Germany, Iceland, France (& that Bike Race) & England

July, 2005

Germany: Day 1 - All done with mirrors

So it all began as we landed at 06:30 in Frankfurt after we had already had at least 4 hours of very slow sunrise aboard the plane. This of course was unfair because as we approached Frankfurt it became clear it was very overcast and there was no sun to enjoy, though it was a warm 24 degrees and very humid.

Security? No, we just showed our passports and then we were in Europe. The bikes arrived immediately from the plane and the rest of the luggage followed soon after. Some fiddling about and we had our hire car. What fun! Drive on the wrong (that is, the right) side of the road, and in the wrong side of the car. HELP. Keith drove us out of Frankfurt towards Wiesbaden, but it was a very scary time trying to work out all the controls in the car, gear lever in the wrong hand, cars travelling at 160 on the 100 limit road...

We drove around, Fran trying to work out how the map correlated to the actual roads and signs, not a trivial task, and Keith continued to turn the windscreen wipers on every time he had to make a turn or change lanes. We found a nice bakery and had some breakfast, using "point and shoot" communication, though we used one or two words of the local lingo, and the girl at the counter was most pleased to try her English.

Mittagessen was taken at the small cafe in St Goar - Altbier each and Frikadelle mit Brot for Fran and mit Kartoffelnsalat for Keith. Yummy! Supplies were purchased at a small general store, then we took a short time-killing rest in a park, just up the hill from the Rhein.

Photos are:
Inside the main room
bedroom, front verandah

Our abode for the week proved wonderful and while our hostess has no English and we have as good as no German, we can understand her well enough, so everyone is happy.

The bikes had travelled very well so tomorrow (Sunday June 26), weather permitting, we will ride! We have seen many many cyclists here already, and many who dress up in the full clobber as we tend to, so we will not feel too out of place here :-)

We took dinner at the Gasthaus. The publican was Iranian and was really pleased to practice his English with us, which was not really what we wanted, but certainly it made life easier. We ended up with snaps on the house as a result of chatting with him. Spargel mit Snitzel und Hollandaise sauce was the go - Fran had spuds, I had salzkartoffeln (chips).

The afternoon thunderstorm had left a warm mist hanging, but by the time we walked home from the pub the sun was a huge orange disk above the hills. The sun was still up when we decided to end this long day at 21:30.