Wednesday, 22 August 2012


As we continued on down the Rhine it was generally pretty pleasant but we did have the odd occasion where it was not so nice, for example when we had to venture off into the countryside when there was no trail beside the river and on this occasion the path was pretty overgrown which was not a problem until I scored a stinging nettle to the face - ouch!
Most of the time though we had beautiful scenery and how could you not like cycling by the water....
or even away near the fields....
As we venture over one of the many bridges over the Rhine we came across a  pretty strange sight -  along both sides of the bridge were hundreds of padlocks.

 When we looked a bit closer each one either had something engraved or written on it, usually initials and a date.  We later found out that the custom is to lock one on to the bridge and throw away the key!!!
I wonder how many people have regretted that decision or brought in bolt cutters?????
Every country we have travelled through has it's own set of signs for cyclists and the sight we kept a look out for in Germany was like this.
Sometimes they are a bit hard to decipher but mainly very helpful, and it's good to come across one when you are almost positive that you've made a wrong turn.  As a lot of the roads are not very clearly markedit is sometimes a bit of a mission to decide which way to go at an intersection but Dave generally steers us right.

In the meantime we are still finding Great buildings all along the way, even though we are not sure what half of them are!
As we have been travelling along the Rhine to its origins, there are signs posted every kilometre and its  a real kick to see the numbers getting ever smaller.  When we first connected with the Rhine they read in the 800's - so we are getting closer....
And now for something  different and useless to us these days are these machines that we have found all over the age restrictions here......and as far as we could see none were vandalised...
 It's a cigarette machine!!   This particular one was at the entrance to one of our camp sites but we found them in heaps of random places.

Not all of the interesting buildings were churches or castles or even super old.  Even some of the houses are pretty special with artworks on their walls.  Not sure if they have to redo them every so often but we have seen quite a few.
We finally reached the city of Koblenz.  Now normally as we are on a pretty tight budget we wait until we find a free loo, but in this case I didn't want to wait and Dave could not resist taking a shot of me spending 50P  to have a P (so to speak)  also the lady manning the station was pretty funny as she was Welsh speaking German!  - Well I thought it was funny!  That's me in the doorway - not the yellow shirt - or the Blue one!!!!
It had been ages since we had taken a day off from Riding, and Koblenz was a really interesting place so we decided to give ourselves a bit of a spoil. So we went to the Tourist information office (as usual) and asked them if they could tell us about a cheap hotel which they did and they even phoned and made the booking.  It's always a bit of a risk to know what you will end up with but we always try to make the best of whatever we end up with.  - The outside looked ok!

And it seemed just perfect for us according to the sign!
The lady was very nice that greeted us and she said we could put our bikes down in the cellar - down the stairs.  So we unloaded the gear and left it in the passage and Dave carried the bikes down the stairs to the cellar.  I then picked up some of the bags and proceeded to head UP the stairs to which she said " no down here' and led us down the stairs, past the cellar room with the bikes and to the back of the passageway.  We were wondering what on earth we had gotten ourselves in for and she said that they had just renovated this room and we were the first people in it........
 As you can see, Dave was very comfortable, and the room was lovely - the only drawback was the WIFI was a bit dodgy away from the windows but Dave found that in this position he could catch up with all the news from home!  We almost didn't want to leave after 2 nights and go back to the tent!
We did happen to find some other toilets in Koblenz but these were not open to the public.  We thought that the name suited them fine though!
All along this part of the Rhine we were coming across some amazing castles...
There were just so many that it was hard to comprehend, and how some of them were built on the sides of the hills defies thinking about.
Koblenz itself was full of beautiful old buildings and the detail and cleanliness of some of the roofs was worth sharing.
Even though we have chosen not to travel into the l arger cities,we have found so many wonderful buildings that we really don't care about missing some of the better known ones.  This church was magnificent but hard to pass on the sheer size and the detail in the decorations....
 Even the man hole covers in the street were not your usual functional bland....
Dave found another exclusive shop - this one was more to his taste - Beer Steins!!!
I got really excited at one point in our day of exploration when I saw an Organ Grinder with a monkey!  I dragged Dave over so we could take a look and was all prepared to give the monkey some change, but to my dismay - The monkey was stuffed - literally a stuffed toy!  I was most disappointed!
So we went on to discover some more modern sculpture - one for the footy show me thinks!
Thumbs Up!!
And some more castle ruins.

We decided to climb a monument at the junction of the rivers, and as Dave was approaching he encountered on of the mad tourists........hehe
But we managed to get the photo - this is where we have just come from.......

and you'll just have to wait for where we are going............

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