2009-07-09 49 8
In a field in Otterstadt.
By bike via Schwetzingen - Brühl - Ferry across the Rhine - Kollerinsel. 22 km one way.
Expedition total: 4 hours, cycled 29 km, walked 6 km.
Things learned: Always bring a spare tube! And a spare spare tube.
In the 18th century, a 10 km long mulberry-tree avenue stretched from Schwetzingen Castle to Heidelberg (aligned to the Königstuhl) in a perfectly straight line. Most of the road still exists, but it is discontinued, and large parts are currently under construction. Every time I try to get to Schwetzingen, I get lost at a different part on the way.
When I finally arrived at the castle, I saw a lady feeding swans. Could it be...? Indeed, it was the same swan family I discovered at the exact same place two months ago! Those cygnets have certainly grown, but their bills still were of a dull grey color and the plumage hadn't yet reached the overall white of an adult swan.
It had been cloudy and just at the verge of raining all day, so I hurried to find the way to Brühl and the ferry landing stage. There, I watched the Kollerfähre approach from the west bank of the Rhine. I paid the ferryman
a silver coin 1 € for passage. Upon leaving the ferry, I noticed my bike had a flat tyre.
After removing the tyre, I discovered a big glass splinter that pierced the inner tube in multiple places. Of course, I had no spare tube with me. The damage was so severe that patching was impossible. I contemplated to leave the bike and walk to the hashpoint, but I would still have had to go 6.5 km to the hashpoint, then back to the ferry, and at least 6 more km until Schwetzingen, where I would hopefully find a bike shop. I sighed and turned around, went back on the ferry and paid another Euro. I walked back the way I came from, pushing my bike and trying to ignore the schtokk thwupp SCHTOKK flepp sounds the flat tyre made with every turn. The first town before Schwetzingen was Brühl. No bike shop. It started to rain. Schtokk thwupp SCHTOKK flepp. After three more km I entered Schwetzingen and found a bike shop just ten minutes before the owner was closing for lunch break. I had enough money with me to buy a new inner tube, quickly fixed my bike and cycled back home.
They look familiar