Thursday, May 13, 2010
Serge saved the day
When we started out from Hochstadt this morning, I didn't know that in addition to it being Christi Himmelfahrt Day, it was also Father's Day in Bavaria. As we were cycling through a town called Altheim at around 2:30 p.m., we came across six German fellows (Hanse, Gallas, Carlo, Jul, Fish and Tiger) out for a bicycle ride, by the side of the road, trying to fix one of their bicycles that had a broken chain. Serge, who can repair anything, immediately took out his tools and repaired the chain. The German fellows were so grateful they invited us to the restaurant they were headed to for a beer, and before we knew it, we were all sitting around the table at the Land-Steakhaus Sonnen in Marxheim, not only having a beer, but when they all ordered the speciality of the house, a 600 gram T-bone steak, marinated in Jack Daniels whiskey and steak spices, Serge ordered one as well and we all shared it. We also shared huge mugs of a local speciality, a mixture of dark beer, coca-cola and cherry schnapps (think cherry coke on steroids), which actually tastes a lot better than it sounds.
This was yet another chance meeting on the road, getting to know some really good people and having a really great time. The world is indeed a small place, just laboring over a broken chain triggers friendships and a shared experience. We may speak different languages, but in the end, we all enjoy the same things and can partake in them together. We all had a great time, and the really amazing thing is that we managed to get onto our bikes afterwards and pedal another 25 kilometres to Neuberg an der Donau (on the Danube), with a very large castle (that's a schloss here) built between 1530 and 1555 and beautifull old city.
The rest of the day was equally great. The bike route was extremely well maintained, almost completely paved (and even where it wasn't paved, it was very hard packed) and ran through beautiful German countryside, farms and villages. It is really quite amazing what an effort has been put into the bike paths, and what a wonderful network it is.