Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mainz

Today was the first cycling on the Rhine that could rival the Moselle. Good thing it was lovely, because it was a pretty long day.

We got off to a fairly early start, knowing that the day would be quite warm. The first 10 km or so were disappointing, with the path mostly along the highway, like yesterday. But as the Rhine valley began to widen, the highway routed more inland, while the bike path stuck to the river, and we began to wind through some very beautiful countryside, with castles dotting the hillsides.
A castle in the Rhine and one above it.
We stopped in Bingen for the requisite mid-morning coffee and snack. It's another very pretty town, though on a Sunday morning, it was much quieter than Boppard yesterday. As we rode out, we could see the vestiges of the old town walls, still in relatively good shape.

Town walls in Bingen
As the valley widened even further, the path took us through some lovely rolling farmland and parks that reminded me quite a lot of Quebec, especially since there are some islands in the Rhine here, much like the St. Lawrence at Montreal.



Sonia reads up on controlled flooding in this part of the valley.

A field red with poppies.
After a long lunch break, we set off on the final 15 km or so and rolled into Mainz about 3:00. In all, we did a solid 62 km today (mostly into a slight headwind). A lovely but long day in the saddle. We settled into the Airbnb, had a shower and a rest and then went out explore Mainz and find our supper. The old town is quite lovely and very well-kept.

Mainz Cathedral
Mainz is famous for, among other things, being the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, and there is a museum in his honour not 200 metres from where we are staying. Alas it was closed by the time we got there. The city is also, as my friend Douglas reminds me, the home of the Alexander brass instrument workshop, famous for their horns and tubas.

The two nights we were in Cochem, there was a wine festival across the river from our apartment, with music going until midnight both nights. Last night in Sankt Goar, we fell asleep to the sound (dare I say "noise") of a rock concert at the Loreley Freilichtbühne, an outdoor amphitheatre that was right across the river and about 100 metres above our hotel. Tonight, we're being serenaded by a couple of quite good guitarists singing oldies from the 60s in the courtyard below. It's a refreshing change (though silence would be even more refreshing... and get off my lawn you young punks!)

Tomorrow morning, we're heading straight to the train station and from there, south to Heidelberg. So this will be all of Mainz for us.

2 comments:

C. said...

What a trip! It's a good thing I'm not a cyclist or I'd be eaten up by envy. Your posts are entertaining and I can hardly wait for the next installment--Heidelberg.

& ♪♫ Happy birthday ♪ ♫ to Sonia ♪

Carol

Peter Garner said...

Carol!! I'm writing these mostly for my own amusement, but I'm so glad you find them entertaining. Sonia sends along here thanks for the birthday wishes. Please give P. a big bear hug from me. :)