Saturday, November 29, 2008

Travel blog: Bicycling in Germany July 2008 (Day 6-8)

On the sixth day we ended up spending the entire morning and noon in the Schlachthof Pension before we had rounded up enough energy to get up and running. My bikes gears were still dysfunctional and as we strolled out of the pension round noon we went down to the town to find a cycle mechanic.

At the mechanic we were told to return after an hour and in the meantime we went strolling about the historic centre of Apolda. We found a cafe to get a cup of coffee and a glass of cola and sat near the town square, enjoying the nice weather. As we returned to the bike-shop we were met by an head shaking mechanic who explained that he had fixed the gear, but that there were internal damage inside the gear-shift.
He could fix the problem by inserting an entirely new back-wheel for € 130. As the bike was functional with the temporary repairs already made, we decided to ride on without further repairs and delays.

After the usual out-of-town climb (most towns in this part of Germany are located in the valleys) we rode some 10 km and the started decending into the Saale river valley into Jena the home of Carl Zeiss and the best optics in the world. We had some very light late lunch by the river in the city and the continued down the Saale-river bicycle route towards the city of Rudolstadt.
The afternoon was very pleasant as following the river meant a steady but mild incline. This was in stark contrast to the grinding down and uphill carrousel that we had been on the last two preceding days as we had cut our way
south crossing valley after valley. As the clock passed 8 in the evening we reached Rudolstadt, and decided to stay there for a couple of days. We found a nice pension on top af a small mountain with great view on the Saale valley and the Rudolstadt-Saalfeld area.
A couple of days later we packed our bicycles on a train at 9 in the morning and after some transfers we were in back in Odense at half past ten in the late evening.

As we went from Hamburg towards the danish border we crossed the Kieler-channel (or the Nord-ostsee-kanal) at Rendsburg. 
I had passed the canal numerous times before, but this time I got my camera out and recorded a bit as the train circled the city to gain elevation enough to pass the canal.