Germany

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

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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

Cycle Touring in Germany and France: The 10 Things I Enjoyed Most

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Sampling the wine along the way

Mike and I just returned from a cycling trip in Germany’s Rhine, Mosel, Saar and Pfalz regions and in neighbouring Alsace, France. We dub the experience The Tour du Vin und Kuchen. My odometer says that we pedalled 1100 km (684miles). Please save the oohs and ahhs. It works out to an average of about 50 km (31 miles) per day, cycling 21 out of our 29 days. We had a planned route, but our itinerary was fluid and we booked on the fly, giving us lots of flexibility to take part in wine festivals, eat kuchen (cake) and explore the fairy-tale towns and castles. Over the next months, I’ll be writing posts about each of the regions we visited.  For now, here’s a summary of what I most enjoyed. Continue reading

Categories: France, Germany | Tags: , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Bingen am Rhein, Germany: Castles, Wine, Cake, and More

IMG_1816My parents both grew up in Bingen am Rhein, a town along Germany’s scenic Middle Rhine. They took my sister and me to the Fatherland often. We weren’t thrilled about these trips, filled with boring visits to see ancient great aunts and weird little cousins. The mid-afternoon ritual of buttercream kuchen (cake) got me through. I suspect the local wine was my father’s saviour. It wasn’t until much later that I came to appreciate the charms of Bingen—part of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site and gateway to medieval castles, fairy-tale towns, luscious vineyards, and delectable kuchen. Continue reading

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