A Travellerspoint blog

Back to Germany and experiencing the local hospitality

Kembs to Freiburg

sunny 30 °C
View Tandem tales on darrenhough1974's travel map.

We wake to a little fog and lots of dew. The temperature is the coolest it’s been for awhile. There's a fair bit of condensation inside the tent flysheet and dew outside. We chamois the inside and out before letting it dry in the sun and then taking it down. Meanwhile, we make coffee and muesli. Pack and are on the road by 10:30am.

Today we cycle to Freiburg. We are staying with warm showers hosts that Kim has organised.

Really nice cycling along canals paths between villages.
We stop at Ottmarsheim for a coffee and cake at a little boulangerie next to the town square and church.
A couple of Swiss guys who are on a week long bike tour also stop. Their gear is minimalist and super lightweight... totally the opposite to us. We are slightly jealous.
Cross the river at Neuenburg am Rhein before cycling through crops, vineyards and fruit trees. I'm tempted to eat apples and plums straight off the tree beside the path. Kim the goody two shoes says that's stealing from the farmer. So we just admire the fruit as we pass. Not far from Freiburg, Kim spots a little hut with a vending machine. There are all sorts of farm produce in it. We buy a litre of fresh apple juice. It tastes so so good.
We are a little early to meet our hosts for tonight when we get to town, so we decide to cycle around a little to get a feel for the place. We like it immediately.
This doesn't change even when we are stopped by police for cycling in a no cycle zone between 9-8pm. The cop is respectfully informing us, rather than looking to fine us...and we are not alone. We see him stop several other cyclists as we push Polly along a narrow footpath...taking up more space, inconveniencing pedestrians, forcing them on the road...since we can not get on and off the curb easily.
Kim is hangry. She needs food before we get to our hosts. The sugar rush from the juice has run out and she needs food NOW. We manage to find a supermarket. Hunger placated, we make our way to our hosts place, still a few kms away.

Our Warm showers hosts are Stefanie and Simon. They have done lots of cycle touring, so know what you feel like at the end of a ride day. Hot, sweaty, thirsty. They quickly show us around, and let us freshen up.

We are staying in their guest room and bathroom. So fortunate to have our own space.

Once cleaned up Simon offers us an Aperol spritz to toast to new friends. A great reason to celebrate, but we have another - we have just calculated that today we cracked 5,000kms! Indeed a great reason to celebrate they agree.

We exchange travel stories on their balcony as we watch the sun go down behind the Black Forest which borders the hills around their house.

Stefanie makes us an amazing fish stew on rice for dinner. It's delicious and full of vegetables. It's so nice to sit at a dinner table and chat. They have had over 200 warm showers guests and have lots of interesting stories to tell.

Stefanie asks our plans to tomorrow and says we are welcome to stay another night if we wish. Just let them know in the morning. There is a high chance we will!

Bed before 9pm.

Tuesday 5 - Freiburg - rest day

Our alarm goes off at 6:30am for our run. We are not ready to get up so we snooze until 7am. We both had a great night sleep and don’t want it to end!

Simon and Stefanie are in the kitchen and we chat for a bit before we go. We let them know we would love to stay another night.

From their house it’s an easy jog into the city centre. We pass vineyards, beautiful old houses and canals. The city is still waking up so the streets are empty and quiet - just how we like them. We have the cobbled lanes to ourselves.
Several of the street in the old town have clean spring water constantly running in the gutters. Stefanie tells us later that legend has it that if you fall into one of these you will marry a local. Also, some are deep enough that you can sit on the road or path and dangle your toes in the cool water, something the locals often do outside a pub while enjoying a beer after work in the summer.
Our run takes us to Munsterplatz, one of several town squares. The center of the square is dominated by Freiburger Münster Cathedral. Building started on it in 1200 AD in Romanesque style but in 1230 as construction continued the upper portion was built in Gothic style. The spire is 116m tall, it's hollow and quite stunning. Construction was completed 130 years after it started. Imagine working on a project you know you will never see completed. Luckily it was not damaged by bombing during the war...many buildings close by were.

We wander in briefly and hear someone playing the pipe organ. Perfect for taking in the incredible stained glass windows.
Around the cathedral a farmers market is setting up for the day. The buildings surrounding Munsterplatz are just beautiful.
Coffee shops are starting to open. We stop outside one but Kim thinks the coffee won’t be very good. A local overhears us and confirms it. She tells us of her two favourite coffee shops. We head to the closet one. It is at the base of one of the towns gates - Martinstor. She was right the coffee is really good!
It's time for breakfast so we jog back and enjoy a late breakfast on the balcony with another coffee. Simon joins us for a tea break. Spend the day researching our next week and blogging.

In the afternoon Simon invites us to cycle into town with to a beer garden that overlooks the city. Kim is not keen on drinking then cycling home. So instead we take city bikes in and then we can walk home.

On the way we pass people lounging and swimming in the river at the fish ladders. These were built to help migrating fish like salmon get upstream past a weir to spawn, but have become a local attraction in summer as a great place to cool off.
We meet Stefanie at another of the town gates - Schwabentor.
Then climb the hill to the Beer garden. The views over the city at sunset are superb. More fun chats with our hosts..
Currywurst for dinner, then an ice cream for the walk home. What a great day!


Days cycled - 101
Rest days - 53
Distance cycled - 61.3km (5028.7km)
Ascent - 380m (Total 45510m)
Descent - 360 (Total 45230m)
Money Spent - $28 + $105 AUD (Total $17619 AUD)

Posted by darrenhough1974 00:00 Archived in Germany

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