Day 79 of my cycling journey – July 19, 2022
I left Blickershausen to cycle back along the river Werra to Hann. Münden in order to follow the rivers Fulda and Eder into the mountain range which is called the “Kasseler Berge”. The day was very hot, reaching 37 C at its peak, and I cycled along for 100 km to the town of Fritzlar. Since it was very hot, I jumped into the Fulda and Eder to cool down. I had never cycled in such hot weather.
I left in the same way I had come to Blickershausen, my friend escorted me on his tricycle, and we said good-bye. Going back the same way I came, I reached Hann. Münden and turned left, along the river Fulda in the direction to Kassel. The cycling way along the Fulda is at least as stunning as the Weser cycling path. Cycling along the riverbanks through green lush forests helped to alleviate the increasing heat that developed during the day. It was getting really hot and when I reached the town of Kassel I could feel the heat radiating from the sky, the roads and buildings around me. The town itself was unbearably hot and I made a hasty lunch break in order to be back in the shade and the coolness of the cycle path along the river. The heat wave which had tormented southern Europe and the UK had finally arrived in Germany. Back at the Fulda I continued cycling in a south-westerly direction. At one point I couldn’t resist anymore, and I simply had to jump into the cold river to bring my operational temperature down to an acceptable level. Without bothering to change into my swimming trunks I jumped into the river.
I reached the river Eder which was even colder than the Fulda when I repeated the exercise of cooling down. The thermometer was reaching 36,8 C, the same as the human body temperature, when I wondered if a 64-year-old guy like me shouldn’t better sit in an air-conditioned pub and enjoy a cool one, instead of cycling almost 100 km through a lovely, but super-heated countryside. The countryside was lovely, with castles on hilltops and the river winding through narrow river valleys. But I was getting tired. I had donned my helmet and on came the sun hat I had bought. I started the procedure to fill the sun hat with water and put it on my head immediately which result in the water dripping down on me and my shirt and consequently the wind produced a lovely cold when the water was evaporating. This evaporative cooling helped me to cycle the last km of the day when ascending to the town of Fritzlar, which is situated on a hilltop. Ringed by a wall and watch towers, the old medieval city centre has very old half-timbered houses from the 15th – 17th century and is quite a sight to the tourist. Fritzlar played quite a substantial role in the history of Germany as it was the place where the first king of the Germans, Henry I, was elected in A.D. 919.
I didn’t stay in Fritzlar very long as it was late, and I still needed to find my campground. Buying provisions for the evening, including two ice-cold beer cans, I cycled down the hill and to a campground located directly at the river Eder. Sitting down and having an ice-cold beer was the first action of the evening. The second action was to jump into the river and to bring my temperature down to the 18 C of the water. Setting up my tent and having dinner with the second beer, slightly warmer by now, were my next and final acts on this challenging day.