Day 57 07/14/23
After being off for a few days getting back on the road was a challenge. Slowly, we got pedalling. The beautiful mountains stood as a backdrop and the roads were fairly flat. Then came the downhills which we always appreciate. I said to Sarah at one point as we were blissfully gliding downhill for miles, "This is what it must be like to ride an ebike." Maybe someday we will succumb.
Not all days have memorable moments, but the vineyards we rode through were beautiful and a little town we came upon adorned a cute water fountain. It seems so random but most towns/villages have a fountain that runs freely for all to drink from... so we think. We have been told you can drink from them but we have not had the courage to try it yet.
We arrived at our next campground near Magrüal, Liechenstein. At some point we left Switzerland and entered Liechenstein, a country of only 39,000 people and 62 square miles. We had rented a very nice bedroom with a shared kitchen and bathroom. Hot dogs and fries at the snack bar were on the menu so we decided to feast. While eating we met a couple from Australia who were cycling with their young boys for three months. They seemed to be having a great time but it is hard to imagine how hard that must be at times.
Back in our room we spent some time watching the news and wishing things were different in our country. From our chats with people from other countries, it seems the whole world has fallen under the same spell. So on we go another day. Thankfully, the world keeps spinning.
Keep on rolling
Scott and Sarah
Rode 41 miles
Day 58 07/15/23
Had a good night's sleep and I was looking forward to the day but felt a little sluggish. The morning air was crisp, cool and perfect for sleeping. I mentioned to Sarah that if there was a day to sleep in, this would be the perfect one. But say it wasn't so. We had to be somewhere, at just the right time, for a mystery meeting of sorts.
We had a destination in mind, Lindau on lake Constance in Germany. We did not have a reservation and it was the weekend. The ride was flat, flat, flat. Did I say, Flat! That is always nice especially when the scenery is so beautiful. One draw back, the temperatures were back up in the 90's.
So figure this one out. We were riding along the Rhine on this beautiful bike path and up ahead was a full size replica of a row boat on the side of the bike path. I was in pedalling mode but as we passed it I thought, "We haven't taken any fun pics lately", so, I turned the bike around and pedalled back. Normally going backward is anathema to me but I was certain we needed a photo. We pulled out the tripod and set up the shot. As I was getting out of the boat a couple with backpacks were passing by us on the trail and of course I said, hello.
This is where it gets into that, UNBELIEVABLE kind of moment. They (Kevin and Monique) appeared to be from the US. I asked them where they were from to which he replied, Montana. That immediately led to more conversation and the usual reciprocation of general facts. But then came the moment where we all blew our minds. Kevin asked if we had done any other long distance bicycle touring.
As you all know we rode across the United States last summer on the Trans America Trail. Kevin replied, "So did we." It turns out that we were days apart on the route. They even made the same detour onto the Eastern express as we did to avoid the heat and finish in Washington DC.
Then Kevin mentioned that they had just finished volunteering at the Spoke-n-Hostel in Oregon.
We had spent a few days there on our ride across America and loved the place. While we were there we met a couple, Doug and Donna Strange. We have stayed in touch with them. I knew that Doug and Donna had just volunteered at the hostel and asked Kevin if they happened to know them. Of course they had! We all stood there amazed at the odds of such a chance meeting on a bike path half way around the world.
I had been texting with Doug the day before so I thought it would be a good idea to get a shot of all of us and send it to him. When Doug got the photo I asked him, "Do you recognize any of these people?" He simply responded yes. I thought it was an odd answer so I explored it a little further. Doug assumed we had known these people pre-trip and set up a time to coordinate with them. But of course it was all spontaneous. Being in the right place, at the right time or a divine engagement but either way it was fantastic!
After a brief ride through Austria, we made it to Lindau, Germany and got a campsite. It was hotter than we had hoped so we spent a lot of time just waiting for it to cool down in order to go to bed.
Keep on rolling
Scott and Sarah
Rode 49 miles
Day 59 07/16/23
It poured last night and we woke up to a very wet tent. The good news: there was very little water inside so we stayed dry. We headed over to the campground bakery and bought some fantastic pasties and coffee while waiting for the sky to clear and dry out our aquatic abode.
The weather was perfect for riding today, broken skies with occasional sun and cooler temps. Very pleasant trails through vineyards and villages dotting the coast of lake Bodensee (Lake Constance). At one point, we stopped at a beautiful church and walked around the grounds. Looking up in the sky we saw a sign, the Goodyear blimp was hovering above as if to say, "Happy riding ahead." It either means no flats ahead or you need to get your patch kit ready. I'm going with the former.
We rode through the town of Friedrichshafen. They were hosting some kind of street fair and carnival. There were so many people we had to walk the bike. It was crazy but interesting to see all the vendors and wares. We looked for something to eat but managed to be indecisive and ended up on the other side of town picnicking on a bus bench. Oh well we saved our money for a grand dinner later that evening.
We arrived in Meersburg where we plan to stay in a hotel for two nights. Upon entering the town we just new it was going to be special. The smells coming from the restaurants, the beautiful architecture and the setting being right next to the lake were all compelling us to relax and enjoy. Arriving at our hotel we were met by the most energetic and interesting receptionist. A wonderful old house that has been a part of a family for many years provided a great place for a few days of well deserved rest. He recommend a restaurant just a stones throw away and we headed over for dinner.
It was more than fantastic. I ordered a pork tenderloin with a mushroom sauce and fresh mushrooms. It was accompanied by an amazing salad filled with an assortment of veggies that I rarely get to eat and topped with a creamy homemade dressing that was out of this world. Sarah had a breaded pork cutlet with herbed potatoes and a cranberry sauce. Another dish that was mouth watering. We then ordered walnut ice cream topped with meringue cookies and drenched in amaretto and cream. We had not felt this full for weeks. We enjoyed every bit of it.
After dinner we walked around town a bit to relieve ourselves of a few calories. I had a woman ask me if I could shoot a family photo so I did. She took a look at the picture and gave me a lesson in what she wanted and that was not it. Everybody was laughing and I reshot the picture. They were all from Iraq and when we told them we from the US they all broke out saying America, America. People are great!
We headed back to the hotel but stopped in a candy shop along the way. The young girl working there was from Albania. She was thrilled to speak English with us. So, after a bit of a chat, we bought a bag of assorted caramels. We ate those caramels before bed or should I say I ate most of them. Looking forward to exploring the rest of Meersburg tomorrow.
Keep it rolling
Scott and Sarah
Rode 31 miles
Day 60 07/17/23
We awoke to the most wonderful gift a person could ever have, breakfast German style. Fresh breads, assorted cheeses, meats, olives and vegetables, assorted fruit, homemade cereals, jams, boiled eggs, juices and last but not least, coffee. Can you tell that we are hungry?
We took some time after breakfast to explore the Meersburg Castle. What a fantastic peek into the medieval time period with all its weaponry, fashion and architecture. Very different than the beauty of the castles of France but just as interesting non-the-less.
Spent the rest of the day looking in shops, planning out our next week, reading and dinner. Tomorrow we catch the ferry across lake Constance and head back to Basil for our trip north on the Rhine where we will meet up with the Atlantic once again in the Netherlands.
Keep on rolling
Scott and Sarah