Bicycle Capital of Germany – Friday 5 July

Bicycle Capital of Germany – Friday 5 July

Our first tour day with Ester was around 67 km, from Osnabrück to Münster, including some time exploring the town before we went to our accommodation in a city apartment.

Elsbeth had made us aware that we are riding through the Teutoburg Forest area, where the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in 9 CE. An alliance of Germanic tribes ambushed and decisively destroyed three Roman legions. The Romans never again attempted to conquer the Germanic territories east of the Rhine river, and this is regarded as a turning point in world history.

The Tautoburg Forest covers a large area and includes two nature reserves. However, I had my eye out for the name and picked up on it when we passed by a sign pointing to the Teutoburger Waldsee. We decided to do a short detour to see it. It was very peaceful, there were baby ducks.

We found our way onto a bike path alongside the blue-green Dortmund-Ems Canal, around 15 km out of Münster. There was a lot of activity on the canal, with a number of barges going up and down, mostly carrying sand. We followed the canal almost the entire way into Münster

I had read about Münster being the Bicycle Capital of Germany. Evidently vehicle traffic (36.4%) fell below traffic by bicycle (37.6%) in 2007.

We were not disappointed, as we rode through the centre of the city to the Schloss on a tree-lined bicycle only promenade. There were bicycles everywhere. Our impression was that there were more bicycles than cars around the centre of the city, and some of them were moving really fast. All the intersections are adapted for bicycle flow. We are not used to riding with so many other bicycles and had a couple of incidents where we inadvertently blocked the on-coming bicycle traffic by standing in the wrong place at the lights.

Our accommodation is a central city apartment. We took the opportunity to make some food in the kitchen and relax in the hip living room. The downside was that the window in our bedroom was broken and couldn’t close, and it was also really noisy on the street below. Kris and I ended up dragging our mattress into the living room and sleeping on the floor for a quiet night.

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