Day 17 Thursday 9th June 2016 – Eisenach to Schleusingen 58 miles (987 miles so far)
After a stormy and tiring day yesturday, I was pleased to see it was a dry morning, even if it was overcast. Packing a tent, ensuring the inner stays dry can be tricky, but after a few tries I managed to fold the inner sheet before folding the outer on top.
Germany is a bigger courty than I thought! So far, I have been following a coast or had a shorter destination to aim for. Now I just have Salzburg, which is still a couple hundred miles away. It also doesn’t help that I don’t have any maps for Germany. As I am now cycling a different route, the maps I brought with me are completly useless. I had thought that my friend Jilly the garmin would be enough, but its difficult to plan somewhere to stay. I could go east, south east, south or south west!
I had seen lots of signs pointing towards Bad Sulzungen and seeing it was south, I headed towards it, hoping there would be a book shop. The size of the town didn’t look promising, I hadn’t seen a book shop in the larger towns so it seemed unlikely to be one here.
I shouldn’t have given up hope though, as on the ‘high street’, which consisted of around six shops, one of them was a book shop! I really couldn’t belive my luck! Straight in the door I shot and found they had a large selection of maps. Choosing a 1:300,000 Marco Polo atles of Germany, I then set to pull the pages out and sort them into a neat pile of the ones I needed to get to Salzburg (obviously after I’d paid for the book, I think the shop keeper would have been very upset is she saw me pulling the book apart!).
It was now 12pm and I only travelled four miles! So armed with my new map, I plotted a route towards Coburg. I knew I wouldn’t get there tonight as it was 70 miles away, but I saw Schleusingen had at least two campsites was around 50 miles away.
The sun was finally showing itself again, after a very cool morning. It was around 15°c, one of the coolest day do far. Though no sign of rain so far!
With help of the newly purchased map, I could see some of the smaller towns and villages, a nice change from the morning spent on the major roads. However, it was in one of these villages where I had my first tumble off the bike.
I was cycling along, enjoying sun which had just appeared when I heard a car coming up behind me. I turned and saw it turning down another street. Suddenly I saw a pot hole in front of me, so swerved to the left. The quick movement and turning caused the bike to lean to the left, and with the weight of the panniers, it was all to much.
Slightly embarrassed, I leapt up and heaved my bike back upright. Luckily there was only one person around who saw my small fall. It must have been amusing to watch a cyclist be pulled over by their own luggage before jumping back up!
Although a little shaken, I only had a couple of grazes, and most importantly the bike was unhurt. After a little cleaning of the grazes I cycled on, albeit slightly more careful than before!
So far in Germany, I have met less people than in Scandinavia, mainly as English is not most people’s second language. Some will speak none and others can only speak a little. However, the very friendy girl at the campsite had almost perfect english having just returned from traveling in New Zealand. It was great to finaly be able to speak to someone!
I was struggling to explained where I lived in the UK, so said between London and Birmingham. She said that she lived somewhere between Berlin and Munich. Oh the joys of geography!