Activities

Do-It-Yourself German Cycle Tour-FAQ

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Mike’s bike along the Rhine Cycle Route

I’ve had lots of questions about how we went about planning and executing our recent Germany cycling trip. Well, this post will answer those questions.  This was our first overseas do-it-yourself (DIY) cycle tour, and while I think we did a darn good job, I don’t claim to be an expert. My recommendations are based on our experiences along the Rhine and Mosel cycle routes in mid-late September. They are geared to fairly easy-going, non-camping trips that are heavy on sightseeing and enjoying local food and drink. Please take a look at my posts on the Rhine Cycle Route and Mosel Cycle Route for descriptions of these gorgeous rides. Continue reading

Categories: Biking, Germany | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Trier: The Oldest City in Germany is an Underrated Gem

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Electoral Palace in Trier

It’s not a place that’s on the itineraries of many  visitors to Germany. Google top tourist attractions in Germany, and Trier is often absent or way down the list. Berlin has the cool factor, Munich has Oktoberfest, and Heidelberg oozes romantic charm. Perhaps it’s a branding issue. Trier’s unique features should place it much higher on Germany’s must-see lists, especially for history buffs. During our cycle trip, we spent a “rest day” in Trier and discovered a city with remarkable history, incredible monuments and laid-back joie de vivre. Here are some of the amazing things we learned about Trier. Continue reading

Categories: Biking, Germany | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

Cycling Germany’s Mosel Cycle Route: Koblenz to Trier

IMG_8367We call it the fairy-tale route. The Mosel Cycle Route meanders past some of Germany’s prettiest landscapes, best wine regions, cutest towns and most impressive castles. As the crow flies, it’s only 95 km between Koblenz and Trier, two of Germany’s oldest and most charming cities. But traveling along the cycle path more than doubles the distance as the route hugs every swan-graced curve of the Mosel. This is a very good thing. Most of the roughly 200 km journey is like being in a feel-good Disney film with a really fine wine by our side. Continue reading

Categories: Biking, Germany | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

Cycling Germany’s Rhine Bike Route: Bingen to Koblenz

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The pretty town of Rhens on the Rhine

The first leg of our cycling trip is on the Rhine Cycle Route from Bingen to Koblenz. Known as the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, this 65 km (40 mile) stretch is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It would be easy to knock off this short, flat distance in a day, but with dozens of hilltop castles, pretty towns and scenic views, it invites slow travel. The well-maintained bike path hugs the Rhine River and is car-free. At every bend there’s another castle towering over the endless vineyards. Little towns, dating back to Roman times, are directly along the route; they’re filled with gorgeous architecture, historic sites, tasty treats and wine and beer. If you missed my introduction to our Germany/France cycle tour, you can find it here. Continue reading

Categories: Biking, Germany | Tags: , , , , , | 35 Comments

Cycling Weekend on San Juan Island, Washington: The Island that Could’ve Been Canadian!

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Wonderful cycling on San Juan Island, Washington

Back in June, I had one of my best weekends of the summer—a two day cycling trip on Washington’s San Juan Island. Just days before our departure I was perusing  John Crouch’s Cycling the Islands. I was looking for an island within reasonable distance of Vancouver, with great cycling and scenery that wasn’t too large, too small, too mountainous, too flat, too busy, too quiet, too beholden to too many ferries…Bingo! With its stunning coastal vistas, pleasantly rolling terrain, good roads and courteous easy-going drivers, San Juan is a total pleasure for cyclists. Damn! To think that this island could have been ours (Canada’s). Continue reading

Categories: Biking, United States | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

Laguna de los Tres (Fitz Roy): The Iconic Patagonian Hike in all its Fall Finery

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Early morning view of Fitz Roy from our El Chalén hotel—C.Helbig

On our first morning in El Chaltén, Argentina we woke up to a fiery red Mount Fitz Roy. I was beyond excited. Clear days are few and far between in southern Patagonia. Our guesthouse host recommended we do the Laguna de los Tres hike (also called Cerro Fitz Roy) for the best close-up views of the crown jewel of Patagonia. This hike, located in Los Glaciares National Park, has it all—granite spires, giant glaciers, turquoise lakes and pretty forests that pop with unbelievable colours if you’re lucky enough to be there in fall. Laguna de Los Tres is surprisingly accessible and relatively easy if you’re reasonably fit.  From start to finish, this hike is as stunning as they come.   Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Argentina, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

WINE-der WOMAN at the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon

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Team Wine-der Woman running through the vineyards—C.Helbig

It’s my favourite weekend of the year! It’s filled with belly laughs, outrageous silliness and much wine consumption with great friends. This is our fourth year participating in the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon, an annual event that takes place in the vineyards of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Named the 2017 Canadian Event of the Year at the Canadian Tourism Awards, the “marathon” is an 18 km (11.2 mile) course that winds its way through bucolic countryside with more than a dozen wine tasting and food sampling stops along the way. There are no prizes for speed, only creativity. After being pushed off the podium last year, we were thrilled to reclaim first prize with our WINE-der WOMAN costume. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Crazy Fun Stuff, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

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