Odyssey Day 33 Mainz to Koblenz 61 miles, 200m

Good to be back in saddle. Turn right, keep Rhine on right. Stop at Koblenz. Take in another UNESCO site ( this stretch of the Rhine), castles, churches, storks. Fantastic variety. The designation means they also charge silly prices which didn’t include the China.

I particularly like the transport infrastructure. River, road, rail, bike: all parallel. The river and radio had regular and massive goods wagons, interspersed with passenger or tourist carriages. Makes so much sense. Great to see so many cyclists, even if they all think they have the right of way (when clearly that’s ours).

Koblenz is at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine. Like many places here is a mixture of post war rebuild and old. The former is more adventurous than our equivalents.

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Odyssey Day 32 Heidelberg to Mainz

The mighty industrial Rhine starts to kick in. Takes me back to 3M days and regular visits to Mannheim. On a huge scale yet fits in and has modern feel.

Then back to rural fields with increasing vineyards. Statues dotted randomly including some with just a plinth.

It’s festival time in Mainz. I bumped into Jerry and Sherry from Cardiff having not met them for a good few years. Grand.

Off to Koblenz tomorrow.

Odyssey Day 31 and Heidelberg

Feeling blessed. The room has both a Gideon Bible and a Mormon Book of Prayer.

The University Botanical Gardens are a pretty sanctuary and open on Corpus Christy, the public holiday. Reunited with frogs and their mating noises.

Friday and all is back to normal. Heidelberg feels a young town despite its antiquity. The University days back to 1400s, and still dominates. The Church in the market Square is old too, with links to the Lutherans (first time in ages George Wishart’s name has appeared). Wonderful stained glass and a great tower. The rotating perspex cross casts different light. Perhaps more eloquent than the heat of the Catholic-Protestant claim to the church. Until 1936 it was divided down the aisle by a partition.

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Tomorrow flatter again.

Odyssey Day 30 Dillingen to Schwabisch-Hall

You really get a sense of Germany as a fertile bread basket in this area. Most fields are unfenced and with varied crops. We’re in Baden-Wurttemberg.

Spring flowers abound, we’re probably following then north. Today’s river is the Kucher which splits Schwabisch-Hall.

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This has a history of salt production. Today it’s more known for the pretty Alltstadt with St Michael’s Church in the square with the largest dry of steroids you’ll have seen to enter it. Also used as a stage: tonight they agree rehearsing “Everyman”, which looks a bundle of laughs.

It’s also twinned with Loughborough, which might explain the uk Telephone box.

Inside the church you read, as in Innsbruck, of the local Christians that opposed Hitler and were persecuted.

Odyssey Day 29 Munich to Dillingen

A different day today, seeing life from the perspective of the support crew. They work well together, facing challenges with a positive and quick response. WhatsApp is used a lot and links the various strands together.

Munich traffic is just crazy in both directions, though the out stream at least moves. You get a sense of the size of the river plain, just enormous. Pristine villages and well tendered crops makes me wonder if Bavarians are close to the Germanic Swiss. Nothing is out of place.

Which is why is was fun to find an delapidated house in Lauingen together with a cigarette machine. No doubt the large and numerous churches keep the flock in line.

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The Danube dominates.