Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 1, 2015

Away from the Weser.

swiftsBy the next morning, Jozef wasn’t feeling too good and so it was good that we were having a short day. We headed west from Brake and across country towards Jade and then on to Varel and into Dangast.

It was great to see Carole looking so well. She had cycled 13 miles and us 31.  She had told the reception we would be arriving but there was a bit of confusion as her German isn’t too hot and the campsite man’s English was no better, However, he was surprised when I got there  and spoke to him in German. He even gave me free passes to the  swimming pool but we didn’t use them.

In the campsite amenities block there were swifts nesting and we were lucky to see then fledge before we left.IMG_1538

We put up the tent and the extension despite the strong winds , and as it rained it was just as well as we had somewhere for us all to sit.

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You can see the fabric being pushed in by the wind but it kept us dry. We made pasta and chicken for our evening meal but I managed to drop some of it. duh! We were all tired and so had an early night. I awoke and thought it was morning when in fact it was only 10.40pm. However, I was up at 5.00am next morning for a shower feeling well.

There is so much bird life around here and there were small birds perching on and around our bikes.

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Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 1, 2015

Down the River Weser ( part 5)

The ride into Bremen was really the point of this trip as about 50 years ago , I made exchange visits with other youngsters of the German Life Saving society , the DLRG and I wanted to see the sights again. It was unfortunately cold and grey but I was pleased to see a new DLRG station at Stadtwerder.

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I had very fond memories of the old place which was a wooden hut but times change. We found our way into the city centre and took photos at the Roland statue and the Bremerstadtmusikanten.

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As I recall  the Roland statue was unpainted back then and the animal statue has been put onto a much higher plinth. But memories can always be false so I may not have it correct.

Again. as is usual finding our way out of the city was confusing and to add to it, the rain came down in torrents so on went the waterproofs. Eventually , we got onto the right track but the headwind was again tiring. We phoned our friend Carole who is cycling the North Sea Cycle route to see where she had got too. We decided to meet up at a campsite in Dangast but by the time we got up to Brake, we realised it was too far.  No nearby campsite so we decided to look for a B and B and had to turn back a little ways. Eventually, we me a couple of local cyclists who recommended the Harrier Hof hotel. They offered an apartment with breakfast for 80E so we took it and had dinner there too. Again I had to make a trip to an ATM machine.

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 1, 2015

Down the River Weser (part 4)

I was feeling quite tired and so we had a bit later start and the weather was bright but with another strong northerly headwind.

The landscape is fairly flat here and featureless but still with fields full of ripening grains and potatoes and some haymaking. We followed the signs for Hoya but ended up in a sand quarry and had to turn back and take a ferry across the river. We stopped at a church where the organ was being repaired to refill our water bottles and were  surprised to see Karol from the Netherlands who we have seen a number of times on this trip. He also had to take the ferry just behind us. This ferry is at Schweringen and cost 1E each to cross.

We carried on to Hoya and stopped for supplies. It seemed strange to me that in both the Netherlands and Germany, no shops or businesses will take Visa cards and MasterCard seems to be the preferred option. The only way to use a Visa card is to withdraw cash from an ATM machine.

We called into tourist information in Verden before starting the little bit of climbing from here. There are quite a few old windmills in the area as well as a lot of wind  turbines and I was surprised at how much opposition to them there is in Germany. I suppose this also shows that there must be a fairly constant wind in the area.

We sat and picnicked just outside of Achim in a lovely sheltered spot near the river and it surprised us just how strong the  wind had become. I saw a lady with s bicycle sitting knitting so stopped to have a word with her.

From Achim to Thedinghausen, the route circles the village and goes a long way around to reach the main road and then we saw a campsite sign Fährhaus. We realised we were off the route a little but decided to try it as after 50 miles into the headwind I was for stopping.

We had to phone to get onto the site as it was very quite but a chap looks after it who lives in the site. he came across to let us in and we spent a nice night here, talking to another German cyclist who was making a solo trip up to Denmark.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 1, 2015

Down the Weser River (part 3)

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We left the site at about 7.30am on 14th June 2015  and although not cold , the sky was grey and overcast and we passed Bad Oyenhausen and on into Minden. It was only here that we began to see litter on the tracks which had become much less well cared for.

The hills were soon behind us and we were then crossing the North German Plain with a fairly strong headwind and the track meandered away from the river which made for confusion as the signage was also poor compared to the upper Weser.

Naturally, Minden was shut at 8.30am but I would have expected the bus station toilets to be open. No , well and truly shut. The signage just on the outskirts on Minden was a nightmare. We were following the route to Petershagen but it took us almost an hour to find the route over 2 huge aqueducts.  The short section both before and after the aqueduct was really bad and needed to be walked for safety.

