3 Jul 2013

Day 11: Wemding to Urberach

I came down with a nasty cough/head cold which kept me up with hiccups and heartburn much of the night. With breakfast running only until 9am I had no choice but to get myself up but couldn't face anything more than a yogurt and some melon.

Hotel Ambiente looking fantastic despite the cloudy skies.

Feeling less than myself I could barely bring myself to carry down the panniers, sweating like I'd run a marathon. We got underway and the cool air helped matters considerably with the odd rain shower actually refreshing as we rode toward Kitzingen.

Petrol station colour matched to the bike.

We arrived in Kitzingen around noontime—having been 14 years since I was last there, I couldn't remember where to go to find the cemetery where Vlad (Dracula) the Impaler was buried.

The tourist information office was closed between noon and 2pm so I stopped by the local police station where I was buzzed into a rather stark and intimidating office.

However, I was greeted by a smily and rather round older policeman with an enormous German-style moustache and his colleague who looked about 12 years old. I'm quite certain it wasn't the first time they were asked about this as they had a good old laugh when I told them where I wanted to go. Nice to see the Bundespolizei actually have a sense of humour as they always look so serious and suspicious when you see them in the open.

We got to the cemetery which is just over the road from the town's crooked church spire which, through the years, has leaned directly toward Dracula's grave. The spire has openings in the shape of inverted crosses so that at nighttime the light inside will fall on the ground the correct way up in relation to the spire itself.

The crooked spire.

Dracula's grave protected from vandalism by the wrought iron gate.

On the ceiling above the grave are angels throwing up on the bodies of people Dracula killed in battle.

Close-up of one of the skulls.

A shot of the rest of the cemetery.

We carried on toward the village of Giebelstadt where I stayed with friends in the (now disused) US army barracks in 1999. Along the way we stopped to have a bite to eat at a little bakery in Fuchsstadt where I accidentally knocked over the bakery's sandwich board with my right pannier.

The bakery in Fuchsstadt.

Unfortunately I couldn't find the barracks—it seems they were knocked down after the US army abandoned the base so we topped up with petrol and started moving in the direction of Aachen.

Still not feeling my best we stopped more often than usual, in one place on the side of a farm road where we were approached by a very excited black dog and a farmer woman who spoke German with the strangest accent I've heard. I don't think she saw tourists often and was interested in hearing where we'd been and how long we'd been travelling.

Happy pup.

Rural farm road.

By 5pm I was done for the day, finding it increasingly difficult to focus on the road so it was time to find a place to spend the night. My phone picked up the Urberacher Hof 20km away in Urberach which was favourably rated and only €50 for the night.

When we arrived I have to admit I would have taken the room even if it was lined with cockroaches but it was a wonderfully quirky and slightly kitsch mum-and-daughter operation with a homely atmosphere.

The owners allowed me to park in their back garden for added security.

We had dinner at the gasthaus which specialised in pub-style food.

The gasthaus.

Perhaps boring to look at but one of the most delicious salads I've had recently.

Half a deep fried chicken with chips—this is what holidays are about.

The view from our table.

Bellies full it was time to get some sleep and hopefully shake off my nasty cold.

Alps 2013 quick links

Day 1: London to Lille
Day 2: Lille to Hagondange
Day 3: Slow road to Ammerschwihr
Day 4: Ammerschwihr
Day 5: Ammerschwihr to Thônes
Day 6: Thônes to.... Thônes
Day 7: Thônes to Ruèras
Day 8: Ruèras to Flachau
Day 9: Flachau
Day 10: Flachau to Wemding
Day 11: Wemding to Urberach
Day 12: Urberach to Antwerp
Day 13: Antwerp to London

The gear and how it held up
The trip in hindsight