Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 20: to Roth, France (64k; 1112 total).

Yet another lovely day with good weather, good cycling, and good company.

Today was Ascension Day, a public holiday in both Germany and France. As a result the cycle paths were humming with cyclists (+/- children and dogs in trailers), runners, walkers, in-line skaters, people in wheelchairs and all other imaginable forms of human-powered transport, including a guy speeding along on a thing that looked like a bike but was operated by a sort of step machine.

Mid-morning we found ourselves in the most apocalyptic scene, with huge derelict machine works all around, half grown over with lush vegetation. We stopped for a coke at the new 'weirdest stop' spot - in the middle of this disaster zone an Italian restaurant with a plant-filled conservatory and immaculately tended garden. And a bunch of middle age German cyclists who solemnly lit up and ordered beers. 

We pushed on for lunch in Saarbrucken, a large city at the end of this stretch of industrial wasteland. Ed and Katy bought tomorrow's train tickets and we cycled straight through the completely closed (for the holiday) shopping centre. We ended up at random in the most fantastic pizza and pasta place, with wifi (almost unheard of here) and where you could watch the pasta being made. 

Post lunch was a short ride but felt a bit hard, we were perhaps all in a bit of a carb-daze, but the scenery improved dramatically as we headed out of town, with beer gardens, parks and pretty canals. At some unmarked point we crossed into France and celebrated with wine/beer/Orangina in Sarreguemines which was pretty, at least along the riverside.

Our location tonight is a very large and completely deserted camping park in Roth, which is apparently famous for hosting a triathlon. I asked if we could swim in the lake and got a long and complex explanation which I'm going to interpret as 'I'll pretend you didn't ask me that'. Despite that it's a relief to be speaking French, where I can hardly remember any words but at least have a reasonable idea of what's going on.

No comments:

Post a Comment