Continuing from there, we continued down river on through Petershagen and onto Stolzenau for a picnic lunch. However, it was quite chilly so we weren’t hanging about and were soon off through Neinburg and off to another watersports campsite at Drakenburg. The showers here were really good.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 30, 2015

Down the River Weser (part 2)

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Holzminden in the early morning was peaceful with a beautiful sky but the forecast wasn’t for fair weather so we got packed up and put on waterproofs but it didn’t really amount to much at that stage.

By 8.30am , we had covered nearly 20 miles and stopped in Bodenwerder the home of the infamous storyteller Baron Von Munchausen.

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We stopped for 2nd breakfast  but it was too early for the museum though.

We carried on and as the morning progressed , the weather improved and the waterproofs came off and we went into Hameln of Pied Piper fame. There was a guy dressed up and doing a guided tour but I was distracted by a sign about a womens breakfast- free!! Well what is a girl to do? I went off to investigate and there was a multifaith/cultural event to support a local refuge for women who experience violence in the home.

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As we left Hameln, the cloud came over and it was a bit cooler but still warm enough to ride bare armed. We carried on to Rinteln and had something else to eat at about 2.30pm but had also had cake at the womens meeting. We decided to stock up on supplies and a man on his bicycle took us to the supermarket area which had a number of different stores. We used Lidl as the closest.

We carried on to Eisbergen and then Molenbeck and got caught up in a triathlon meet, We were jokingly asked where our numbers were. We ended up in Holtrup and managed to get a pitch at the local watersports club, after being told it wasn’t a campsite. it had been a long da so I was just thankful for a pitch but their facilities were very good.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 30, 2015

Down the River Weser (part 1)

Hann Münden is a lovely old city situated at the confluence of the rivers Fulda and Weira and has lots of lovely old buildings but not picture postcard pretty

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We spent the day having a wander around, stocking up on supplies and just resting up.

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but it is in the process of being remodelled and a new bridge is being installed.  We made contact with a few other cycle tourists and a couple were using the Weser Radweg to cycle up to Munich. Apparently, the prevailing wind here is from the north West and proved to be true as we had a headwind for weeks.

On our wander around , we came across some bikes covered in knitting or crochet so of course I have to include them.

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I also couldn’t resist buying a ball of sock wool from one of the shops. Well others have vices like cigarettes or alcohol – not me – its fabric or fibre every time.

So we set off  little after 8.00am , as the campsite was locked until then. That didn’t sit well with DH as he is an early riser and likes to be on the road before traffic builds. Almost immediately, we lost the route signs and ended up on the outskirts of town in an industrial/shopping area. Fortunately, we were able to get down to the river  and from here the scenery was beautiful. However, don’t think its all downhill, it isn’t but the first climb was a bit of a surprise and was one of those short but were steep hills that leaves me needing to stop at the top. Actually, I took the opportunity to help a single lady to push her bike up.

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There are forest covered hills on both sides of the river and fields growing barley, wheat and sweetcorn. The air was sweet with the smell of drying meadow hay. There is a small village of Hemeln  which had lots of houses in the typical north German brick and wood style, a bit like Tudor houses. The lady waiting to take the ferry turned back as the ferryman told her that this side of the river is much nicer.

We carried on at Gieselwerder asked some locals as the map indicated to cross the river. They told us to go straight on which probably wasn’t correct. The heat of the day increased to in excess of 30C which is just too much for me. We stopped to sightsee in Höxter before carrying on to Holzminden.

We stayed at our cheapest campsite yet at 6E but had to pay for showers and water and we were pitched right by the side of the river on a bit of a sloping site. it wasn’t too far from the town so getting supplies was easy.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 11, 2015

Across Germany

  After leaving the area of the Ems river, the land started to become a little hillier but the cycle ways were still very good.Mostly it was down into the Paderborn area and British Military still has a presence here. Actually we heard machine gun fire and saw helicopters flying in formation.

  1. The climb out of Paderborn came as a bit of a shock to the system after so much flat riding but I was pleased to manage it. Then we lost the way  for a while and cycled on a road which was well marked and didn’t have too much traffic. That was into Dahl and then to Schwaney mostly on well marked tracks and into a small hill age if Neuenheerse. We were hoping to keep to local cycle routes  but kept missing signs. It isn’t so well marked here . We found our way down a main route. Still feeling safe as drivers are very careful and spotted a Lidl at Rimsbeck. We called in there fir supplies and asked about camping. Need to change my German accent down here and ask for Kempingplatz. So it was on to Warburg where we met a Dutch cycle tourer who told us were the site was. Very nice facilities but most expensive yet at 17euro.  

From Warburb, it was a tough day with lots of climbing but good descents as well to be fair. For someone younger , it would not be a problem.  We set out along a nice level path into Wormeln alongside the river Diemel. We stopped to buy nail clippers at a pharmacy and she gave us free sugary sweets too – impressed we had cycled from England. Then it was down to Volkmarsen, eheingen and a long drag up but a mile ride freewheel into Nothfelden. At this point I have to say we had already made the climb but into a wood going nowhere  so it was done twice on different roads. 

