My wiggle through Germany started by bouncing into Aachen, a city that was heavily hit in World War 2. It would be a consistent theme through my time in Germany, but Aachen did a good job of showing it with old shells of buildings being retained and used as part of the new constructions. I was only there shortly, arriving on Saturday afternoon and leaving Sunday morning, but staying with my Warmshowers hosts, Bernd & Sabine, meant that it wasn’t until almost noon that I left. Sunday in Germany is still a special day, and it has a very different feel. In the UK, large shops can not be open for more than 6 hours on a Sunday. In Germany bakeries are open until about 10am, and that’s so people can get their fresh breakfast rolls, but otherwise it’s just really petrol stations. People really do slow down on a Sunday, and I think that’s fantastic – other than the logistical issue it creates in terms of having to remember to buy enough on Saturday afternoon to see me through to Monday morning. No problem if you’re living there, more of an issue when you’re carrying it all, but with my panniers being emptier than ever there was space for plenty of food, and with petrol stations being open there was always an option for some kind of overpriced nutrition if it was needed.
Sabine & Bernd have done plenty of cycle trips, including a longer one last year through Latin America, and were fantastic hosts. They’ve just had a baby, and so it was Bernd who took me out for my tour of Aachen as Sabine stayed home with Lea. It included a visit to the local church where a Bolivian group were playing traditional music (you can see a short clip below) having been invited over to build ties between Germany and Bolivia. It was lovely, although I had no idea what they were saying as the audio quality wasn’t the best. Oh well!
The other part of this German wiggle, was after Luxembourg. I headed east to Koblenz, where the Mosel + Rhine meet. Christian, an old friend of the family works there and lives just north so I spent a few lovely days with his family, before a brief return back to the UK. Having been away for only 3 weeks it was bizarre, but C was home for a few days so it made sense to go home and see her. I left my bike in Sinzig and the return flight was around €100, not so bad really!