The original schedule for today was 111 km, but Gergo has got a new book of bike trails in Germany and so now we are still going from the same start and going to the same destination, but the distance has increased to 129 km.
Today we climbed 546 meters up 688 meters down.
One of the riders Yvonne is not well so she is taking the bus, hopefully this won’t be the start of another bout of gastro throughout the group.
Not long after we left, I saw a huge weeping willow tree, and was thinking about how they were my mother’s favourite tree, so couldn’t resist stopping and taking a photo.
Today felt more like a navigation course than a bike ride, with some bike paths only going about 200 meters before having to change to another path! We spent a lot of time figuring out which way we should be going, the flagging was not good and often conflicted with the notes. It was a hot and frustrating day.
The bike paths went through fields, through towns (at one stage through an archway in a barn!), through forests, saw a couple of castles and monasteries, and we went along in the baking heat along side roads.
We went over some bridges that had roofs, which is to stop the bridge getting covered with snow in the winter.
Going along one forest path, a black squirrel ran across the track in front of me.
We stopped at about 80 km and had a cold drink with Peter and Catarina who were there already. Catarina decided today to ride from lunch with Peter when he got there.
Unfortunately after what had been a long and hot day already, all the climbing was at the end of the day. We had some quite steep bike paths, and then 10 km from the end we could not work out which direction to go.
I went into a supermarket to get a cold drink. So no cold drinks so bought one anyway, then paid and the checkout clerk barked something at me, when I didn’t immediately answer, he barked it again 3 times in a row. I said “English?” so he said it again about 5 times each time louder!
I am not sure why people think if you don’t understand the first time you will get it if they keep saying the same thing over and over, but louder each time! Finally he angrily points to the receipt! And I shake my head, I don’t want it! By this time Brett has worked out which way to go.
More bike path, then a steep climb up to Schwabisch -Hall. What a pretty town. Sadly we only have time to shower and change before the riders meeting and dinner, as I would have liked to look around.
The town is having some type of performance tonight (turns out it’s a play) and there are rows of chairs set up outside the hotel, and the stage is the steps of a church with a small platform facing the square. We are told that if we have a room facing the square we are not to look out the window, or have the window open! Plus the door to the hotel will be locked from 7pm to 11pm, so no after-dinner stroll around the town.
The hotel is a beautiful old building, with no lifts. When you walk towards the stairs the old doors open automatically which you don’t expect. The stairway has lots of old pictures, plus rows of books for guests to read.
The room is really big and looks right out onto the square. You have to be a bit careful walking, as there is a definite slope from the window to the other end of the room, where the bathroom is.
We had dinner with John W, Ruth and Peter E. The restaurant had made up a special menu just for us – mixed salad, nice and fresh with a light dressing; chicken with croquettes, and a token piece of round carrot as the vegetable; and Ice cream and apple.
Washed down with a cold beer and then a merlot (or 2).
After dinner it was so hot in the room, of course I opened the window! Then I poked my nose out to have a quick look. Would you believe there was a man in a red outfit, whose role was to stand in front of the hotel looking up, and as soon as I looked out he saw me and started making angry gestures! So I didn’t look out the window again, but I didn’t shut it either. I was pretty tired, so the noise of the play didn’t keep me awake.
Ruth and Peter E, both retired and live in Toronto. Ruth was an Air Canadian flight attendant, and Peter an investment broker. This is their 3rd TDA ride, they did the TransEuropa for their honey moon in 2014.
We stayed at Hotel Goldener Adler