As he said he would Günter met us at the Frankfurt airport, as we left immigration control. What a treat. I had met Günter when he joined the Andes trail trip last year, in Bariloche Argentina riding to the finish at Ushuaia. He had been a pleasure to ride with there and has been a most amazing host here for the past two days.
It was Günter who I paired with for the final time trial of “the race” on the Andes trail. It was a couples race with the last person of the couple crossing the finish line receiving the time for both people. We took last place going only 36kph for 50 kilometer, except for two couples who were very distinctly not racing even more than us. Günter and I yammered the entire hour with a strong tailwind.
He lives just outside the city of Aschaffenburg about 50 kilometers from the Frankfurt airport. We drove to his place with a stop at the castle built sometime around 1650 for the Bishop at the time with a walk about town talking and exploring. Back to his house his wife Marion was waiting.
Jeanne and I were tired having been up for approximately 19 hours with minimal sleep on the packed flight. Our body clocks said it was 3 am, with the local time at 1 pm. A bit of a disconnect. But we decided the best was try and immediately adapt to local time which meant a great bike ride, although all agreed we should make no solid decisions.
Off we went for a 26 kilometer ride about the area along seemingly endless bike trails, cars stopping to give us the right of way. Approximately 1/2 way we stopped at a Biergarten for a couple of Radlers. Radlers are bikers beer which are 1/2 beer (Hefeweizen) and half lemonade. Not so much alcohol and a bit of energy for the riding. And each came with a hot pretzel. Normally I do not like pretzels as they are hard cracker tasting things, but these were basically a fresh bread and delicious.
Then back to dinner with Günter and Marion. He barbecued some delicious Argentina beef with some bratwurst and shishkebab of corn, zucchini and tomato. Awesome meal. But alas the time was catching up with Jeanne and myself; Jeanne dropped first and excused herself while Günter and I drank a bit of after dinner brandy. Then I dropped out.
Yesterday (Saturday, the 15August) the four of us took off for Seligenstadt across the river Main(pronounced mine) where we indulged in some champagne from a street vendor in the town square. It was busy there was a holiday in the state of Bavaria where Günter lives but across the river is the state of Hesse and it was a normal busy Saturday. A delightful 50 kilometer ride mostly along the Main river with barges going by and people out enjoying the sunshine, with on boats or biking or walking.
Then arrangements for the train. We downloaded the German train app and plugged in where we want to go which for now was to visit Todd and Britta near Köln. Amazing to read we have to change trains three times with only 3-9 minutes to change trains. Back in the good old USA it would be 3-9 hours. Günter says if a 10 minute delay, it is a major problem. Wow. But could not get tickets for Siegburg to Andermatt Switzerland as the bikes take a special ticket and unable to obtain on the Internet.
A delightful dinner out and another great sleep. Now currently writing this while on the train cruising along at 248kph. Amazing and all the connections are working without a problem.
It has been a most enjoyable two days. Günter and Marion were awesome hosts not only feeding and housing us, but showing us the sights around Aschaffenburg and teaching how to get trains and negotiate the German culture.