Romancing on the Rhine!
Trip Start May 04, 2013
21Trip End Jul 07, 2013
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We arrived in Amsterdam about 9.30 am and were off loaded. We got in a line of fellow bikers and had a female customs officer who was only interested in seeing that your eyes matched those of your passport! As if she could tell!
We were soon on the motorway and it was cold, bloody cold. We layered up and pressed on. You will have to imagine this part of the trip as it was way too cold to take off the gloves to take pictures while on the bike. For some reason our Tom Tom GPS took up 30 km down the motorway and then 30 km back to the start point – don’t know why?
We headed into Germany and soon discovered that the autobahn is THE road to travel on. The Germans have it sussed when figuring out how to drive safely at high speed. We sat on 130 kph most of the way and were regularly overtaken – even by a Toyota Echo!
We found Boppard which was to be home for the next four nights. It is a beautiful small village right on the banks of the Rhine River. Our bedroom had a balcony overlooking the river – what a view!!
The next day we took a ferry ride upriver from Boppard to Rudesheim, a distance of about 40 kms. The views on the way up were spectacular from every angle. Almost every cliff top had a castle in varying states of preservation – some are still used as hotels for the many tourists who flock to this area in summer.
On Friday the 24th May we rode the bikes following the banks of the Rhine down to Bingen which is 40 km upstream. We stopped at Bingen for morning tea and to warm up. We then caught a vehicular ferry across the river to Rudesheim and then rode 60 km downstream to Koblenz.
In 2011, on our last trip, we rode from the MotoGP at Assen with Dangerous Darren and Fabulous Phil with high hopes of riding the famous Nurburgring. Fortune was not with us then - the track was closed for maintenance after a weekend of car racing - bugger! This time we had done our homework a little better and knew that the track would be open for tourist riding laps on May 25th from 8am to 7pm. It was quite foggy over the Rhine when we got up this morning so we delayed our departure until 10am - quite late for us. The decision paid off as we rode out in sunshine eventhough it was still cold. We stayed off the Autobahn and rode through Koblenz to ride along the south side of the Mosel River. Very scenic but we did not see as much river traffic or as many castles on Cliffs. The river looked as though it was in flood and several moorings were floating well away from the shore. We were to turn right at Cochem towards the Nurburgring but when we saw what a pretty place it was, we decided to stop for morning tea.
We continued our ride to Nurburg, purchased our 26 Euro Ring-O Card and rode off to find the start line for our much anticipated ride around the Nurburgring Track.
After achieving our goal of riding the circuit and returning safely to the start we mingled and watched others going out on to this famous piece of tarmac to test their skills. The steady stream of traffic entering the track did not let up for the hour that we watched.
Our ride back to Boppard for our last night in this beautiful part of Germany was scenic and we even got to ride a few switchbacks - hopefully preparing us for the some of the rides over the mountain passes that we will do over the next few weeks. Off to Rothenburg tomorrow.