  1. Then it was across to Wenigenhasungen , all little places off the tourist routes  at Habichtswald, we list the way a bit and I got a bit stroppy – a hot day and too little water – so we decided to ride the main road into Kassel . Good descision as a lot was on off road tracks until the last long descen into this 1950’s city . There were lots of roadworks going on but we were allowed through and a couple of kind men helped us negotiate the city .

The cycle track up to Fuldatal us being replaced so we road on a very quiet road until there. Another man advised camping in Hann Munden and so here  we are having a rest day before starting on the Weser radweg. 582 miles so far

Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 8, 2015

Into Germany

Saturday 6th June

On Friday , we had difficulty finding a campsite and a very helpful chap took us to one outside of Lette near Coesfeld. Unfortunately, it was very rundown and wouldn’t take tents and after a bit of a run around we got a much nicer site in another nearby site. We had been told they didn’t take tents but decided to try anyway.

Next day. We took a wrong turn and ended up going the wrong way but we had bought a map and so were ableto negotiate a way to Munster. The cycle ways are great and it’s fairly obvious that Germany is taking cycling as a wAy of life, very seriously . Many many people both old and young ride e-bikes and they seem to be less expensive than in the UK. Supply and demand I suppose.

We wanted to buy more maps in Munster but the tourist information closed and it was now 1.20 pm.  Still we found a great bookshop with very helpful staff and I was able to get some guide books ( German only) and a good map . With this we picked up the Ems cycle way and were able to get to Sassenburg. 

 

This is a bridge in Telgte and there are hundreds of locks some inscribed and others just written on. 

In Warendrof another kind man helped us on our way to find a very nice site , Heidewald on the outskirts of Sassenburg.

After 8 days on the road, a rest day was called for. So that’s what we did and even had lunch out.  The weather was still lovely but not so hot as Thursday . We enjoyed the rest but it was followed by an early start today  , on the road by 6.15am.

  1. First of all we started off along woodland tracks and then along very quiet country roads with very little traffic in he direction of Beelen to start with and had our first stop in Marienfeld at about 9am having cycled about 20 miles. From there to Guttersloh and then to Hovelhof where we turned north to go to the source of the river Ems.
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  3. We are now camped up near Schloss Holte and will  continue south towards Kassel. Enjoying our trip 
Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 4, 2015

Cycling by numbers 

Today, it has been a bit like that , progressing from one  numbered point to another.

We stayed on a bit of a grotty site last night  near Velp and it hasn’t got a lot going for it. Relatively Expensive , noisy and poor facilities , however it was in the right place . So we set off about 8.30am after a chilly night. The sun wS shining but we didn’t feel the warmth surrounded by the forest. It was good to be on the road, if only for the the warmth. 

Today we followed the Issel for most of the morning  passing through Rheden and around a lake. 

 

We then found our way to Wehl by a circuitous route. We worked out the numbers to follow and wrote them down  but it was easy to miss the little green signs . So we made a number of “detours”. It has taken us through beautifully cultivated farm land and there are a lot if horses., cows, sheep and lamas of all things.

These green routes are very picturesce but not too direct , however, we are now camped just outsideLintelo near Aalten. It’s a mini camping site but such a contrast to last night. Great facilities and it has a spinner so was able to do a bit of hand washing and got it dried.  If you are in the area  ‘t Nieuw heegt is well worth a visit. 48 miles today  

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 3, 2015

Up the Rhine without a paddle

For this summers adventure , we set off from home on Saturday 30 May 2015 and cycled down through York. We stopped at the Trust Hut and bought some home made goodies. 

 

So glad it is still there. Then we went on to Riccall and stayed with Mr and Mrs Swann at South Newlands camp site. Peggy was pleased to see us and remembered us from previous visits.

During the night, rain lashed down and the wind blew but we were determined to get on. We cycled into Selby and went to church before continuing along to Hull on the TransPennine Trail. While it wasn’t raining much, it was cold and blustery. This is nearly summer!!!!

Still we got to Hull and eventually found the terminal for ferries to Europe. What a nightmare that was. It has been moved so follow the trail out towards Hornsea.

We had a bit of a struggle getting our booking changed due to computer problems, so we weren’t charged the extra. Result.

Treated ourselves to dinner and breakfast- all you can eat buffet. Yum yum.

Monday wasn’t too bad in terms of getting along the cycle ways but as the day went on , the weather deteriorated and became very wet and cold due to the wind. We have been following tracks up the Rhine mainly andsurprisingly, it was windier near the river.

Tuesday, just got worse and it wS blowing a hoolie.     The phrase mad dogs and Englishmen came to mind only this wasn’t sun. However , we have found the campsites very good.

This morning Wednesday, dawned bright and we had  a late start leaving the campsite at 9.15am. We are continuing to follow the Rhine and came up through Arnhem and are now camped on the east side of the city. Why are cities so difficult to get through? So far we have completed 265 miles 

 

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