We flew back to Germany to catch up with my son who lives in Berlin and to look into buying a motor home in Germany. We had no house to come back to, so a motor home would be a step up from a tent, yet we would still be mobile using our bikes as everyday transport.
We haven’t cycled much of Germany but we had plenty of time to explore the Hessen region whilst we dealt with second hand motor home salesman. The area is famous for being the inspiration for Grimm’s fairy tales. It is a beautiful region of rolling hills and forests cut through with rivers.Medieval towns with half timbered houses on narrow streets. It has some excellent cycle routes which mostly stay off roads and take you through the forests.
There are plenty of campsites around mainly set up for motor homes. The German’s love their motor homes with the more popular sites crammed full of them. We spent about 3 weeks touring around the area. Beautiful towns like Han Munden which were surrounded by forests with good walking routes.
On the more popular routes we came across a new phenomena to us. The elderly cyclist on an electric bike. They would delight in overtaking our fully laden tourers. The electric bike has really taken off in Germany. Renewable energy is also huge with forests of wind generators everywhere and solar panels covering any south facing roof. Even 17th century half timbered houses had their roofs covered.
We visited Douwe and Blanche, a couple of dutch cyclists we had met a year earlier in Tashkent. They had finished their year long tour about 8 months earlier and were back home near the Hague. It was great to catch up with them and they were already planning their next trip
Belgium and France.
We stopped off at Ghent and enjoyed exploring the city on bikes. It highlighted the differences between Asia and Europe. A city with a rich past as shown by the houses rich merchants had built with cycle friendly routes, Belgian beer, coffee and chocolate shops.
After 2 years of traveling, we caught the Dunkirk ferry back to the UK with our bikes on the back of our motor home. It all felt very familiar.