Koblenz to Ernst

Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
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22
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Trip End May 25, 2010


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Flag of Germany  , Rhineland-Palatinate,
Wednesday, May 19, 2010



Today and for the rest of the cycling portion, I am on my own. We exchanged our farewells in Koblenz. There was a lot of construction going on at the Deutsches Eck and Reinhard couldn't find a parking place within a mile of the site, so they let me off with my bike, after crossing the Rhine river bridge, and I rode it back to the Eck to take pictures. Then just before I left to head off on my day's trip to Ernst, here they came so we had a second hug and farewell. It has been a real pleasure being with Hannelore and Reinhard and having their company while I try to re-acclimate to the German language and European customs; everything from tipping guidelines to the road signs for cyclists, and how to operate the automats. Everything is automatic. Train tickets, bus tickets, parking tickets, everything requires you to punch in the data on a vending machine, insert the correct money and then and only then do you get results. My ability is lacking in so many respects, but I certainly expanded my German vocabulary the past few days, thanks to their patient help. The various Euro coins are so similar in looks that you have to study them closely to come up with a given amount. They are very similar in size and color. Add to that, the numerals are not prominent so it is crunch time when studying a handful of small change. The result is, you end up with an over-weighted pocket full of change, by just paying for everything with the paper money to avoid showing your stupidity at figuring out the small change.

This cycling day was another cold one with intermittent showers. Most of the route was on a painted lane of the main highway. Only in Europe would I feel this comfortable cycling so close to the cars. Imagine, almost every driver in Europe also rides a bike, so they are VERY considerate of cyclists. Nevertheless, you better know and heed the rules of the road because they expect no less from everyone who navigates through the streets. All I can say is that it takes a bit of guts for a novice cyclist such as myself to veer out in front of traffic with my left hand extended to signal a left turn. Also, to realize that I have the same rights as a car, once in a traffic circle, I have the right of way and other cars entering the circle have to give way for me. It all makes perfect sense but I wouldn't trust US drivers to be so consistently considerate. Upon arrival in Ernst on the Mosel, my odometer registered 262 kilometers (164 miles). I think I am beginning to feel very comfortable in this new life-style. The deal is, you check in early as possible, turn up the heat in the radiator, wash your meager clothing, and place it on the radiator where with luck and the grace of God, you have dry clean clothing for the next day. If not, you can always hang it on your rear luggage carrier and wear your other outfit. It's a very simple life, really, once you get the hang of it. Just remember to bring the indispensable clothes pins. Otherwise you might end up smelling like a Caveman.

Ernst is a little village on the Mosel River just outside the much larger town of Cochum. Curiously, my lodgings are the most inexpensive of any so far, and also by far the best. 34 Euros with breakfast, ($41.00). Haus Schwarzenberg Hotel has a total of seven rooms, and tonight only two were reserved. The proprietor gave me his best room overlooking the river with a view of the vineyards on the opposite side. Just before arrival I stopped and picked up a bottle of Mosel Riesling, a Piesporter Michelsberg, one of the best Mosels to be had at the ridiculous price of 2.29 Euros ($2.77). If you can find one in a liquor store you won't be disappointed. Make sure the label says "Qualitats Wine Mit Predikat."

OK, I've just about covered the scene for today, all the while enjoying this bottle of wine. The proprietor is preparing a special dinner for me tonight; rock salmon and fresh vegetables...I don't want to be late. Bye now.......
In addition to today's pictures shown below, Hannelore just sent me a link to a video she made of highlights of our journey from my arrival by train in Marburg to our completion of the Lahn phase of the bike trip. 
Click HERE to view.


 
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