10/08/2017 Bike riding on the Rhine

Sunday, 8th October

Heading towards the Rhine Valley now.  Our angels from Waldsee Therme – Rolf and Agnes, highly recommended doing the right side of the Rhine heading toward The Netherlands – most picturesque they said.  So we are headed in this direction.

Still drizzling today but from experience, the weather patterns change many times during the day.

Our campsite for tonight:  WellMobilPark, Bad Schonborn

Some sort of Roman chariot art work – about the only item we found worthwhile in Bad Schonborn

An interim stop only and apart from the Therme nothing this town has to offer in the form of interest or architecture.   Spent a couple of hours wandering around the town with very little open.  Had the worst hot chocolate and coffee in a little bakery/cafe where all the locals were eating massive slices of yummy looking but unhealthy cakes and sweets.

Had an argument with the camping fuhrer (everybody is some sort of fuhrer here) such a bad word – conjures up images of Hitler for me.  Purchased a 24 hour Internet connection for 1 euro which we thought was great value.   Our first mistake was to check on the iPhone to make sure it worked then logged out and tried to connect to the iPad.  Fuhrer omitted to tell us that the password worked on one device only and was not interchangeable.  Long story short after a heated discussion, they gave us another password and we happily connected to the computer and used massive amounts of Internet for the rest of this miserable rainy day.

Monday 9th October

Definitely needed to find something special today as the last 24 hours we have travelled through a lot of industrial areas with not much to see.

Our campsite for tonight:  Reismobilstellplatz, Bacharach am Rhein

One campsite was front row on the Rhine but was packed quite early.  Seems like the locals are still out in full force with most motorhomes having German number plates.

Overnight view from Ziggy in Bacharach

Too cold to go riding as again overcast and windy so headed into the small village.  Named the Medieval Village, it did not take long to see why. 

Bacharach street scene

The buildings were just so unbelievably old (but beautifully restored old).  Very busy touristy area but really special and a must to visit.   The bricked arches with medieval towers atop were at each entry point to the town. 

Bacharach street scene

Behind arches were narrow cobbled streets with amazing old structures and vineyards climbing from there to the steep hills above.  The obligatory castle overlooking all of this.  Such an amazing place.

Of course Bacharach has its own castle
Nearby castle on the Loreley Rock

Tuesday 10th October

So much to see and so many fairytale towns along both sides of the Rhine.  Castle after castle perched high on the hills overlooking these towns and vineyards in between.

Couldn’t get into Koblenz as it was fully packed out.  Only a small Stellplatz for 10 motorhomes but ideally located to sightsee Koblenz.  Have very fond memories of Koblenz from previous trip and the town has grown substantially.  Such a shame we couldn’t get in there.

Our campsite for tonight:  Kranchen, Lahnstein/Koblenz

Drove a few kms out of Koblenz and found this great campsite right on the Rhine River.  Magic spot with only a bikeway and green lawn down to the river.  The view across the Rhine is of a pretty little town which is overlooked by a fairytale castle.  The Rhine is busy all day with river cruise boats and barges – the height of activity.  The hills adorned with rows and rows of vineyards now changing colour to the Autumn shades.  Would have been absolutely wonderful to have some sun but again a dreary overcast day.  

Lahnstein – overnight view from Ziggy

Headed for the bikeway and travelled for around 25klms along the river.  The bikeways are littered with Autumn leaves and the scenery along the way just so special.  Finding it hard to get enough practice on the bikes – too long between rides so I feel like a beginner each time.  Doesn’t bother the locals who seem to go out in all conditions.  Bike riding is a way of life here and I am so jealous of the confidence these people have on the bikes even riding on busy one lane roads.

Highly recommended spot if you can’t get into Koblenz.

Wednesday 11th October and Thursday 12th October

Travelled along the Rhine forever.   Village after village and castle after castle each worthy of several photos.  Decided to move away from the Rhine and head toward the Moselle River.  There were so many camping spots along the way to choose from and all are directly waterfront with so many priced at a small 7-10 euros.  It was difficult to make a choice.

Our campsite for two nights:  Moselufer, Reil

Beautiful spot again right on the river.  Extremely busy with mostly German motorhomes.  It is quite amazing to see other people’s reactions to a motorhome with GB number plates.  Sometimes feel like we have two heads the way that they stare at us and we are ignored until they learn we are from Australia – their attitude towards us then seems to change.

Reil street art

We have now been challenged 3 times about Brexit until we tell people we are from Australia not the UK.

Walked through town in the afternoon.  Very hilly with narrow cobble stoned streets.  Most people in this region are wine makers or associated with them so there are many wine houses or wine stuhbles as they are called here all eager to sell you their wines.

On our bike ride – railway bridge in background and grape pickers van in foreground

The waterfront streets were extremely busy with walkers and bikers and many places to stop and eat or drink or just enjoy the view.

Along came a tractor pulling a passenger cart with about 8 people sitting at white clothed tables sightseeing and wine tasting in the cart as they moved along – couldn’t believe it and just wanted to capture this on film but just too slow.

At the entry to the campsite, there was a small cafe open all hours and was the meeting point for the large number of motorhomers in the camp.  Great place to get local knowledge.

A resting place in the vineyards on our bike ride

Took advantage of a reasonable day and headed off on the bikes.  The bikeways were excellent and took us through many vineyards and villages – just what we were looking for.  Stopped along the way and watched as the grape pickers carried large buckets up and down the steep hills to the sorters who stood on the backs of trucks, separating the grapes from the stems – very labour intensive.  Even saw one of their trucks with a porta loo on the back!

Rode for in excess of 25 kms – longest ride yet and can’t describe how super it was – can really understand why everybody here spends so much time riding.  Two + hours later came home happy, tired and with sore parts that I never knew I had.