Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Black Sea or Bust Day 5 - Marxheim to Bad Gogging (81 km)
A glorious morning, a Sunday, and as I freewheel down towards the river church bells are ringing in all the nearby villages, I pass formally dressed families on their way to church. You never hear a peal of bells as you do in England, here the bells just toll. There is nothing to match the sound of the bells of St Martins in the Fields as you come out of Charing Cross tube for a 9.00am Sunday work call at the Coliseum.
Most of the day's ride is along the banks of the Danube and mostly through woodland. There are two towns of note, Neuburg and Ingoldstadt. The former is full of architectural gems that I didn't stop to look at. Ingoldstadt is famous for it's beer which I did stop to try. Reputedly this is the best beer in Germany and while my opinion of German beer is that it's alright in its way but it all tastes the same, I will admit that what I sampled in Ingoldstadt was very good indeed. The original Frankenstein novel is set here.
In the afternoon the rains came, the path turned to mud and at some point I missed a sign which resulting a two kilometre excursion down a spit of land that ran parallel to the bank, a dead end. There was nothing for it but ride bank and the rain bucketed down. At this point I thought "Why the fuck am I doing this?"
The afternoon became pure drudgery alternately on a muddy path or on busy roads. I was happy to get to Bad Goggingen, my destination for the night, but the Pension that I was booked into was unimpressive. The place was deserted but the front door was open. There was note on the bannister telling me that I was in Room 18 and that breakfast was at 7.30. There was a smell about the place and as I prepared to lug my bags upstairs I noticed movement behind the frosted glass of the kitchen door. I tapped on the glass. No reply so I went upstairs feeling that there was just a touch of 'Das Bates Motel' in the air. Nylon sheets! No soap! Overwhelming smell from cowshed next door! When I went downstairs a little old lady came out of the kitchen muttering to herself, she followed me around, still muttering, until I left for supper, another German stage-weight special. If I keep this up I will be the fittest 28 stone man in Europe.