Manchester To Basel… And Mannheim, Birthplace Of The Bicycle!

Well this is all new to me. But I have to admit, I’m already missing the bike. Let me recap…

As you may recall (because I told you in this post only last week), I have been asked to deliver some talks on a river cruise boat along the Rhine. The boat sets off from Basel today (although I’ll come back to that in a moment) and is scheduled to arrive in Dรผsseldorf next Thursday. I’m not yet sure when I’ll be giving the three talks or indeed to who. Will there be a three-line whip of the cruise goers? Who knows..?

What I do know is that things started well:

…but it has now been revealed that due to ‘technical issues’, the boat won’t be leaving Basel; it will be leaving from Mannheim in Germany instead. Our guide, Jean-Paul, a German who is doing a remarkably convincing impression of being a thoroughbred Frenchman, broke the news gently although didn’t expand on the ‘technical issues’ thing. Perhaps it’s hit an iceberg or something similar. Anyway, the upshot of this is that after admiring the countryside of the Rhineland from the aeroplane, we are now getting an up-close-and-personal view from a coach. We are promised a three-hour ride to get to Mannheim – joy! – and then the real fun begins…

But let’s look at silver linings. This is what my Rough Guide has to say about Mannheim:

What is fails to mention, but Ben Coates in his excellent book about the Rhine called, err… The Rhine, does point out is that Mannheim is home to… the world’s first cycle path:

Things are looking up! I’ll endeavour to keep the posts over the next week bicycle-related but if you think the cruising is getting too much, please switch off and come back on Friday 21st.

P.S. Now in a traffic jam…

Categories: Cycling, Travel

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What do you think?