New Connections in Colmar + Entering Germany with Pascal - The Long Journey East - CycleBlaze

July 20, 2022 to July 22, 2022

New Connections in Colmar + Entering Germany with Pascal

Shared breakfast with Nadége (another very French meal of bread and cheese) and tried some of her delicious homemade fruit kefir. Another easy day planned I set off towards Colmar along the cycle path. I have found it hard to fit in a full rest day as I'd need somewhere to stay for 2 nights but I feel having 2 half days is just as good. Was loving the cycling infrastructure in Strasbourg and how so many people cycle to work. I wish more cities in the uk had cycle paths everywhere, I'm sure this will help with the climate crisis and the crazily hot weather we've had the last week.

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Good way to get around
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Met a group of 3 older bike tourists heading towards Colmar too so we chatted about our journeys and I headed off Infront. The ride was a little boring along the canal path but very easy so I put in my earphones and the time flew by until I reached colmar at mid day. I even got a response from another warm showers host living in colmar so we arranged to meet later, I am feeling very spoilt right now.

Bath time
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Colmar was really architecturally beautiful, it felt like walking though a fairytale - similar to Strasbourg's "Petite France". I found it hard to really enjoy it though because of how touristy it was. I later met Annika, she was just starting a trip cycling from Strasbourg to Southern France. We ended up getting caught in a thunderstorm and hiding under an archway so we spoke for some time. She was looking for a place to stay so I asked my host if theses room for one more which he was very happy with.

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I smell a storm coming
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We headed over to the outskirts of town to meet my host Jean-Phillipe, an adventurous traveler who has cycled over much of the world and spent a lot of time living in different cultures. Staying with JP was John and Pascal, his mother was also visiting who was very sweet. John was a British traveler cycling a similar route to me with a final destination of Georgia! It was exciting meeting somebody with similar intentions of exploration and adventure and we planned to meet up later in the trip. Pascal was a German cyclist at the end of his two week trip to the south of France, another place I now want to visit, there just isn't enough time to go everywhere. Together we cooked up a delicious meal and shared it around the table where we got to know eachother better.

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Who wants a car in their garage anyway?
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I loved hearing about JP's adventures and found them very inspirational, he gave me some great recommendations for routes. He highly recommended traveling though southern Czechia, hiking in the mountains in Slovakia and then though Romania too, just have to watch out for the bears... I was also swayed to take a southern route though Turkey as this is far more beautiful and I can enjoy fresh pomegranates if I make it by autumn! He had great things to say about Georgia too after spending a whole winter there once.

Day 11

No one was in a rush to get off so we all ate breakfast in the sun and spoke some more, JP showered us some photo books from his travels, the mountains in Georgia looked so incredible! It is a long way to go until then but the region's in Czechia, Slovakia and Romania looked equally stunning.

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Something to look forward to
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After some goodbyes we split into twos and headed different ways. Annika and John cycled together along the rest of the wine route down to Basel and Pascal and I linked up to cycle towards Freiburg where I could stay with him and his friends.

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Worth the little detour
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Entering into Freiburg
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We were starving by the time we got to Freiburg and soon devoured some food before meeting Pascal's friends. They reminded me of a German version of my climbing friendgroup and even set up a 30m slackline which I spent a while on.

The next morning I took the train with Pascal to a beautiful spot in the Black Forest looking over Schluch lake. A swim in the lake was very welcome after the long walk, as was the fat slice of black forest gateau we were both dreaming of. It was nice change to have a full day off the bike and explore somewhere by foot. Leaning German with Pascal was enjoyable too, I found it a lot easier than French so hoping to do a better job with this over the next couple of weeks here.

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The tourist hat clearly not providing enough shade
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Today's ride: 125 km (78 miles)
Total: 812 km (504 miles)

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