Generally speaking, they do not serve breakfast in hostils. Heck, we got to ours just after 7:00 p.m. last night and they were gone. We had to use the door code they e-mailed to Ginny to get in. We also had a key to the garage to store our bikes. But after barely being able to locate the hostile, finding the garage was impossible. We all crammed into one room, three of us and three bikes.
So we set off on another sunny but cool and breezy morning in search of coffee, croissants, and the rail road station. we were served by Rogna, a student at Karlsruhe University of Applied Science of Teaching. She gave us directions to the train station. Ginny suggested we go and look at the palace since we were so close and she has never seen a real palace except for her home in Missoula.
Karlsruhe (translated as “Charles’ repose”) was founded by Charles William in 1715. The palace sits at the center of the city and 32 spoke-like streets radiate outward (it is considered to be the model for Washington D.C. for this reason). Most of the center was reduced to rubble during WWII but has been rebuilt. We bicycled all about the palace and grounds before heading to the railroad station.
At the railroad station Ginny and I went inside to buy tickets to Worms. We secured space for the three of us and our bikes on a “roll-on” car, with no transfers necessary, for the reasonable cost of 11 euro each. While waiting outside, I was hopelessly trying to log onto the free Karlsruhe Internet, Ginny was writing a postcard, and I looked up and said “Ginny, where is Tom’s bike? Did he take it?” Ginny jumped up and sure enough Tom’s bike was gone. I could not believe that someone could take such a behemoth from right below our noses so I assumed that Tom had left for a short ridewhile we were waiting an hour for our train.
One minute later Tom walked out of the train station and also noticed that his bike was gone. He ran around the small ticketing building and there was his bike, on it’s side, abandoned by whomever moved it. We were all pretty shook up and immediately left the train station for a safer cafe a block away. The only explanation we could devise was that a thief thought it would be an easy steal.
By now you have seen the many photos of Tom and Ginny’s bikes with their trailer trailers in tow. The trailer is great when you are rolling and it helps to cut down wind resistance. But at low speeds it can become a cumbersome monster. We think the thief gave up, or perhaps noticed that we were looking for the bike. But if he thought he was going to hop on it and cycle happily away so that he could rummage at ease through the big yellow bag, he must have been surprised when he fell over. The trailer brand name is B.O.B. for “beast of burden”. Hence, “Bob saves the day”.
After a relaxing train ride into Worms, Germany, we rode on the inland spur of the Rhine route, cutting through small and large villages and uncountable acres of grape vines. The larger town of Oppenheimer took great efforts to keep cyclists off the busy through street and did a fantastic job signing the route on back streets. I feel they should be the example for all other towns. Bikers will most often go where you want them to if you put up a sign.
The route then merged back onto the Rhine which was now bigger and busier. We could see the city of Mainz ahead and wondered how long it would take us to find our hotel. Two nights in a row now, Ginny has spotted it while Tom and I were in standard orbit about the block.
Mainz had several Beer Gardens set up with hyper-large high-def television screens for watching the World Cup. Since they were charging admission we went to a popular cafe for dinner, beer, and the game on a smaller screen.
Mainz was a Roman fort/city late in the first century B.C. and was on the northern border of the Roman Empire. Then in about 1450 resident Joannes Gutenberg changed the world by inventing movable type. It was just all word-of-mouth before then.
We purchased a bottle of local Riesling and returned to our hotel for our own private viewing of the 9:00 game. I will have to wait until tomorrow night to see where we are, who is playing, and what time we arrive before I can make plans. I can’t even remember what day of the week it is anymore.