Kevin Ellwood from Sydney, currently on a solo cycle tour to Basel, wrote about last weeks tour on the IRIS, starting in Cochem, sailing to Metz. This tour is (in the reverse order) part of our 15 days Rails to Trail and Moselle Bike Path Tour.

Today was a cyclist’s idea of paradise on earth. After breakfast aboard Iris we were transported, together with our bikes, through the Eifel Valley to the town of Daun about 50 Km north of Bernkastel. From there we took an exhilarating bike ride along a former railway track that is now a cycling path known as Maare-Mosel Radweg. Unlike other “rail trails” that I have ridden on in Australia and France, this one has a perfect, smooth, asphalt surface and the path extends almost the entire journey to Bernkastel. From what I have seen so far the cycling infrastructure in Germany is better than any other country I have toured, even South Korea.

Before commencing the descent down the mountain we circled one of the small lakes (known as maars) formed from volcano craters, then had coffee beside the lake. From there the cycleway was mainly downhill, winding through picturesque countryside and leafy forests. Riding was fast and easy and the route took us through five tunnels, over bridges, and past charming little villages.

After stopping to consume our packed lunch at Eckfeld, we continued our descent and soon came to a beautiful Plein viaduct, sadly decaying with the demise of the railway. The next stop was at the sizeable town of Wittlich, where we enjoyed more coffee and ice-creams to sustain us for the final 17 Km. Before we knew it we had reached our destination of Bernkastel, ending one of the most enjoyable days of riding I can remember.

When the dinner bell sounded at 6:30 pm everyone rushed to the dining room to hear what treats our chef Bas had in store for us. As usual he excelled himself, not just for the quality of the three course meal he had prepared but also the entertaining and descriptive way he announced each of the courses. There was much oohing, ahhing and cheering so that by the time the meal was served everyone was salivating like Pavlov’s dog.

This really is like a week in another world!”

Want to read all his posts on this tour? Go to Kevin’s Cycling Blog.

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