Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Europe Bike Tour (VI)

I enjoyed Germany overall, but this was a section that was hard work. I had an upset stomach, I was angry at the hotel in Kaiserslautern, and I got up on the Sunday to find that EVERYTHING in Kaiserslautern was closed. My food for the day was packaged snacks from a petrol station.

I continued on the Barbarossa radweg east towards Worms. It became an unsealed mountain bike path with a challenging hill climb. Just before Worms, I turned south-east to reach Mannheim. A vital bridge over a motorway had been removed with cranes and I had to make a long annoying detour. I finally reached the Rhine river and followed the cycle path south into Mannheim. It took ages to find my way through the massive confusing city and it was getting dark when I reached one of the marked camping grounds at Unterer Neckar Wörthel. It appeared to be just for residents with fixed holiday homes, but as it was quite dark I pitched my tent on a small square of grass behind a rubbish skip and ate some chocolate for dinner. I hated Mannheim and after 2 shitty days in a row, I felt stretched thin.

From Mannheim, I joined the Neckartelradweg and followed the Neckar valley river. I paused in the gardens of the Gemeinde Edingen-Neckarhausen Bauamt rathaus for a rest.

I cycled through Heidelberg and continued along the Neckar for about 10km. I stayed at the Camping Heidelberg-Neckartal. Like many of the other camping grounds, this one was just opening for the first day of the season. After setting up the tent, I crossed the river to Heidelberg-Ziegelhausen and ordered a pizza. Their Hawaiian pizza had the normal ham and pineapple, but it also had a lot of curry powder all over it. It actually wasn't bad.

One of the towns near Heidelberg is twinned with Cambridge, and another with Baldock.

I continued along the cycle path. It's a very pretty area with a number of castles along the valley.

I had delicious schnitzel rolls for both lunch and dinner.

On the Tuesday night I camped at the Campingplatz Reisachmühle in Neckarsulm, which is a town on the north side of Heilbronn. I walked into the town and bought some food at a large Turkish supermarket. Their slogan was "Something for Everyone", although it might've been more accurate if it was "Something for Everyone as Long as you All Specifically Like Turkish Food".

In Neckarsulm, I cycled along Felix-Wankel-Strasse. He was the inventor of the rotary engine in my old Mazda RX-7.

On the Wednesday, I reached Stuttgart. There is a camping ground near the centre of the city beside a gigantic circus and I stopped there for a rest day.

Sunday 12 April (99km): Kaiserslautern to Mannheim
Monday 13 April (26km): Mannheim to east of Heidelberg
Tuesday 14 April (93km): East of Heidelberg to Neckarsulm
Wednesday 15 April (90km): Neckarsulm to Stuttgart
Thursday 16 April (0km): Rest day

Total distance: 1496km

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