The option of reaching Köln 5 days after Strasbourg was a realistic one. We had taken into account that it might be better to take a train home there in order to be back in time for the great flower show (Bloemencorso) in Zundert, our native village. But it didn’t happen that way.We left Strasbourg in quite good weather and reached Lauterbourg in the afternoon. It’s the last litlle French town before the German border. Again we were confronted with the emptiness of the French countryside: we had to go on till this place, because in all the villages before there were no shops where we could buy food. There were some camp sites, but what do you do on a campsite when you have nothing to eat? Lauterbourg is a beautiful and well kept place, with shops! So there we camped. The next day we rode into Germany (no visible border). At a certain point we were joined by a man who rode up with us for a couple of hours. He was a “leidenschaftlicher” cyclist from Pforzheim and he was just making a day’s tour to Speyer and back, over 150 kms. He was a retired person, we had a rear wind and we talked a lot. Before we noticed we reached Speyer, where we paused together and where he turned his bike into the same direction as we had come and off he was. It was a nice and interesting encounter.
We bought our foood for the evening and started out for a camp site. Our map showed a number of them not far after Speyer. They appeared to be permanent caravan camps, not equipped for travellers. At last we found one that could accommodate us, but the facilities and the atmosphere was so bad that I consider it the worst camp site ever. Our tent was on a small field under the trees, and it started raining again. During the night there was a heavy thunderstorm and in the morning the whole place was a big pool of mud. I have to mention that our small Vaudé tent kept us dry again, good job for a over 15-year old much used trekking tent. We were glad to leave and although it rained on and off we made good progress. But we had heard the weather forecast on our small world radio. Heavy rains were expected, not only this day, but also the following days. When we reached Worms at about 13.00 it was pouring so hard that we made the decision to see if we could find a train home. How much sense is there in riding homewards in the rain for 5 days or more? The Hauptbahnhof was not far and before 14.00 we were in a train to Venlo (four changes), where we arrived just before 21.00 hrs. To make it short, we reached home at 22.30. End of our European summer tour.
Although the weather was not very good during the last weeks we look back on a very nice tour of a good 2600 kms, many times in very beautiful landscapes and cities and with many nice encounters along the way.
Click here for all pictures:
The tracks from Strasbourg to Worms:
Lauterbourg – Waldsee:
Waldsee – Worms (end of cycling):