To Wetzlar from Marburg

Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
Trip End May 25, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Hesse,
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Today dawned cold, windy and overcast. But it turned out to be a good introductory day to the frustrations of following signs that mark the trail. And as viewed through my macular degenerating eyes, watering from the cold, I learned that the physical strains were taking second place to the anxiety of wondering if I had missed a way-point and was traveling on the wrong path. I made more errors than I can count but in the end I learned a lot about how to follow the signs and to stop often to check my map. I probably traveled ten more kilometers than I needed to, simply backtracking and following directions proffered by those I asked. Sometimes, no doubt, I misunderstood the directions, given my limited ability to understand German. Other times, I think I might have gotten inaccurate directions. Outside of towns the trail is pretty easy to follow but in towns, with the traffic and all, it is a little unsettling to a foreigner trying to read numerous signs through admittedly failing eyesight.

I left Hanne and Reinhard at the hotel. They were on their way to church and planned to drive to Wetzlar later where we would meet up after my day on the trail. And I did make it, although I underestimated the time it would take and also the number of kilometers it would be. I had figured the route at 42 kilometers (26 miles) on Google, but my odometer registered 70 (44 miles) when I finally arrived at the Hotel in Wetzlar. I had also figured it would take about 4 hours while it actually took almost 7 with a 45 minutes break for a good old lunch of potato pancakes and applesauce, a German specialty I really have been looking forward to.

Tomorrow Hanna is biking with me, and leading the way, thank goodness. Reinhard will meet us in Limburg. He is suffering with a sore back so thought it best to not make the ride. I figured the second day's route distance, using Google, to be about the same as today's. So tomorrow's actual distance traveled will tell with some accuracy how much of today's distance traveled was due to my dumb mistakes, Since Hanne is an excellent and experienced biker. I doubt seriously if she will mess up like I did. Once today when markers hadn't shown up for an extended period I learned that I was on the wrong side of the river. So I had to keep going till I found another bridge to cross. The problem is that if you miss a marker no bells or whistles go off, and many times the trail does not follow the river so each cross trail has to be checked and many are unmarked, leaving it to the riders judgement or general knowledge of the area to get it right.

After a short recuperative rest, we walked through the town of Wetzlar. It is a lovely and ancient city with quaint half-timbered houses. The narrow Lahn River runs through the middle of it. It is known for the poet Goethe, who lived and spent some of his life here, and also for it's Leica Camera Company Hq.
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A.J. on


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