Day 59:Bohringen to Tuttlingen, Germany: Where Babies Come From - Grampies on the Go - Again! - CycleBlaze

July 17, 2012

Day 59:Bohringen to Tuttlingen, Germany: Where Babies Come From

We packed up happily at covered tables, a favourite, even if it is not raining. We returned to Bohringen, straining our brains to remember how we got in to the campingplatz in the first place. Dodie's knee had coming up painful after the night, and we were actually glad of a chance to pedal gently and semi-aimlessly through the "suburbs" of the little town.

We are keenly aware that joint problems could end our trip quickly, and we have jumped on any twinges with Ibuprofen and remembering to use lower gears. By mid-day Dodie's problem had worked itself out - so we were still in business!

When we did dawdle into downtown, we were surprised to find that this is clearly where babies come from (at least the better manufactured/German engineered ones). Storks were poised, ready to make deliveries. Clearly they were not trifling, but had industrial grade equipment.

Sabrina and Josh - maybe yours will come from here?

Our favourite piece of camping equipment
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Where babies come from: Bohringen, Germany
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Industrial grade stork equipment
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This weird severe building housed a diving equipment company outside Singen
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Bikeway signage continues to give us problems. In Germany (unlike England) the problem is almost a surplus not a shortage of signs. There are scads of them, some referring to routes you have heard of and some to routes you have not. Whole snowdrifts of them are devoted to walkers, not bikers, and while these may be a bit useful, they can also lead you over mountains or along tracks and ditches. A common problem is signs that seems to lead you in (large) circles. It's hard to say exactly what our beef is, because once we somehow solve a puzzle we just desperately move on, rather than backtracking to see exactly what the trick was.

So it was that we were stopped in Singen, gazing at signs and scratching our heads, when Reinhard glided up on his bike. He lead us on a windy route that ended at ... his house! Actually, his house is on our proper route. He is lucky to have such a bikeway just beside him. Reinhard invited us in, and there we met his wife, step daughter, and grand daughter.

Lost (as usual) in Singen, Reinhard came up and said in perfect English "Can I help you". Yes!
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Lilly and Ina
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Reinhard and Hildegard
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We were plied with fresh coffee and buns, sausage, cheeses, and fruit. After all this, when offered more, I said "SURE!" Never offer food to a cyclist unless you have lots! (Reinhard did). Naturally we talked about cycling, and Reinhard and Hildegard had cycled all over Europe. We tried to describe good places for them in North America, but those are hard to find, when compared to Europe.

Of course we were glad to meet Lilly, and showed her the photos of our own little grandkids.

Lilly checks out Avi, Violet, and Amelia
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We left after an hour or so, though it was a wrench to leave the cheeses behind. Reinhard lead us for a few further kilometres, beside the Aach. He explained about the river coming from a spring. Later I checked out Wikipedia on this. Here are a few words about the river from there:

The source of the river is the Aachtopf in Aach, the largest spring in Germany, at a height of 475 m above sea level. The water emerges from a karst cave. About two thirds of the water originates in the headwaters of the Danube. Between Immendingen and Möhringen an der Donau and in Fridingen, water from the Danube disappears underground (this is known as the Danube Sinkhole); this water reappears in the Aachtopf.

Leaving Reinhard's home, we followed him allong the Aach River.
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We carried on in the direction of Tuttlingen, which is on the Danube (Donau) and is the start of our bicycle "cruise" down the river. Generally this involved ascending the land that I guess contains the Donau, and then descending to the river level.

Each hill around Beuren/Muhlhausen has a fortress on it.
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The road up to Emmingen
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Roadside refreshments. Though yummy, wild strawberries cost about as many calories to collect as they provide.
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From up near Emmingen we can look back and see, we think, the Bodensee
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Crosses warned travellers of plague ahead. This was, of course, many centuries ago.
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Harvest is going on up here
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Emmingen, we were glad to see it but found no open services there
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We descended fairly easily (more downs than ups) to Tuttlingen
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I snapped this for laughs, since something gross like Burger King is rare here. It turned out to be an indication of what we would find in Tuttlingen overall (though no apparent plague).
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Our experience at Basel and some other towns have taught us not to dismiss a place on the basis of yucchy surrounding industry or residential areas. So we waited for Tuttlingen to turn quaint and pleasant, and we passed through wide streets full of traffic and totally uninspired buildings.

Coming in to Tuttlingen
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Tuttlingen
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Tuttlingen
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The Donau radweg (cycle way) had been a centre piece of our planned ride since the beginning. Our best maps are for this ride, and we spent the greatest part of our time thinking about this bit. So my image of the start, at Tuttlingen, just a little down from the Donau source, had been of a quaint town, with great camping, and scads of touring cyclists all over the place. Bike shops, map shops, Schnitzel and Backerei, I hoped for it all.

Yikes. What a downer to find a place with no information, no tourists, traffic, and a littered downtown with hamburger joints.

Yes, the immediate area of the river is OK, and it includes large parks. We scouted these parks for good stealth camp spots, since no one knew of the camping spot we thought we saw on our maps. Finally we spotted a sign with the telltale tent symbol, and took that direction until one other similar sign pointed us back the way we had come. No wonder, the tent spot, when we found it, was small, hidden behind some bushes, unsigned, and unsupervised. Hmmph. Well, the price was right! There was a washroom, and a sign saying one could get a key at a cafe somewhere nearby and then return it to city hall. ????

So what is with this place? One Dutch family who were already at the tenting site has the same question. They have tried in vain to secure the mystical mystery key. Now, two Korean boys (who started in Spain) have appeared, directed here from the police station. We three groups make up the total Tuttlingen tourist contingent for the night. It seems more than they deserve!

The Donau at Tuttlingen
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This lady tried to help us find camping. She babbled on in German and decided to follow/lead us, though we both could not understand her and (like all other residents) had no idea where the (lame) camping was.
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Littered streets
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Many people in Muslim dress were apparent.
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This is a typical not a selected shot!
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Today's ride: 57 km (35 miles)
Total: 2,653 km (1,648 miles)

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