It’s been a rainy night! I’ve been sleeping in the tent and listened to the sound of the rain against my tent. I’m ready for a new day on the bike. Today’s goal is Willmars, and then to a camping in Ostheim, which is 7,5Km off the route.
I start packing my bag and the tent. The tent is really wet on the outside after the rain tonight and this morning. What can you do, we know it will be like a swimming pool when we arrive at the new camp site, but the weather report tells us that it will be sun, so we hope to be able to get it dry.
Point Alpha is just above 30Km from here. I’m on the road and follow «The Iron Curtain». We were told some stories about this area while we were on the camping. A woman from Holland told us that there were missing over 100 000 land mines and that it was suggested to not move 50 meters of the trail paths for bicycle and hikers. Sometimes they could hear a mine going off, normally this would be a wild boar (wild pig) that hit one of the land mines. I’m just hoping the trails are checked.
I’m at Point Alpha. I have high expectations, and I must admit that the thought about having too high expectations have hit me. Morten and Kathrine is here as well and have been walking around while waiting for me.
We pay the entrance fee which is 5 Euro per person. My first thought after entering the area is that I’m disappointed, but I will give it a chance, I need to see if there is more around here that will catch my eye.
I’m not convinced after taking some pictures of a watch tower, a couple cars and a tank. We walk into one of the halls and can see an old helicopter and a empty stage. At the next buildings it is like a normal museum. They’ve put up some plastic dolls with the clothes from an officer, and there are pictures and other things from «The Iron Curtain».
I’m getting more and more convinced that for me who is cycling along the boarder and can see a lot of these things for free, I will just get disappointed after walking into a museum…Because that is what Point Alpha is. It is a museum that have an outside area with a watch tower and some vehicles which are put inside a fence, you can’t even get a proper picture of them.
My opinion here is that they are using the story about this area, Point Alpha, to change a normal museum into a well visited museum. Because the story is interesting, there’s no doubt about that, but to take a entrance fee to see something that you can see in the wild, or to see some pictures? Or to pay 40 Euro for a guide? Stealing!
We’re continuing. I’m cycling down on the old concrete roads and have agreed with Morten and Kathrine to meet them at the next small town for some food.
I met them in a small place called Geisa. We find a small restaurant and have some food and coffee.
Cycling further on through the Rhön area. The roads are a mixture of cycling paths and smaller roads with as close to no traffic as possible. So far on this trip, this must be one of the positive things. I think it’s easier for my family and girlfriend to relax when they know that I’m not cycling big roads, and that there is almost no traffic at all.
I know that there’s a mountain waiting for me today. And here it is! I’ve arrived a place called Batten. I stop to buy some refills and start directly in the hill.
It is about 4Km to the top and it’s really steep. You go from 460 meters to 809 within a really short distance. At some points the climb is over 20%, but I would guess that the average is around 12-14%. The road has a paved surface in the beginning, but quickly turns into gravel, which makes it harder, much harder.
I’m finally on the top and can continue. The route takes me to some minor roads and continuing further on to some hiking paths and then there’s nothing, just grass. I’m standing in the middle of a field, looking at a great view. I can see where I’m supposed to go, but it’s not much to follow. The path takes me directly into the woods.
Finally I’m on the other side after cycling through grass, mud, water, and you can just imagine the other types of surface. I’m back on the road and it is obvious that I’m cycling down from the mountain now. It’s going fast, but the small road is luckily of a good standard and it is quite easy to keep control.
Cycling through several small places. Fladungen and Willmars are some of them. I know that I will take a detour in Willmars. I will cycle to Ostheim and meet Morten and Kathrine. I hope they have found the camping and that the tent is dry.
Ostheim seems to be a nice small town. Cosy streets and people just looking at me while I’m coming there with my rig. I find the camping and can see Morten’s car shining.
The people owning the camping and the neighbours are so friendly. They helped with drying the tent, gave us the opportunity to wash clothes, have a shower and a place to sit and relax.
Our closest neighbours even invited us for some coffee before we prepared the tent, how nice of them! One thing that I’ve learned on this trip is that if you have the time and the people seems nice, don’t say no to an invitation, it might be long time until you get it again.
I had a quick shower, put my clothes in the washer and we’re walking to the center. We find a small cafe and have a quick meal before we walk back to the camping.
It’s so nice to have a living room that we are allowed to use. Here I can charge my electronics and we can enjoy a beer while writing a blog post.
Tomorrows goal is undecided. It’s not so many campings around and I can’t continue with cycling up to 10Km off the route. I’m tired enough after between 90-100Km.
Picture album from todays trip:
GPS Data from todays trip: