30 May, 2007

Day 10: Riding+Train to Aachen

28 miles today, 234 miles total.

"We are near the vineyards, through the vineyards, through small, quaint villages."

The sun is shining and the bike paths are back on the menu! Returning to Koblenz we saw all the beautiful scenery and bike paths we had missed in the rain. The path along this section is usually not right on the river, but instead meanders through villages and vineyards. 

This was our favorite bit of riding so far. The Mosel is more natural than the Rhine with less cars, trains, and barges.

When in Koblenz we did a little shopping. I got nagelknippers and we had some more Asain food. I was occasionally trying a wurst or schweinfleisch to get a feel for German cuisine. Currywurst and Pommes-Frites became a staple. A hamburger can not be found anywhere beyond McFranchises that I do not frequent. They do occasional offer "Hamburger" on a menu, but they are a pork/vege patty. These are a version more true to the name, and less appetizing to my beef trained tastes.

A tip we picked up is to bring your own water into restaurants. In most eating establishments "wasser" meant a small, bottled, relatively expensive glass of mineral water. No one ever complained when we downed liters of our tap water in order to stay hydrated.

Getting on the train was not difficult. Bikes cost a little extra, and you must check to see if the train has a bike car. A picture of a bike is listed next to the train on the schedule and is posted outside of that car, usually in the front or rear.

When we switched trains in Koln it required us to take our loaded bikes up two escalators and down two flights of stairs in a crowded terminal.

We arrived in Aachen, got lost, and eventually found the campsite after getting directions. The old downtown is pretty darn cool.