29 July 2007

Bicycling: Bacharach, Mainz, Frankfurt, Worms

July 17. The ride from Bacharach to Mainz had some ups and downs, both literally and figuratively. It started raining and Helen's raincape got caught in the bicycle gears, causing her to take "a spill." There were some hard, long hills, but the road followed the Rhein and the scenery was nice. At one village she had trouble changing her money and had to go to 3 different banks. Her lunch was the "best meal yet," though: rump steak, potatoes, lettuce, and peaches.

hostel card front
Hostel Pass.

The next day they went on toward Frankfurt. They stopped in a little village along the way for a drink, "a quaint little village with narrow crooked streets with the usual odor." I wonder what the usual odor is? Garbage? Animals? Or something nice like baking bread? By noon they were at the Frankfurt hostel, which seems downright luxurious. Large, big enough to sleep 900 people. The 4 girls got a room with 5 beds in it. And it had hot water. They took advantage of their great accomodations and spent the afternoon washing up and taking naps.

After dinner the evening was spent singing and dancing with the other young people at the hostel. "Fast twirling German waltzes which I did with a boy from Sudetan. I got so dizzy he had to hold me up -- embarrassed no end."

Helen and friends spent a full day in Frankfurt doing some sight-seeing. At this point in the journal I think the entries are from Helen's friend. (My detective skills tell me this since Helen suddenly becomes a third person character.) In Frankfurt they saw Goethe's house, some churches, and the Emperor's Hall, where they had to put on felt slippers to keep their shoes from damaging the highly polished floor.

Back at the hostel that night, they met up with others in their group who were a day behind on their bicycles. Another night of singing and dancing.

July 20. They left Frankfurt and headed to Worms. They had a pretty good lunch on the road, it included fruit and pastries, and stopped at a farmhouse for glasses of milk. The hostel in Worms was in the basement of a school. Doesn't seem to be as great as the Frankfurt hostel, but good enough for washing up and napping before going out to explore the town.

They met "a nice young fellow who offered to escort us around." He told them a little bit about current events in town. He was discontent and had not been able to eat meat for 3 weeks. He was allowed only 1/4 pound of butter a week. (I don't know if that's just for him--which seems like plenty--or for a family.) "He was quite certain that Germany would take Danzig & that there would be war." He also said something that they think got mixed up in translation: Everyone had "me foot on war." Eventually they had to leave him and hurry back for their own dinner, which I notice didn't include meat: soup, eggs, potatoes, and salad.

Next stop, Heidelberg.

hostel card stamps
Back of hostel pass, with stamps from the various hostels she stayed at.

See all posts of Helen's trip.

(Clicking on photos will take you to larger views flickr.)

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