night of October 9, 1943, the Aegidien Church and the surrounding city center were destroyed in the heaviest bombing raid on Hanover. Only the raw surrounding walls remained. The tower lost its helmet and burned out completely. The interior of the church has been destroyed, with two exceptions: the bronze baptism of the Aegidienkirche from 1490 is now in the market church, its three chandeliers hang in the cruciform church. Two statues (Luther and Melanchthon) on the western front next to the tower come from the Laves renovation phase.
The individual side aisle gables are a specialty for Hanover. Role models for this can be found in Westphalia as well as in the churches in Braunschweig and Magdeburg. The view of the east side of the tower, where an imprint of the old roof can be seen in the masonry, gives an impression of the former roof silhouette of the nave.
In addition to the reconstruction of the destroyed choir wall with Deister sandstones, the board of trustees of the ruin dedicated to the memorial in 1954 decided to build a stone floor. In the transition to the choir, there is a large plate with the simple inscription “Unseren Toten” and, since 1993, the silhouette of the south side of the ruin laid in Carrara marble, designed by Dorothee von Windheim. The shadow line is reminiscent of the closeness of shadow and light, death and life in this special place. A large metal cross was placed in the choir. Soot-blackened stones were preserved on the tower, as were remains of the old tracery in the otherwise empty window sockets. Finally, a light, 15-meter-high steel structure was placed on the tower stump. In it hang 25 bronze bells, which form a unique carillon of memory. Until it was destroyed, the Aegidienkirche had a special chime consisting of four bells, which was so well known and loved that it was allowed to stay in the tower during the First World War.
The oldest of the bells was more than 600 years old. The upper end of the new tower is formed by a small dome with a slim, simple cross. The Aegidienkirche has a special relationship with Hiroshima. Hanover's Japanese twin city presented a peace bell in 1985. An identical twin hangs in Hiroshima. There, as on the ground floor of the tower ruins, the bells are struck at the same time every year on August 6th in memory of the first atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima and the victims of war and violence. "

It was a memorable visit. It made me think, especially since I have dealt with German history. Then we left the church and went “home”. We let the day end pleasantly.