Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 12 - Europe 2011

Day 12 - Sunday, June 5, 2011 - Koblenz to Winkel - Trip 79.46 kms Time 4:38:06

Slept poorly!!! City Hotel Metropole has to be the noisiest hotel that I've ever stayed at and I've stayed a lot of hotels all over the world. I think there was a taxi stand right under my window and not one of the taxi drivers could talk in a normal voice. Everything had to be shouted at a level that the whole city could hear. In spite of all the noise I did manage to get a few hours of sleep, but... Got up at 7:00. Did some packing. Went down for b'fast. Very busy. Quite a crowd. Had a full b'fast including a ham and cheese sandwich which I wrapped in my serviette and stuffed in my handlebar bag for later including a hard boiled egg and a small packet of cheese. Went back to my room and finished packing. Carried my panniers to the elevator. It was busy. Finally managed to get my panniers down to the reception. I asked for the key so I could go "find my wheels". The other cyclists had already gone ahead with the key to fetch their "wheels". I was able to catch up to them before they entered the labyrinth. We collected our "wheels" and returned to the hotel. The other cyclists were headed for the Banhof to take the train back to Aachen. I loaded my panniers on my bike and set off for Spey. I tried to follow the directions in the Rhein-Radweg guide but just got totally lost. The directions are from the south of the Rhein to the North and I was having to follow them backwards. Eventually I gave up and set my GPS for Spey which got me headed in the right direction. I had only done an extra 4 kms or so before setting off on the correct route.
I stopped several times to admire the scenery, for lunch, for snacks, for photos, etc. I met a group of classic cars on a tour including a 1965 TR4A, Ford Model ?, 1960s Cadillac. Even saw Elvis who was sitting in the back of the Caddy. It was a very nice cycle route most of the way to Bingen where I decided to take the ferry over to Rudesheim (no charge?). As it was only 2:30 PM I decided to go on for a bit. I saw a nice hotel in Winkel called "Schorsch Eger's Weinstadl" at 3:30 PM. Went in to check it out. The manager/manageress spoke French. It was 45 Euros for a single room with b'fast. The owner of the establishment turned out to be a very famous German musician. He had an unbelievable collection of musical instruments, pepper mills, paintings, old flat irons, etc. The place was just covered with memorabilia. I had a couple of beers (a bit warm) before going up to my room which turned out to be a tad warm also. There was just no air circulation in spite of the window being wide open. While I was waiting for my room to be prepared I noticed some locals who had come in for dinner had ordered a dish done up and served in a frying pan. This looked really good. Later on when I went down for dinner I decided I would have to try this dish but first of all I had to get the waitress to help me identify what it was called on the menu. It turned out to be "Putensteak (Chicken) mit Frischen Champignons Sauce Hollandaise und Kase Uberbachen auf Pommes Frites inder Pfanne Serviert mit Gemischtem Salat" all that for 13.50 Euros. I was terribly thirsty and asked the waitress for some ordinary cold water to drink. She brought over a fancy bottle of Sodenthaler Gourmet Water compliments of the house!!! I had also ordered a 1/2 L of red wine. The owner uncorked a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. The portions in Germany are just huge and it was very tasty. Earlier when I was checking in I had told the manager that I was from Canada and had cycled all the way from Amsterdam and was making my way down the Rhine, to the Danube and hopefully would cycle all the way to the Black Sea. He was most impressed and must have told the owner about my adventure. I had also shared my photo of Elvis in the big honking Cadillac with the owner as knowing that he was a musician he would appreciate my sighting of Elvis.
I was able to connect to the Internet and wanted to cut and paste my Day 10 Blog but wasn't able to do this so I had to re-type the whole darn thing. (Thanks for the tip Heinz re using Open Office. I will have to try that next time). It was pretty stinking hot in the room. Later on there was a huge thunder/rain/lightning storm during the night. This did help cool things off a bit and I was able to get a few hours of sleep.
Cheers, Roly

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