Monday, July 7, 2008

The Neckar River

Can I take a moment and express my love of German bread? It is undoubtably the best in the world. Bakeries exist in most towns, and each sell several varieties, some deep, dark and grainy, some with leathery crusts and soft aromatic interiors. And rolls coated with a melange of seeds, like poppy, pumpkin, or sunflower. We buy a fresh loaf a day, and each loaf has its own character of the local artisan that produced it. As we left the Black Forest, and rode through fields of grain along the Rhine River, it made me think of all the great bread that those grains would make.

But let´s not forget the beer, with almost as many local flavors as the bread...cold, foamy glasses of it have recently been found on our dinner table. The best was the campground outside of Alpirsbach that gave free beers to arriving campers, from the former monastic brewery just down the street.

We had a couple of hot, humid, flat days getting to the university town of Heidelberg. A very scenic city sitituated on the banks of the Neckar River, we spent a couple of days there, visiting both the Schwetzingen (in pouring rain) and Heidelberg castles.

Unfortuantely, I visited the castle ruins in Heidelberg alone...poor husband had his turn with digestive distress. Please note...five months of traveling plus one water bottle plus seldom washing plus warm weather equals green and red bacteria that will make you ill.

We followed the Neckartal bike trail east along the Neckar River, following all its bends and curved. Clear skies, mild temperatures, great scenery, and flat terrain make for two happy cyclists.

And also elaborate engineered bridge structures, constructed just for a bikes. We do love Germany -- the best bread, beer, and bike trail system in the world.

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Anonymous said...

What a great trip! I think I said that already. But it still looks great. I remember the Bodensee, Rhine Falls, Newschwanstien, Hiedelburg, and the Rhine bike trail. I hope you ride the Rhine near Bacharach so you can tell me if it is as wonderful as I thought it would be. I was on a boat on the river at that time. How about the MOsel? Are you going to ride along the Mosel? Some great wine country there. I bought a bicycle in Trier once as a gift for one of my grand-kids.

Thanks for the memories.

Jim Williams

Anonymous said...

What fun to see your Heidelberg pics. I spent a week there in college with a family who were friends with one of the girls in my group. It brings back memories. The pics are beautiful. It sounds like you are having a wonderful trip!

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