Day 4 - Mainz to Koblenz
I woke early, had a hearty hotel breakfast and headed to the dock and purchase my ticket (not cheap at €60!).
I woke early, had a hearty hotel breakfast and headed to the dock and purchase my ferry ticket (not cheap at €60!).
The ticket salesman reminded me that I had to change boats in Boppard and they boarding would commence in 30mins. I had some time to kill. So I reconfigured the setup on my bike to try and make it more comfortable. I think the left grip wasn't quite on the same angle as the right so I evened them out, angled the bars towards my saddle and lowered my seat slightly to give me a more relaxed position. I then took a quick test ride, it seemed better.
On the Boat
The boat ride was really great. Lots of pretty castles and villages to gawk at while I drank my beers. The most beautiful part is in between Rudesheim and St Goar, which is also the section where 100 odd Japanese tourists got on and off. I had quite a nice time people watching and sipping my beer in the sun.
Boppard to Koblenz
We arrived in Boppard 20mins late which meant that we'd missed our connecting boat. The ticket office in Boppard said the next boat wasn't for 4 hours. I was only 20km from Koblenz so I asked for a refund for that section, loaded my bike and started riding.
It was quite an easy ride. It 28 degrees by the time I started riding and it was windy, but mostly in my favour so it didn't take long to arrive at my hotel. I was certainly the most dishevelled person checking in, sweaty and covered in dust.
I was famished by the time arrived at my hotel in the late afternoon. I hadn't eaten since breakfast. So I grabbed by bike and set out to explore Koblenz and find a feed. I rode past the Deutsches Eck then down the old city. I eventually settled on Maximilian's Altes Kaufhaus because it seasonally brews its own beers and has the excellent Früh Kölsch. I had a Kölsch, their 'Saisonbiere' (which wasn't the light Belgian farmhouse style I was expecting but a German strong ale - a bit like a Bok), and a 'Grobe' (chunky) bratwurst with excellent house-made mustards. Just what I needed.
It looked like the weather was turning again so I headed back to the hotel and watched the storm roll in from my hotel room. As I was riding back I stopped at a traffic light. A BMW sports car pulled up with two muscled guys listening to German hip hop stopped at the light.
The passenger wound down his window. Here we go...
"Hey Schoenes kleine fahrad brüder! Sehr cool!"
(Hey great little bike brother! Very Cool!).
Hang on? What? Where's the homophobic slur? The cyclist hating vitriol?
You could be certain that if a BMW blasting music and carrying only young me men rolled up beside you and wound down the window in Australia, you wouldn't be receiving a compliment.
A pretty great day all in all.