So the day has finally come! I left Norwich at 9pm on Wednesday and then left the shores of Dover at 2am Thursday morning. Although I’ll return briefly to graduate in a couple of months, the feeling that my bike will never touch UK soil again is quite daunting! Still the British weather threw one last departing rainstorm at us both as a parting gift.
Arriving in France at 5am local time with 0 sleep, the trip got off a predictably gruesome start. With nothing but motorways all the way through France, Belgium and Luxembourg there is very little to take your mind away from the crippling spinal and knee pains. Although my £10 sheepskin rug performed admirably in minimising seated pain! Still there is no better pain killer than arriving in bavaria/southern Germany.
The landscape changes as soon as you cross the border, from plain flat fields, to stunning Bavarian hills, forests and farmland. Even the motorways transform with pretty impressive tunnels and the unlimited speed limits that Germany has become famous for. The last 150miles of the 725mile slog went from a chore into a pleasure. So much so that I adjusted my route to incorporate the famous Route 500 from Baden Baden to Freudenstadt (Hochstrasse/Black Forest Pass)
A route which ticks all the boxes. Both magnificent to ride and complete with stunning views(see featured photo). The road quality is impeccable as you’d expect with this region. While the bends are tough they are also amateur friendly and confidence inspiring, meaning even somebody with limited skill (such as myself) can still have an enjoyable time on them. That is until you get towards the top, all speed and concentration is put on hold as soon as you start to see the magnificent views of the Black Forest poke through the trees. On the way up you get small glimpses but it’s not until near the top that it emerges in all its glory.
I came across a small place, basically in the middle of nowhere called Camping Mullerweise. Again, the views here are stunning and within 30seconds of arriving and starting to pitch my tent (with minimal cognital ability after no sleep) a lovely English couple gave me some red wine and pointed me in the direction of any shops I might need to visit, but more importantly they pointed me towards the pub.(+1) While camping might not be everybody’s idea of a good time, I highly suggest this place if you find yourself looking for a place to stay in the Black Forest. I believe there are even cabins to rent if you have no camping equipment. The people here are great, the site and views are amazing and there’s everything you need close by. You can find it by googling Camping Mullerweise and it’s located south of Bad Wildbad.
So here I am, day 1 of my adventure complete. 725 miles down and heading south east through Austria and into Slovenia tomorrow. I think I’ve definitely earnt a few pints for the night.