Tennsee, Germany to Maastricht, The Netherlands

Day 14 Tensee to Ammersee – 92kms

We finally got on the road at 08:30 to a clear and cool Sunday morning with a very cool Northern wind. The first 20kms or so to Garmisch-Partenkirchen were a fantastic downhill. Than we turned and were treated to 30km +/-3% downhill through one of the most picturesque valleys we’ve ever ridden. For all the work we did yesterday the rewards were nothing less than spectacular. We just fell in love with this part of Germany. The cold Northern wind persisted the whole day but it was OK. Overall it was a great ride. Camping here is OK at €18, just a good place to stop. For dinner we had our first curry-worst and it was one of the best we’ve eaten. The lake this time of year is extremely busy.

2014061501

Nice to wake up to a cool and crystal clear day.

2014061502

Beautiful, cool morning with a downhill on a car free cycling path, what more can we ask for.

2014061503

Just before Garmisch-Partenkirchen we saw many organized cycling tourist.

2014061504

Pictures cannot do this area justice, it really is that nice to cycle here.

2014061505

And with a 3% downhill grade, pure heaven.

2014061506

Staffelsee from the St2372.

2014061507

Right after Weilheim in Oberbayern on the river Ammer.

2014061508

Ammersee from Diessen am Ammersee. Probably better looking off season.

Day 15 Ammersee to Lech-camping, North of Augsburg – 69kms

What a day again. We cycled West by Northwest the whole day just following cycling that headed in the general way we wanted to go. We cycled through beautiful wooded areas, little villages and hamlets and some rough stuff (unpaved tracks) through quiet wooded areas, cycling heaven. Camping here is OK if a bit pricey but we can’t complain it’s a very nice area to cycle through and we really enjoyed it. Tomorrow we’ll try to get on the Romantisch Strasse than we’ll see how far we get.

2014061609

A beautiful start to another cycling day.

2014061610

Great views from quiet country lanes.

2014061611

Great views from quiet country lanes.

2014061612

Rolling farmland.

2014061613

We saw a few of these towers but couldn’t figure out what they were.

2014061614

Just had to take a picture of the silverish green colored grain field. Pictures doesn’t do it justice though.

2014061615

We tried some rough stuff through this large wooded area. Our tablet with GPS and the application Maps With Me, came in real handy as we didn’t get lost.

2014061616

Stopped for ice cream in Konigsbrunn were we saw this sign.

Day 16 Lech-see camping to Donauworth – 51kms

We got on the road at 09:00 after a good nights sleep. We found the Romantisch Strasse and followed the route through beautiful little villages that were surprisingly clean. I mean the people in this area really take care of their villages. One would be hard pressed to find even a small piece of paper on the road. A shortish ride today because after Donauworth there isn’t another camping for +/-50kms. The camping is really a canoe club and extremely primitive, they have showers but communal, LOL, thanks but no thanks, that’s were I draw the line and take out the wetties. The menager didn’t show and if he doesn’t show in the morning he will not get the €12 for our stay, it’s not even worth €2. The weather today was extreme warm with threatening clouds, but nothing materialized.

2014061717

More great cycling.

2014061718

Crossing the Lech river.

2014061719

Lovely cycling paths and various dedicated cycling routes.

2014061720

We never figured out what these huge poles mean.

2014061721

A beautiful old house along the Romanisch Strasse.

2014061722

Crossing the Donau.

2014061723

Where the Donau and Wornitz rivers meet in Donauworth.

Day 17 Donauworth to Dinkelsbuhl – 71kms

We got underway around 08:00 and were treated to a beautiful day of cycling with great landscapes, fantastic weather and mostly flat. We had some headwinds but it was still a good ride. We highly recommend this route.

2014061824

As soon as we got out of Donauswoth the nice cycling paths started.

2014061825

We really enjoyed cycling along these rural roads with no traffic at all.

2014061826

The town of Harburg up ahead.

2014061827

The cycling continued along the Wornitz river valley.

2014061828

We always enjoy riding along dedicated bike routes because of the benches that are provided. Here were having our second breakfast.

2014061829

First time we’ve seen this sign. Must be a lot of cat’s around here.

2014061830

A few kilometers after taking this picture we lost the Romantisch Strasse and ended up on the busy main road 25 for the last 10kms to Dinkelsbuhl with many trucks which was not a pleasant experience.

