Biking the Neckar (Baden-Wurttemberg region)
And we’re off – again! The wanderlust kicked in and so did the itch to return to our home away from home – the island of Crete. Living abroad for five years in a place of such unpredictable joys and challenges comes with its addictions. We keep going back again and again because in some unexplainable way, Crete has wormed its way into our souls and every year or two we need another fix.
But before Crete, we will wander, linger and savor a small piece of Germany.
A few years ago my husband RC and I did a self guided bike tour around the Bodensee in Germany. See my blog post about it here: https://cretanchronicles.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/biking-the-bodensee/
In spite of the consistent rain, we still rate it up there as one of our all time favorite wanders. So much so that we decided to do another bike tour in a different part of Germany.
We started this trip in Stuttgart and thanks to the hospitality and great company of our friends living there, we jumped right into swinging beers and tanking up on Swabian cuisine. Jet lag never had a chance to catch up with us. Which is a good thing because on the third day, we boarded a train and headed south to Tubingen, the departure point for our 250 km cycling tour along the Neckar River.
There are certain places in the world that are best seen from the saddle of a bicycle. The Neckar River region is one of them. Leisurely cruising thru a landscape filled with imposing castles, medieval towns and terraced vineyards is the best way to experience this land of fairy tale wonders.
On our first day we wandered around the charming medieval city of Tubingen. Located on the river, the old city boasts a canal, a castle (schloss) and a university – think Copenhagen and Venice but with German roots. The combination of healthy tourism and a vibrant college vibe serves the city well and it pulses with energy all day and into the night. Our hotel was nestled just outside the castle gate where a lively wedding reception was in full regalia. Our room in a medieval house had window boxes bursting with red geraniums, and we could hear the clatter of heels on the cobbled street below.
We savored some delicious regional food for dinner, checked on our bikes that had been delivered that afternoon and packed up our panniers for an early morning departure to ride the Neckar River bike path (Neckar Radweg). Our first leg would be 55 km so we settled in early for a good sleep. Luckily, the delayed jet lag came in handy, because we hardly noticed the party noises under our window that started at sunset and went until … who knows when.