“As a kid I had a dream — I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed.”John Lennon, British musician
Waking up, damp, looking like an alien with spots all over our faces, we started slow on the day. Our tummies still filled with the supper from last night. The tarp hold by a wooden stick sheltered us mostly and our camping mats safed our sleeping bags from sponging the rain running over the ground up. Apart from that we felt great when suddenly a little boat full of tourists drove past us in the tiny river. It was steered by a man standing on the back with a long pole and was very shallow. People were laughing and having fun. They greeted us while we were moving slowly like a snail out of our sleeping bags and one moment later dissapeared with the stream. We moved our things along the side of the river through the forest to a sunny bit where we laid everything out, into the sun to dry. While everything was drying Max and me went for a swim. During the swim, we had to stay submerged to our neck, otherwise our backs got bitten all over the place.
Once dried, bathed and ready to go we jumped on our steeldonkeys and cycled out of the forest into open long wider fields. A little breeze was waving trough the air. Once we started observing the area around us we saw to our left Roller-coasters appearing in the close distance. After a short glimpse on the phone we found out that this was the Europapark, what a coincidence after my birthday we thought. Without any hesitation we took a turn left and cycled straight onto it.
After checking the prices, 50 Euros per person!!!, we tried to find a way into it. But there were cameras everywhere. We cycled all the way around it, and our only way in would have been the river that is crossing the park. Either with the stream or against, but as we found out, even there were cameras. After another cycle around we found a building site a bot of the river. This was our chance. We parked the bikes next to a Dixitoilet, packed our bag with all our expensive things, locked the bike, told two young people living in the house of our plan and made our way towards the target. There was a little stream, probalby to manage the water level of the river in the park, that we climbed through. Luckily it was nearly empty. From there we ended up on an Island, a property of someone living literally 5 meters of the park. But we knew someone was in. After a good observation we crossed crouching the garden and hid behind a tree, next to the river of the park. We saw attractions and people running around. But also some workers of the park. So we made a plan. Once the little train is passing us again, I will descent into the river, it was hip deep and slow flowing. We were half covered by a bush and a sweets shop that was to our luck closed. After we couldn’t see any workers or cameras and the little train passed us, we made our move, slowly and careful down the thorn bushes into the water and onto the other side. While I felt like Splinter Cell, silent like a predator, like a falling feather, Max was more like a wild Cow, slipping down the thorns, into the river, nearly completely submerging him in the river, and hasting across. Hahahaha, every time I think back I have to laugh. Arriving on the other side we calmed our spirits by eating a Baguette, siting over a rock while looking over the little river and drying in extraordinary fast time our legs, when we realized Max was wounded by his slip down the thorns, but he survived. A few visitors saw us actually warding across, but where cool with it. Next we hoped into the small train, that is driving through the park and mixed in with the crowd. Actually all this is fantasy and we paid the 50 Euros overpriced money, if you know what I mean.
We were so exited, our hearts around 180 bpm sitting around and celebrating our so far successful mission. We left in Spain and started strolling around. A kind of insecure feeling, but after a few attractions and roller coasters, our paranoia calmed down and we had a wonderful day! To be fair, the Park was simply amazing. The whole layout and effort that was put into it. The attractions were pretty good as well. We really had a great time!
After a proper treat day, we could have slept at the same place like the night before, but somehow all this adventure was making so much fun, that we made another 40 km into the evening, when we crosses Max “love of his life”, that really helped us finding an awesome sleeping spot at a local bow shooting club. Before that we bought some free range eggs of a farmer and set up our dry sleeping materials, and started making dinner. We even had a plug. Listening to thunder and rain, proper sheltered we had a very relaxed evening meal and went to sleep, all our devices charged and ready to go once we woke up to a ‘TSCHUCK’, the noise of a single person shooting in the early morning. Avery nice lad, we had a little chat after he finished his course and he told us some great shooting experiences, like going through the forest parkour, where there are wooden animals to shoot at, when a wild deer stepped in front of a wooden one, just when he was about to shoot, he hold in a bit and than it left and he continued his course. He was great and we chatted a bit about our journey and in the end he offered us to have a shower and use the utensils of the club, but we declined grateful and hoped on back our wire donkeys to continue south.
We left Whyl am Kaiserstuhl and Max’ love of his life behind. From there we had a long cycle south, wind was blowing from the front Max pulled me in his windshield towards 30 kmh. The new tires were doing great and we reached good speed, sadly not on asphalt, otherwise it would have been even faster. We pushed the whole day, trough Breisbach am Rhein, filling our water at Klaesles and continuing south. It is really simple cycling along the Rhine past Strasbourg. We went until Lokation am Rhein, trough a little wild detour and further along the banks, until we needed to rest and stopped at a little cafe, just to fill the water, as usual, haha.
We slowly got exited again, because we were about to touch the borders of Switzerland, Basel. Cycling into Basel was strange, because of the borders, people got stopped for taxing and things. We were able to simply cycle past. We found out that not a single car on the Lidl parking place was German, all Swiss. That was very funny to see, even tho the Lidl was still in Germany. I am not talking about like 10 cars, no like packed, 50 or more and not a single German, haha. After a short cycle through Basel, arrogant weird vibes and finally even getting shouted at we very quickly decided, we don’t want to be here, and left Switzerland, Basel, as fast as we entered it. It was nice to just cycle along the promenade, but not really getting into the town center. After a few Km east, not south anymore, since the Rhine is moving east for a few hundred Kilometers, we came across a town called Nollingen, we found without any rules, because people on scooters were just crossing the street randomly, ignoring the traffic lights and stuff, haha. We way more appreciated the vibes over there. So we had a little stop and found a few Kebab stores, after asking the local young Kanaks, in a good way, we found out which one was the best store and ordered two massive Kebabs, while chatting around. Wok Kebab House. Funny that one of the workers was from near Cologne, just like us. Ten Euros less heavy, but equipped with a plastic bag with two Kebabs wrapped in aluminium foil we ended up at a little park, overlooking the Rhine, laying on a pair of sunbathing, wooden, beds eating our Doener Kebab on the Adelbergwiesen. Oh man, it was really, really good. Maybe because we were so desperate, but I think those guys knew they are selling quality.
Short after that and a few km further east, we installed our camp at a little beach and passed out. The next morning we were recovered and after a little litter picking ready to go again, but more about that next time.
Next time, you will find out about salmon friendly damns, that I found very impressive, swiss local parties, how much they trust each other, considering not locking their bikes and Max and me crossing a massive damn and sleeping on the party side in a forrest, while actually music is coming from the chiller side. We were really confused. You will read about our encounter with the guy that is able to talk to the gods and about more weird talk of him, haha. About the transformation of the wild Rhine, not allowed to swim in into a very clean lovely running water, that is calm, peaceful and beautiful to look at and swim in.