Day 18 Dinkelsbuhl to Laudenbach – 88kms

We hit the road around 8 and for the first half or the route we made our own way. Ever since Donausworth we’ve been following the Wornitz river and today we followed it to its source near Schillingsfurst. Than it was downhill for a while until Rothenburg were we started to follow the Tauber river. At Weikersheim we turned south for about 3 kilometers following the Vorbach to Laudenbach and camping Schwabenmuhle. Today we met quite a few cycling tourists but most were very serious looking, we mostly get at least a smile but no these guys were very serious looking 🙂 Camping here is nice if a bit expensive at €20 but its very clean, seems new and run by this very nice and helpful couple. So good value for money.

2014061931

This is not part of the Romantisch Strasse but it was still very beautiful without any traffic. This morning it was quite chilly and we both needed two t-shirts. The cold Northern headwinds have been with us ever since we got into Germany. But by late afternoon it got very hot and even the headwinds weren’t enough to cool us down.

2014061932

Just another difficult day touring the German back roads 😉

2014061933

Some of the views we had along the way.

2014061934

We even took some unpaved roads.

2014061935

And a picture of the roadside map of the Romantische Strasse

2014061936

The castle in Rothenburg outside.

2014061937

And inside the first courtyard. Wanted to check it out but (not shown in the picture) there were too many tourists.

2014061938

And the plaque to prove it.

2014061939

The downhill to the Tauber river begins right next the castle wall.

2014061940

Looking back at Rothenburg from half way down the hill. Click on picture to view better.

2014061941

At first we thought that following the Tauber downriver would be easy but we found out that there are several difficult hills to negotiate along the way.

2014061942

But with the hills also come great views.

2014061943

Just before the camping the heat was getting unbearable.

Day 19 Laudenbach to Campingplatz Wassersportverein Offenbach, Frankfurt – 92kms cycling

What a day today. Let me start with last night, it rained pretty good which helped cool things down a bit and by morning it stopped. The cold Northern wind persisted and at times was blowing real hard. The first 40kms we followed the Tauber to Werbach after which we turned left heading Northeast towards Wurzburg. The climbing started gradual and as we continued up the valley it got steeper and steeper when finally it just droped just before the village of Werbach, crossed the E43 than climbed again at 10% up to Werbach. There was still a bit more climbing to Hochberg before the long downhill to Wurzburg. Our original plan was to spend the night there and tomorrow get the train to Aachen before cycling the 30kms to Maastricht. But after arriving in Wurzburg we found the city overtaken with tourists, we could barely make our way to the train station to get tickets for tomorrow. So we changed plans ones again. Take the train this evening to Frankfurt, camp there for the night and tomorrow hop on the next train to Aachen. After all Frankfurt is central and we had to change trains their anyway. Camping Wassersportverein is expensive and real bad stay if you can’t find a better place. All in all it was a challenging but truly amazing day.

2014062044

The day started out flat but it was a bit chilly hence the long sleeves.

2014062045

One of the many times we had to cross the Tauber.

2014062046

More great cycling paths before Tauberbischofsheim.

2014062047

We took our second breakfast behind this tower in Tauberbischofsheim.

2014062048

And the front of the tower in Tauberbischofsheim, now a museum.

2014062049

Taking a breather near the top of the first climb after the village of Oberalterheim.

2014062050

Crossing the Main in Wurzburg.

2014062051

The bridge over the Main.

Day 20 Campingplatz Wassersportverein Offenbach, Frankfurt to Maastricht – cycled 45kms

We were up and out of this terrible camping by 07:00. We wanted to make sure we caught the earliest possible train out of Frankfurt because we had a couple of transfers before getting to Aachen. The way to Frankfurt Hdb was pretty quick this time of the day and after getting the tickets we boarded right away. All connections went perfect with only one we had to rush and there wasn’t an elevator so I just picked up the bikes one at a time and carried them up and down the flights of stairs, not easy. The rest of the trip Aachen was perfect. The ride from Aachen home was also great, it is always nice coming home after a near perfect tour. Looking back we were right to take the train from Lake Garda to the top of Brenner pass. It saved us some money and about three days cycling and we wouldn’t have ridden the Romantisch Strasse to Wurzburg. It is proven again that if you follow your feelings everything will work out right.

2014062152

Crossing the Mainz near Frankfurt.

2014062153

Looking at the Mainz, upstream.

2014062154

Some of the cycling to Frankfurt was on a nice cycling path along the Mainz.

2014062155

On the N278 heading for home.

2014062156

The last hill of the tour, heading for Ingber from Gulpen.

2014062157

On the plateau just a few kilometers before home.

2014062158

Finally home. Our daughter Femke was there with the wine chilled and cooking us a nice welcome home dinner.

This has been a fantastic tour which we truly enjoyed. Unfortunately it will be a long time before Italy see’s us again, just too damn expansive 🙂