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Monday, 13 August 2007

Day 12 & 13

First: I'm tired. Not sleep in late tomorrow tired, but need 2 weeks at a hot spring tired. We've reached the dreaded hilly stage. Actually, we dreaded mountains, but after a year in the netherlands, any incline seems mountainious.

I've quit doing kilometer counts. I'm too tired for math. We're inching forwards uphill and i'm happy with the pace. It's not like we could be going faster, so it's all good.

When i last typed, we were in a hotel in gluckstadt. Which is a charming little town. It was teeming with touring bikes the next morning. Several folks had questions about the doggy ride. One woman was especially interested. Her husband looked pained and alarmed.

We got out of town and went only 5k or so until we encountered a village having a festival celebrating its 700th anniversary. Traditional arts galore! We got honey meade there. Can't be on a viking route without meade. It was cool.

Then we continued on to take a detour to izethoe, because it looked big and interesting. But, as it was sunday, there was nothing open but ice cream shops. Why are they all named after venice? I've been to venice twice or so and the ice cream has never been especially memorable. I'm pretty sure i've had some there.

This town was not on our itinerary, probably because it's on top of a big hill. We huffed and puffed over it. The weather was fantastic. I have specifically avoided doing distance calculations for yesterday.

We made another detour at the end of the day to go to a town which looked big-ish on the map. We hoped to find lodging. And we did. I want to know if germans camp? Almost all of the marked campsites are near a border.

We stayed in an overpriced hotel. I sat down on the bed at 7ish and woke up there at 8am. Zzzzzz.

Today, the weather was less great, but i think we got farther. Not calculating, so don't know how far. My gps can give a 3d fix, includibg altitude. It said we were at -12 meters. Lies! I think we went uphill all day. So pretty, but phew!

In other news, i am never eating cheese again. Not just because we've been biking past daries and the smell is hideous. Not just because a truck full of cow shit was sloshing everywhere on the road today. Not just because i saw a bunch of unhappy lookibg cows jammed into a barn today. Not just because a recent encounter with hearing a pig scream in agony for several minutes made me unhappy with factory farming. No, i'm quitting it because i've had enoigh of it in my time in germany now. Eough to last the rest of my life. Every single meal! I'm done.

The bread is really good though.

Tonight we're staying in the wikingerhof: the viking hall! They don't serve meade in the restaurant. What kind of vikings forego meade and have pastel paintings up of little girls in white dresses wading in the tide at sunset? Is  thomas kinkade a viking now?  Fortunately, we have our own meade, which i am drinking right now. It calms the stomach after you subject it to the vegetarian meal here. I would be silly to complain about veggie food in this paragraph. (Viking style tofu?) but, um , what was my point? Something about how baked camembert is actually fried and is not camembert. also, why do they fry the parsley? and all the whipped cream? did they just think to put all their dairy products together on one plate?

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