Friday, July 15, 2011

Romantic Road (IX): Bad Mergentheim! Bad!

The next morning I roamed around Rothenburg ob der Tauber, before riding to Bad Mergentheim to spend the next night. It's an old spa town that was a base for the knights of the Teutonic Order.

By this point I was feeling pretty proud of myself for the distance I had covered, but I camped beside a Dutch couple who had ridden about 1000km in a week, which put me to shame.

They were riding the Limes route, which follows the former Roman frontier from the Netherlands to the Black Sea.

And so I began my last day on the bike. The pleasant path ran along beside the Tauber river and I stopped for lunch in Tauberbischofsheim.

I met Marcus from Wenkheim. He's studied English, but had never met a native speaker before. He told me about the town's synagogue. On Krystallnacht, the SA looted it and tried to destroy it, but that would have destroyed the house next door as well. The building's shell survived and the town have now renovated it, but there are no Jews left in the area. The local Catholic group use the building.

Wenkheim's Former Synagogue

Preparing for May Day:

It took me ages to get to Wurzburg. I got thoroughly lost, and had to ask a lot of people for directions. At one point I found myself following a mountain bike track through a forest as a violent storm broke out and it began to pour with rain. Then the track spat me out onto a busy road on a hill that wound down into the city like the motorway into Dunedin. As it durmed and stranged around me, I bolted onwards like a lycra-clad Wagnerian hero.

And then I was there, at the station at Wurzburg: The end of the ride.

I followed the Main river south to the camping ground and stayed the night. Then I came back into Wurzburg for a look around in the morning.

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