Heilbronn – Stuttgart : 90 km
My end destination has finally arrived. Left Heilbronn as early as possible as the day started pretty bad. It was very cold and very wet. But I was determined to finish my journey in style and not on the train! Today I was following the river Neckar bike route which is OK but not really as beautiful as I had experienced up till now. What was interesting were some of the little towns that the route passed through and many of them making their living from the famous Baden Würtemberger wines.
In many places the vineyards were cascading down to the road. The vines were already blossoming and I wondered if the vineyard owners were concerned as the temperatures when I started were no more than 6C and might have neared freezing point at night. In fact, it was so cold I had problems sometimes changing gears! The rain made the ride quite unpleasant and didn’t encourage me to take many photos. A highlight was in fact Marbach, the birthplace of Schiller, where there was a very impressive museum on the hill above the river. I also had lunch there in the Old Town.
For the final one-third of the trip, the rain stopped but not the cold. The bike route was very uneventful from this point on passing through what seemed like many chemical plants and loading docks for barges.
Then suddenly I saw the first train that runs on the Stuttgart metropolitan network and I knew I was getting close. The next problem was to navigate across the northern part of Stuttgart without getting lost and without finishing up in the town center.
The bike route signs were non-existent so I had to rely on my maps, my instincts and some very helpful locals who were more than willing to share their advice. This navigation was totally successful and after exactly 90 km I arrived at my final destination at around 17:00 – my daughter’s house and my beautiful granddaughter. I enjoyed my trip and all my experiences, but I don’t want to see my bike for a few days! My first act was to sink into a hot bathtub and thaw out and relax the muscles and the mind. This was a luxury that we often take for granted but I can promise you, after 900 km in 10 days, it was sublime heaven.