Sunday, August 31


Traude arrived in mid-August to stay with us for nine days including the August bank holiday. Traude was still recovering from a nasty cold the first few days so took it easy and had a few meanders into town while we were at work. We went out to dinner with Amy & Paul one night and Traude and I went to one of the BBC proms at the Royal Albert Hall. I took the Friday off and we went on a wee boat trip along the Regen'ts Canal and exploring Hampstead Heath, then back through Hackney down to Brick Lane where we caught up with Graham for a curry.
It was really good to catch up.
For the long weekend, the three of us headed off to the Cotswols where we stayed in a B&B, toured some of the scenic towns and did some rural walks.
One of the towns we visited was Bibury.

The water in the river running through the village was really clear and you could see the trout (there is a local trout farm) waiting to be fed.

The main attraction in Bibury is Adlington Terrace, a series of old cottages now owned by the National Trust.

The other main attraction, at least for Graham, were the little yellow ducklings getting carried off by the stream.

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On the Sunday night we headed into Bath to show Traude the main sights of the town.

Bath is currently full of pigs of all colours, shapes and sizes. This one was hanging from a tree...

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Walk to the Vine Tree Pub

Our Sunday walk started in Eastcombe and snaked past a church, down a valley and through woodlands.

After the walk we headed to the Vine Tree Pub near Nettleton for a Sunday Roast. Traude is no fan of beer or ale but she let us take this photo for Rob!

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Malmsbury Abbey
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Cotswolds - Malmsbury

We started the weekend by driving to Malmsbury where we did a walk around the town.

Fran & Traude the great explorers...

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Graham and his Spagetti Eis. We had just made back down the hill from the Marksburg and decided it was reat time.

On the morning of our last day, here we are at the top of the hill above Koblenz and you can see 'das Deutsche Eck' in the background. This marks the confluence of the Rhine and the Mosel.

The statue of Wilhelm I at Deutsches Eck. Wilhelm was the first to try and unite the various German states and kingdoms into one country.
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Die Marksburg

View from the Marksburg, the only intact castle along the Rhine that is open to the public. It is owned by the German Castles Association. For more info see:

After having lunch in the court yard, we did a guided tour of the interior.

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Boppard is one of the largest town on the part of the Rhine that we cycled along. All the major cruising boats stop here and it's a pretty touristy place. We stayed one night and then took the ferry over to the 'left bank' in the morning.

Group shot on the ferry.

The view back across to Boppard.
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Bacharach is the cutest little medieval town on the Rhine. It has beautiful half timbered houses and the backdrop consists of steep hill sides covered in little vinyards.

There's a wee castle in the middle of the town.

The gang taking a break and admiring the houses.
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Starting in Bingen

German trains have special carriages for bikes. Unfortunately it took us a while to find the correct carriage on the first train we boarded in Cologne. It also turned out to be a bad day for the local train operators. There had been a slip on the track along one side of the Rhine, so this put more pressure on the trains on the other side of the river. Then the second train we caught broke down. So we got to Bingen a bit later than expected, but this was good time to catch up with Dagmar and Bruce who we hadn't seen in over two years...

Dagmar, Bruce and Fran on the train

Here we are setting off on our big adventure, leaving Bingen and heading north.

The Gastehaus (B&B) we stayed at the first night. It was run by a typical german Oma!
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