Day 86 of my cycling journey around the world – July 26, 2022
Leaving Walluf, I cycled again through some of the same areas of Rhine and Main rivers I had cycled the day before. Turning away from the Main river in direction to Darmstadt, I pedalled 75 km to reach the house of two very good friends who were once my room mates in a time long past. They lived in the town of Münster.
I left my quarters in Walluf. Pleasant company had made the evening before and the breakfast on the terrace enjoyable. It was time to leave and try to reach my next destination where another encounter with my past was going to materialize. Meeting former roommates who I haven’t seen for more than ten years. They live in Münster, a small town near Darmstadt. To ride there, I had to cycle back the same way I had come the day before. The way hadn’t improved, and I was extremely happy when at one point I could leave the industrial sprawl of Wiesbaden and cross the Main to cycle along the river first and then through forest areas in direction to Darmstadt. As a tip for all long-distance cyclists: When cycling through the Rhein-Main area it is perhaps the best is to adhere to the long-distance cycle ways, like the Main cycle path. Here you have at least some resemblances of nature around you.
Cycling through this area wasn’t all boring. There were some nice places to see as well, like the Rhine harbour of Schierstein or the palace of Biebrich. An impressive chateau which was once the seat of the Dutchy of Nassau. Fun anecdote: there is a slightly derogatory term in German, which is “Nassauer”. It means that this is a person, who is continuously living on the expense of others. Evil tongues are saying that this term had been coined with the Nassau family in mind. According to the rumours the family was so poor that they married into many of the European houses. Relatives could so go and live with their married family members in different parts of Europe. Today the members of the larger Nassau family can be found in practically all European noble families. Is it true? I don’t know, but it certainly was funny when I learned that many years ago.
Coming closer to the city of Darmstadt, I cycled again through sprawls of single-detached family houses. It was getting very hot again. Since almost a week I hadn’t seen any rain and I was considering that these drought and heat waves seem to have become the new normal. This had a particular impact for me since I was cycling on gravel paths and the gravel was so dry that the dust soon covered me like a coating of powder sugar, just not as tasty. Sometimes cycling is not the most pleasurable of activities I can imagine. Arriving at the house of my friends, I wasn’t recognized at first (I claim it on the dirt coating and not my aging), but once my credentials were established I was welcomed, and a long evening followed in which we talked and laughed, and which also gave me the opportunity to take a shower in order to be recognizable again.