Cruising The Rhine: Day 2 – Speyer

I can’t ever remember knowing about the existence of a place called Speyer until it was mentioned in the pre-visit briefing last night. Mannheim, yes. Cologne, of course. Dusseldorf, obviously… but Speyer, never. So this morning’s stroll around “one of Germany’s oldest cities” was nice. A bit like eating chocolate cake only hours after you became aware that chocolate cake existed. First up is the town itself…

…noting the prodigious use of the bicycle in an urban environment that has been planned to a standard that we in Britain can still only dream of achieving…

…and then a quick visit to the almost comically arranged jumble sale of an institution that is the Technical Museum of Speyer. Full of transport-themed curiosities including an internally deconstructed Boeing 747 from 1978 with scary mannequins frozen behind the perspex. That poor, haunted child has been there for a period significantly longer than her age. Note also the Soviet-era ‘Space Shuttle’ (“it’s actually not a copy of the American one…” claims the handout, dubiously) and one of the two bicycles on display. I had thought, given nearby Mannheim’s pivotal role in the invention of the bicycle, the humble bike might have featured more, but not so. The chap manning the information desk explained that the bicycle museum is in Stuttgart…

Now back on the boat, life is moving forward at a sedate pace. The passing people on the jet ski clearly never received the memo… More later after Mannheim. My mission is to report back on the place where the bicycle was invented!


Categories: Cycling, Photography, Travel

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