Today was a long 93 km, from Hagen to Cologne. The first part of the ride was messy and unpleasant – with no real bicycle path and busy traffic. We rode to Grevelsberg and Schwelm. From Schwelm, we had to traverse two river valleys, to Beyenberg. This involved a lot of hill climbing. It was hard work and our progress was slow.
Once we climbed the hill up past Beyenberg it was flat country. We got onto good bike paths from here (they may have been old railway tracks) and we began to make better progress. We stopped for a restorative coffee and cake at Lennep – and then made our way through Wermelskirchen and Burscheid. We got onto the Rhine just as we reached Cologne.
We were exhausted when we arrived. Our hotel is near the centre so we went to see the Cathedral on foot and afterwards enjoyed a meal at a “Brauhaus” where we also had some of the traditional “Kolsch” beer – which is served ice cold in small 200 ml glasses.