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

July, 2005

Germany: Day 6

After the big thunderstorms of last night we were surprised to be woken by bright sunshine. Unfortunately it was also too windy for cycling and the possibility of more rainy stuff seemed high. What to do? Have breakfast, that's always a good plan. We did. We read our books a bit too.

Decision made, we grabbed a backpack, loaded it with water bottles and the SLR camera and took off on foot to the track form Wilpertskopf. We had to find out where it went. As it turned out it was a not too difficult walk to Hirzenach down on the river. This town was visible from Wilpertskopf so getting right down there was great. We wandered around taking photos and being tourists. On the way down we found a baby bird, presumably fallen from its nest.

Photos: view of Hirzenach from the trail
Across and up the Rhein
The opposite bluff
Barges negatiating the corner

Approached by an elderly gentleman who just wanted a chat we declared that we did not speak german. I could not catch his reply but I was certain he did not believe us, and he just kept talking on and on. We gleaned that much of it was about the walking trails of the Hunsrück and Rhein, and suspected some nostalgia for the old days, when he hadn't needed two hearing aids. It was a shame our german was not up to it because I think we could have learned much from him. He wandered up the street a little further and chatted with a lady exiting her house. We turned back for the climb home. Its a big climb, but the track is mostly gradual and most of it is well maintained and even suitable for smaller vehicles.

Photos: view down river
Hirzenach as we get closer
baby bird
the main street of Hirzenach

We took lunch in St Goar (drove down) - excellent food indeed. Keith had Sauerkraut, Kartoffeln u Bratwurst, and Fran had Matjes herring in a creamy sauce. Of course this was followed by Eis! Then coffee, the first decaf we had been able to find.

Up the plaza we found an internet cafe and did some routine mailbox clearing and shot off one or two important emails. Then we visited the Metzgerei and bought some Frikadellen, then across the street to the "mini market" and bought some veges, cheese, wine, and of course Bier!

The afternoon was rest time. We read our books and just "hung about". The Gasthaus seemed a good thing to visit, but on the way up the road we were sidetracked by an English gentleman with whom we had a good conversation. So good in fact that he invited us back to his house for some hefe bier. His German wife spoke some English also and we sat down to talk about many things. He had just written a book about Fourier Transforms... so he and Fran had Mathematics as another common language.

After several hours (and biers), and having learned much, we made our way back to the house and Fran cooked our dinner.

Photos: shared vegetable anf fruit garden
window box