On the second day of the trip, we already leave Belgium for a short step through the Netherlands in Maastricht, only to enter Germany a few kilometres later in Aachen. We take the time to visit the beautiful city centre but not for long as it starts raining, so we head for the camping. For our first cooked meal of the trip, we start digging in our stock of dehydrated vegetables that we prepared at home. A great addition for the diner when we don’t have fresh vegetables.
The next day, we head towards the Rhine at Köln, and sleep in a quite touristic camping next to a beautiful lake a few kilometres before reaching Köln. It is the last week of holiday in this area and it’s a sunny day, therefore the lake is full of people. Fortunately, a lot of them leave before dark.
We are the first to wake up the next day and enjoy the quietness of the place with a breakfast in front of the lake. Our first stop is Köln that we had both visited before. We still take the opportunity to cycle along the river, on the bridge heavy of love locks, and to see the dom (cathedral). We sleep in a camping along the Rhine where we met some of the regular campers. We are grateful as they welcome us in the shade of their area, as the outside temperature is around 35°C. We also meet a Swiss family cycling up the Rhine from Basel to Düsseldorf. We are lucky as the rain starts just when we are safe in the tent.
The rain kept going in the morning and forced us to slightly delay our departure. Later, we cycle through Düsseldorf before to head for Bochum where our warmshower hosts are expecting us. The road along the Ruhr river is really nice. It is surrounded by schlossen (castles), people enjoying the sun, and a few industrial buildings that are usually abandoned. In Bochum we meet Nina and Johannes who give us a warm welcome. They cycled for 6 months in Canada and have many more travels planned. We spend a great evening talking around a big bowl of pasta followed by a good night of sleep.
The next day, we follow the itinerary indicated by our hosts and see more impressive industrial buildings which have been renovated. As often, we find a nice lake where to take a break for lunch. We cycle well in the afternoon and arrive in the south of Münster where the parents of a friend of Armand live. We pitch the tent in the garden as a way to keep our distances with the covid. We plan to stay there for two nights to have a day of rest and clean our clothes, as we have already cycled for 6 days in a row. Lukas arrives in the evening and we meet his welcoming parents. They give us so much advice about Münster that we decide to visit it during our rest day.
For once, we take our time in the morning to spend time with our friend before starting our day of visit. We cycle through the old harbour surrounded by a lot of nice modern projects blending well with the older buildings. Then we move to the Altstadt (old city) to see the Rathaus, St Lambert church, the dom (cathedral) and we try to visit a few museums and library but the access is rather difficult/impossible for tourists due to covid. We end by cycling around the schloss, its garden and the Aasee lake.
After learning that Denmark became “red” for Norway, we have to decide whether to skip it or to do a quarantine in Norway. Eventually, we book a ferry from Kiel (Germany) to Oslo, hoping Germany won’t be red-listed by Norway in the meantime. We are sad to avoid Danemark but it seems the best solution for now and we might still go to Denmark as part of a future trip. We have now cycled approximately 450 km since Brussels, and we’ve had temperatures higher than 30°C almost every day.