Day Twenty Five: Remagen-Kripp to Kobern-Gondorf: (Year 25: 1992) - Grampies Go 50 for 50 - CycleBlaze

October 15, 2017

Day Twenty Five: Remagen-Kripp to Kobern-Gondorf: (Year 25: 1992)

Flash Back to 1992:

Twenty five years really went by quickly for us. If you think of it as a few years to get going, then a decade to start some kids and raise them a bit, and one more decade to see some leave home, then in no time it's 25 years. That is, time flies when you are having fun.

Our 25th anniversary. It seemed easier to actually live these years than to go through and find this darn photo!
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Dodie is one of the gentlest people there are. She gave hockey a try, but it is not really a game for "Excuse me" and "Oh, did you fall down?"
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Dodie the active hockey player is a bit of a contrast to Steve the active farmer!
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With the kids in hockey and now Dodie too, this classic Canadian sport was important in the family. Stompin' Tom Connors expressed it for us:

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Flash Forward to 2017, Germany:

Despite all the strange running around after our two old lady guides looking for a hotel, we had landed up in the classical hotel facing the Rhine, and this time with a great room facing the river. It was easy to step out on the balcony and check out the boats moving in the dark, or by morning, the boats moving in the fog.

With a hotel like this we anticipated a great traditional German breakfast, and we were not disappointed. In fact it got me to thinking just exactly what is the complete list of things you could or should find at such a breakfast. So for example, while I thought the hotel in Dusseldorf had everything, this morning I could see that their selection of soft cheeses had been deficient. Similarly - no fresh watermelon or pineapple. What is this country coming to?

But then again, though today's hotel had watermelon and pineapple, there was no hot bacon, though there was bacon like stuff in the cold selection.

I guess I would have to concede that we have not yet hit the hotel that truly has everything. We will just have to keep searching!

The Rhine from our balcony by night
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The Rhine in the morning - it will be a rough start
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A selection of soft cheeses. This is the serving plate, not my plate!
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Those excellent German seeded buns!
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Fresh watermelon and pineapple are a little unusual
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Our Rhine-side hotel
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Typical Rhine-side hotels, should generally be easy to find.
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When we got outside the temperature was 13.5 and showing promise for rising rapidly. But in fact it turned around and went to 10.5, and we had a brisk head wind and heavy mist. So that brought out our warmer clothes. But it was fine, and we still remarked that we had lots of (too much) backup warm stuff still in the bags.

The path was beautiful at this time too, with lots of Fall leaves and tilled over fields. We plowed along quote happily. Slowly though the day changed and in a couple of hours the warm layers were coming off. We ended in shirtsleeves. It was great fall weather.

We started out with a picturesque bridge over a tributary
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Perfect Fall pathway
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Look Kathleen Classen, Dodie is also a pretty yellow rider!
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Where we are and where are not going - the Rhine south of Koblenz is probably the nicest part. But we will turn away and head up the Mosel, which is even nicer!
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Our immediate target was Koblenz, the place where the Mosel enters the Rhine, and the site of the Deutches Eck - the corner where the waters of the Mosel hang a left and head down the Rhine. The "Eck" is actually at the right bank of the Mosel, the side that has the main city of Koblenz. At the Eck you can see first and foremost tourists. Some are congratulating themselves at having reached this point, and probably most have simply piled off the long tour boats that dock along the Rhine and along the Mosel in this vicinity.

We were in the first category, of course, so we got someone to snap our celebratory photo.

Grampies return to the Deutches Eck
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Also at the Eck is a giant equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I. In the times we have been here before I always fail to get a good shot of this statue, because of the backlighting. This time I think it came out a little better, for what it's worth.

From the Deutches Eck you can look across to a fortress over the Rhine, or go there on a cable car.
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Wilhelm I - I try a photo every time
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We then embarked on our next traditional Eck challenge - pushing through the tourists to get on with the cycling. I seem to remember Dodie scattering them a bit more than this time, but they remain as thick as ever.

It was not long before we were free, and free to remember that the Mosel is (in our opinion) the number one primo cycling spot there is. The river winds in a series of tight turns, each harbouring quaint towns, and the hills covering in vines. While the Netherlands is a place where the bicycle is king for the everyday business of life, the Mosel is the place where the bicycle is king for tourism. To see the vines and the towns properly, you really need a bike.

Usually I have the "cartoon" map of the Mosel, but not this time. To cut down whining I got this postcard, which illustrates the many towns on the twisting river.
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So it was we got our first view of what would be the ever present vines, and we also came to a fruit stand that we remember. In the right season pilfering a few grapes from the vines is fun, to sample the "terroire". At the fruit stand they were for sale, so a good opportunity to legally check them out. Somehow instead we chose (admittedly also local) apples and plums.

One of the first of those endless cute villages was Winningen. There, people were out in force among the quaint buildings, sitting at cafes. I like to take photos of such crowded scenes to show all the lively fun. But there can be an annoying component to so much activity - being the impossibility of find a spot - a table - in it for oneself. We saw that in Bonn, and it would have been the same here had we wanted to stop.

One thing I was able to buy was some sunglasses. My ones from the dollar store back home had snapped within days, suggesting that at least in sunglasses you get what you pay for. I chose these new ones only because they were blue, showing that I have not learned much of anything about buying sunglasses. Interestingly the lady in the shop spoke no English at all. That ability you would think important to sell sunglasses to a street of international tourists.

Hooray, we are back on the Mosel!
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The famous fruit stand
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Into the vines on the banks of the Mosel
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Nice, but try finding a table here.
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Steve with his new blue sunglasses
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Parasail fans must find good updrafts around the Mosel valley
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Our hotel in Kobern-Gondorf
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First eis cups this trip!
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The town square - Kobern
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Nice architectural touches in the buildings at Kobern. All the roofs are slate.
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Today's ride: 62 km (39 miles)
Total: 592 km (368 miles)

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