Saturday, September 26, 2009


At the end of August we took advantage of the Bank Holiday weekend to visit Stuart's brother, Geoffrey, in Germany. He lives in a university town called Mainz, which is about half an hour out of Frankfurt. We were fortunate to have warm sunny weather the whole time, and someone who spoke German to do everything for us :)

Geoffrey had organised bikes for us for the weekend which was excellent, as it made it very easy to get around town, as well as go for longer rides along the Rhein. Mainz seems to be built for cyclists, as there are very wide footpaths with bike lanes on them, and special traffic signals for bikes. Also, cars have to give way to bikes, which was a nice change to dodging cars like we used to do in Auckland.

Highlights of our various cycle trips include:
  • visiting Floersheim and learning how to pronounce it
  • trying to bike up a very steep bridge (and failing)
  • eating a K√§sebrezel (cheese pretzel) - delicious
  • not having to wear a helmet
  • not ever feeling in danger from cars, and in fact hardly ever having to be on the road with them
Disappointments include:
  • not having a bike with a basket on the front
  • discovering that after 6 months of not cycling your bottom gets very sore very quickly :(
We visited an authentic German bar and Stuart had an authentic German beer while Leah tried an authentic German wine/fizzy water mixture. We met the two Johnnies and other people from Geoffrey's university. The German ones spoke English with an American accent.

On the Sunday we went for a boat cruise in the sunshine along the Rhein, and saw lots of castles. There were so many that I can't remember the names of any of them, but you can see what they look like. We also saw a town by the name of Assmannshausen, as well as the statue of Germania, and the Loreley rock. We ended up in St Goar where we looked around the castle there (Burg Rheinfels) before catching the train back to Mainz.

We flew back on Monday night, and had a very uneventful flight. On our flight on the way to Germany we flew over an awesome lightning storm, and we could see the lightning in the tops of the clouds.

Stay tuned for our next post on Rome... (it also features lightning)

See our photos

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