i crossed the border to germany at fessenheim over the bridge at the hydroelectric power plant.  my first stop was at bad krozingen, a typical town with a pedestrian zone in the city center and its historic buildings surrounding the market square where the farmers sell their goods on a saturday morning. it was nice to order in german again. i had a nice chat with a lad who approached me and the first time since years i was addressed with the formal “Sie”.  his first question was  if i was on a longer journey with my bike… i said i was coming from paris which seemed enough at that moment.

in the afternoon i arrived in freiburg were i met christoph, an old friend from home. the first evening we just had a couple of drinks, had a look at some pictures and exchanged stories. the next morning the weather was glorious and so we decided to go for a ride and while we were on it, took all we need for a bbq with us. from the house it took us less than five minutes to get out of town and into the woods of the black forest. there were still patches of snow and ice along the way and the climb took quite some energy because the forest paths were soggy from the melting water and last year’s leaves. some collegues from christoph’s school arrived sometime later and and by then we had a nice fire going.

the next evening we met with achim,  a friend who arrived by train with his bike as we planned on cycling back to stuttgart together the next day. we choose quiet roads through the black forest until we arrived in schiltach which is part of the german timber-frame road.

the town was once part of the duchy of  württemberg until it went to baden in 1810. we passed the historic border between württemberg and baden on our way out.

we stopped in alpirsbach for the night. it took a while until we found an accommodation. achim was quite particular about the kind of bed he wanted to sleep in. it had to be one without footboard and no place in town seemed to have one without. it was dark and we were both freezing until we finally settled into our quarters, the beds had footboards, but by then a hot shower and a meal was everything that counted. thus we were a bit late to visit the brewery and felt that the next morning would be the wrong time to do so if we still wanted to reach stuttgart before dark. so we made a quick stop at the abbey instead.

we had another half day of nice cycling but coming closer to stuttgart it was getting more and more difficult to avoid roads with heavy traffic and we eventually took  a train for the last twenty miles into the city. thanks to achim for joining me in this part of the trip.

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