Day 13: Worms to Germersheim - Grampies Tour de France - CycleBlaze

April 8, 2018

Day 13: Worms to Germersheim

This was our first day of really pleasant cycling weather. For the first time we could have shorts without tights and no layers of sweaters and raincoats.  We were not the only ones to notice these conditions, of course, and it seemed like a good chunk of the population was out enjoying the Spring weather.  Our path loosely followed the Rhine and it included many bits through woods, beside cultivated fields, and by lakes. The route was also almost entirely off road, so we were looking at a cycling superhighway, literally for 80 km. Again, this was not lost on the public, who were out with bikes of all types, with skatebords, roller skates, nordic walking sticks, even horses. And some were even just walking. 

All these people enjoying the trail and the weather made us appreciate it all the more. Instead of being an 80 km link from A to B, it was an event on its own. Not all the action was even on the trail, as we passed by a soccer field with a very active game in progress. We and other cyclists stopped to take in this additional entertainment.

Worms to Speyer to Germersheim is a great cycling run. We avoided Ludwigshafen by going around on a signed alternate.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Some of the path is a little rustic
Heart 3 Comment 1
Marvin PaxmanReminds us a little of the Lochside trail
Reply to this comment
1 year ago
Some of the path can be high speed
Heart 2 Comment 0
There are still lots of immaculate fields to gawk at. Some also had large quantities of lettuce almost ready to go.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Everyone was out today
Heart 3 Comment 0
Even the horses
Heart 3 Comment 0
Game play was very exciting at this trailside pitch
Heart 2 Comment 0

The idea of the lovely Spring day remained the same, but the gears changed a bit when we entered Speyer.  Speyer has an extremely big cathedral but also impressive to us was the large open space in front of it. This then becomes a wide and very long pedestrian area, reaching to a city gate and clock tower at the other end. Today no doubt in response to the fine weather, this whole huge area was filled with people. 

The main activity of the people, other than strolling with an ice cream cone, was eating at outdoor restaurants. There is something just so civilised about sitting at cafes like this. It's hard to say just why, but we love to see it and we love to do it. Not this time for us, though, because we were already stretching our time budget just to be looking around in the town and the cathedral.

Although the cathedral is a Roman Catholic one, like others here in northern Europe it was not dripping with a surfeit of Mary statues and pink cherubs. That's a bit disappointing. But this one did have some points of interest. First of all, it is huge. Walking from end to end, you feel like you have travelled somewhere. The building is made from pinkish stone, which is decorative in a refined way. The cathedral is also suitably ancient, having been constructed over about a hundred years, starting in 1030.

This is an end on view of the cathedral. It is usually portrayed with a side view, since it is so long.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Looking down the cathedral inside
Heart 2 Comment 0
An entryway shows the decorative pink stone
Heart 2 Comment 0
The cathedral famously houses tombs of the "Salian" emperors and empresses. Not sure who all these guys were, and that's after reading the Wiki on it. The entry contains important background like "Werner of Worms and his son Duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine, who died in 955, founded the ancestral dynasty. Conrad the Red married Liutgarde, a daughter of Emperor Otto I. Their son Otto I, Duke of Carinthia ruled Carinthia from 978 to 1004." Ok, sure..
Heart 0 Comment 0
The Speyer pedestrian area is large and well attended.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Our favorite dining experience
Heart 3 Comment 0
The tower at the other end of the long street from the cathedral
Heart 2 Comment 0
All around town are other beautiful buildings
Heart 5 Comment 0
What an interesting and beautiful place!
Heart 3 Comment 0

Out on the trail we had been noticing the little kids out on bikes. Normally we were marveling at how well they were doing for their various small sizes. We also liked to see the families out enjoying the path together. But in Speyer on the walking street we noticed this one family that just seemed extra cute. They don't have enough luggage to be touring, so those green panniers must just have clothes and snacks.

Family fun in Speyer
Heart 3 Comment 0

Overall Speyer impressed us as a beautiful place with lots to see and do. The impression was reinforced as we left town, passing what seemed like an air museum, an  IMax theatre, and lots of parks. Further from town there is a very large green space by the river, surely offering lots of recreation opportunities.

One outdoor activity of the Europeans that we could never understand is the willingness to live in trailer slums, usually by a lake, and call it "camping". Here is a small bit of a large one:

Heart 0 Comment 0

We rolled through Germersheim just getting some glimpses of what could be a very attractive town. Our hotel, the Germersheimer Hof, is at the edge of downtown. We have hit a few hotels like this so far. A little off centre, with modern very comfortable rooms, and so far, great breakfasts. But there is nothing of great interest immediately around them.

So we will just chill for a bit and know that tomorrow we will hit France. And tomorrow morning will be our last German breakfast. Darn!

Today's ride: 80 km (50 miles)
Total: 681 km (423 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 10
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Sue PriceYou are so fortunate with the weather! It continues to be chilly and rainy up here, keeping us bundled up in our layers whenever we venture out on the bikes. I long for the days when we can ride with just our shorts and a light jacket!
Reply to this comment
1 year ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Sue PriceIt really feels so much better to ride in lighter clothing. The only problem now is that we are still having to drag all the cold weather gear around with us. All in all not the worst priblem to have on a tour.
Reply to this comment
1 year ago