Dollnstein - Beilngries: Castles on Limestone Cliffs - Spring Tour in Bavaria 2009 - CycleBlaze

April 8, 2009

Dollnstein - Beilngries: Castles on Limestone Cliffs

Beautiful bike path in the Altmühl Valley, and not a cyclist far and wide
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We are on one of the most popular German bike paths. Cyclists have been well provided for: There are plenty of places to sleep, the quality of the hotels is good. So far we have paid between 50 and 55 € for a double room with breakfast, which is not expensive for Germany. The best thing is there are hardly any other cyclists out yet. It's too early in the season. This morning, though, we spot a couple on folding bikes headed in the other direction.

Hallo, hallo, folding bikes! We stop but they continue on. I thought seeing other tourers on folders was occasion enough to stop for a short chat. We stand there expectantly and eventually they do stop and wait for us to pedal over.

Now, could that happen to you in, say, the USA? What I miss is the spontaneous 'Hi, I see you have folding bikes, too', or something like that. They just looked perplexed, why were we flagging them down, what did we want of them? Or had they just had a domestic spat this morning and didn't feel communicative?

But it wouldn't be fair to generalize and only look for confirmation of clichés, the cliché being Germans are stiff and unspontaneous. The next touring cyclists we see, also Germans, stop and say, 'Hi, wow, what kind of bikes do you have?'

Generally, when children see us riding by on our little wheels they point and laugh, their parents either ignore us or give us a quizzical look. However, when cyclists coming up from behind see us they feel challenged. They step on the gas, figuratively speaking, and feel it is a matter of honor to pass.

Me on my funny little bike
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Charmaine RuppoltYep, I call my Bike Friday a "circus bike". :)
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3 months ago
Janos is bigger, which makes it even funnier
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Our next stop is in Eichstätt. It has an Italian Baroque style old town and interesting museums, which we don't visit. Here you will miss the Medieval look characteristic of other old towns in the area. Three quarters of the town was destroyed in the middle of the 17th century during the Thirty Years' War.

The Altmühl as it flows through Eichstätt
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Vegetable market in Eichstätt
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As we leave Eichstätt we see that the Altmühl had flooded not too long ago
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We pass many medieval castles set on limestone cliffs
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More limestone outcroppings
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Here I must contradict what I wrote earlier in the day. In Beilngries, our destination for the day, the hotels are on the whole much more expensive. The town has devoted itself to "wellness" tourism which means the hotels offer saunas, swimming pools and enormous breakfasts as part of the price. We are fortunate to find a hotel not quite so posh, but to remain competetive, very well run and "tastefully appointed" I think is the term.

Today's ride: 66 km (41 miles)
Total: 275 km (171 miles)

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