Another Late Start
After the fiasco of the first day, we decided to sleep in to recover. We had already planned a short day today:
only about 40km into Landau. It obviously would have been better to spend the first night closer to Frankfurt in order to more evenly split the ride
into Landau. Anyway, I had promised my friend, Ferdi, that we would arrive around 2pm when he finished work for the day. Another good
The woman at the hotel had promised that finding a good bikeway would not be a problem today.
Surely, the entire Rhein valley was full of little farm roads through all the vineyards that covered
the countryside, but some of these roads didn't go
through, or didn't go straight. So around 1pm we found ourselves still about 20km out, trapped in an industrial park cum megamall. We dined on
nuked pizza, random pastries at the Globus mega center. We packed away some cookies and snacks for later and found our way back out of
Second Coming to Landau
I had spent a few days in this mid-sized town on my last bike trip through Europe. That
time, I sold my bike to a guy named Ferdi, whom I had met in magazine shop while searching for a map. This time I phoned ahead to Ferdi and
arranged to trade him a newer racing bike for the touring model I had left him with before. Anyway, the town was mostly like I remeber and I was
able to find the main square without too much trouble. As we were walking across in the direction of Ferdi's shop, I heard a voice shout Aaron!
Ferdi came out from his favorite coffee shop and gave me a big hug.
We sat down and caught-up over a
couple drinks at Segafredo. Ferdi introduced us to the owner (and just about everyone else he saw). Later, he took us around for some random
shopping in town. The number one thing on my list was a visit to my favorite shoe store, just off the square. I found the same owner there with his
wife who speaks English quite well. I talked mom into buying a pair of Birkenstocks since they are less than half of the price that we would pay
back home. I don't think this is a popular souvenir, but if anyone is interested in Birks, Germany is a great place to buy and this little shop in
Landau is my favorite.
After exhausting our appetite for shopping, we headed back to Ferdi's family's
place to make the bicycle trade and get cleaned up a bit. Ferdi's folks were kind enough to let us stay in his sister's room, as she is now off in
Rome working as an au pair. After a shower and some rest, we headed out to the countryside for a light dinner and some
Beer Garden, Wine Bar
I didn't used to be much of a beer drinker, so I would shy away from places like the bars and
beer gardens of the world, but it seems like Ferdi was born to hang-out here. As with everywhere we went, Ferdi immediately spotted some
people he knew and went to make his greetings. Ma and I studied the menu and found a couple items that sounded good, including mom's first
taste of the radler, or the biker, which is a mixture of beer and lemonade. The main theme of conversation kept steering back to the no-worries
attitude that Ferdi lives by. For one night, I truly felt like I was on vacation. Back in the saddle tomorrow.