Bob saves the day

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.

Rogna, a local student, works at a cafe in Karlsruhe.
Rogna, a local student, works at a cafe in Karlsruhe.

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.

A lone fresco visible from our cafe.
A lone fresco visible from our cafe.
Ginny tries to take in the impressive and sprawling grounds around the palace.
Ginny tries to take in the impressive and sprawling grounds around the palace.
Another statue at Karlsruhe palace.
A statue at Karlsruhe palace.
Another statue and the palace in the background.
Another statue and the palace in the background.

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.

Begging for change at the train station, just before Tom's bike disappeared.
Begging for change at the train station, just before Tom’s bike disappeared.

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”.

Chatting with other bicycle tourists on the train.
Chatting with other bicycle tourists on the train.
Crossing the Rhine by train, but remaining in Germany this time.
Crossing the Rhine by train, but remaining in Germany this time.

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.

Out tour mechanic adjusts Ginny's deraileur.
Out tour mechanic adjusts Ginny’s deraileur.
The trail winds through the vineyards.
The trail winds through the vineyards.
Occasionally we would pass a non-grape crop.
Occasionally we would pass a non-grape crop.
The Rhine is busy with commercial and recreational traffic. The bridge is from Mainz, which is on the West Bank.
The Rhine is busy with commercial and recreational traffic. The bridge is from Mainz, which is on the West Bank.

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.

A Mainz statue. I love statues.
A Mainz statue. I love statues.
image
Mainz flowers. I definitely love the flowers that abound all over Europe.
Our server at dinner is a student at Mainz's Johannes Gutenerg University.
Our server at dinner is a student at Mainz’s Johannes Gutenerg University.

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.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Bob saves the day”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s