Eastern was on the agenda and the travelling duo was excited to do something special, yet, we were told that there was nothing in a 40km radium. It was already late in the afternoon and my bad knee, which until the mountains I never had trouble with when cycling, had been acting up again, so no Eastern fire for us. Since we were having the times of our lives with travelling, we let the one missed festive tradition go. Instead, we went to the store and got enough supplies for coming days, as the shops would be closed the coming two days. Also fun! 😛
In Ludwigsstadt, we camped out on a field of an older man. Heinz seemed distant, yet he clearly was interested in the two cyclists staying on his ground. He came by a few times, whether it was with a map to help us with a route, deliver two ice cold beers or bring the news of a passed away icon (R.I.P Johan Cruijf). A few children were waving at us while we were laying on the grass, when evening was approaching. A big, fluffy toy flew out of the window, followed by one of the kids running outside to grab it again. This repeated once or twice again before they were off to bed. I wish we had gone too… Maarten had convinced me to go to a Turkish restaurant for a meal, where upon leaving, I accidentally broke a vase… (:| I am sorryy!!)
The following morning, on a sunday, began early for me and as we were taking it more easy I let my fellow traveller sleep in a little. I used this time to write in my book, a gift from my sister. When he did wake up and it was time for breakfast, we were surprised when Heinz was at our tents with a cup of coffee and a coloured, boiled egg. Before leaving Ludwigsstadt though, we wanted to have a look at the chirch, as from what we had seen, it was a magneficent one. Once we arrived, delayed by friendly Heinz, the clock hit 10 o’clock and the miss started. It was too late now to return we thought and joined as neither of us minded the religious hour. And even though we didn’t understand it too well, nor do we believe in God, it was an interesting experience. It was indeed an impressive chirch, especially from the inside. As we left, we were given some inspirational words from the priest, proud to have two young travellers in this local chirch on Eastern Sunday.
One mountain to rule them all
“Up”, had Heinz said, yet what we were about to face, was far from what we had expected. This was most likely the most steep and highest hill we had to push our heavily packed bikes up. It cost us roughly over an hour to get up, with a squirrel guiding us. Thank goodness, were our spirits as high as can be that day, as it would have been an awful push on a moody morning. Like I said in my previous blog though, overcoming these mountains comes with a great reward; The oh-so amazing views! We passed forests with gigantic, gorgeous lakes and streams flowing through. ❤
The evening was spent in Harra, once again a small village, where we stayed in the garden of a small couple. That night I wandered for a bit through the village. I don’t know why, but I find it soothing to walk in these unfamiliar places once the darkness has arrived. I suppose one can get to know a place in a different aspect.
The only actual Eastern thing we had was the breakfast given to us the following morning. It was a grand breakfast and super delicious! We were told we could take with the three pots of marmelade. The homemade marmelade that made every meal incredible! I can easily say, that we were both very pleased to hear those words. What was funny, as we were about to depart to Hof, the grandparents were standing there, curious to the foreigners crazy enough to cycle in mountainous Germany. The woman did most of the talking, in a way that most grandparents would do after finding out that we are not great in their common tongue. It actually helped us understand though. She had wished us great and safe travels after mocking her husband with a few jokes. Love the look on his face when she was telling the jokes!
The Butterfly Effect
It was when we had just arrived in Hof, that something special happened. Maarten dropped his portable charger causing a ‘butterfly effect’ (= The idea, that small causes may have large effects ). As a lady helped him pick it up, it forced both her husband and me to stop for a second. This started a conversation, leading to more. After it was clear that we hadn’t found a sleeping place yet, both of them were eager to invite us in, letting us sleep in the guestroom. It was only after this small introduction, that the two, Reinhardt and Doris, were willing to give us a key to the house.
It was around dinner time, after a needed shower, that I got to know the couple better. Both with a career as nurse, Reinhardt already enjoying his pension life. This was perfect, as I was given medicine and tips for my knee. They are also two big time travellers, having been to many countries before, mostly with their sailing boat. It was at an early age, after the studies, that had Reinhardt bought his first sailboat, which broke down during their first trip. They went from Triëst to Kreta, where they had to flee when it nearly collapsed during a big storm. We felt really at home here and we were offered to stay another day, which we gladly accepted.
The next, and last full day in Germany began early with a breakfast of German Pretzels (I need more!!) followed by a tour of the city, provided by the two sailors. We were shown the highlights, whilst being told all about the present and history, economy and breweries of Hof.
The rest of the day we spent exploring the town on our own, whereas we enjoyed having a day to not cycle. In the centrum we could hear the cheery, yet awful, chants of the well-known drunk homeless guy. It was fun to see, how he treated everyone with respect and the people were being friendly back to him. The day was closed off with a small beer tasting prepared by our hosts. If it couldn’t get anymore crazy, we might see them again, as their next sailing trip might involve one of our destinations.