We’re finally on the road! 1.5 years of planning and here we are – in the beautiful Frankenjura. Right now we are snug in our tent with a light storm passing over us. The heavy rain somehow relaxing.
Although we know Germany and this region pretty well, it made sense to start here. We can get acclimatized to the biking and hobo lifestyle while everything else is familiar. Starting in Cairo with the stark heat, different language and culture and then getting used to the physical and mental aspect would be a lot harder. Besides – there are beautiful places to enjoy here, too!
We left Aalen and headed north – yes, north not south! We first had a few birthdays to celebrate in Frankenjura – a very large climbing region in Germany. It was a good excuse to have one last beer with friends from Heidelberg! We have spent many weekends camping here, so it feels a bit like home. On the way here, we cycled through villages on the “Romantic Road”, including the famous Rothenburg. We have both always wanted to see this town so it was a perfect opportunity!
We wild camped the first three nights. The first night was freezing cold! Our bottle of oil was partly frozen in the morning. Note to self: don’t believe the comfort temperature on your sleeping bag. Lucky it got warmer the next few nights and we spent a gorgeous evening by this lake! Simon found the courage to have an ice cold shower, while Tanya made him suffer her pungent smell until she had her first shower on the 4th day! The first setback of the trip was, that Simon’s knees started to hurt already on the third day. Maybe the bikes are a bit too heavy?
In Frankenjura we made it to a small but cute campsite near Ebermannstadt and spent the rest of the day being lazy tourists at the swimming pool next door. The next day we headed out for our first day of climbing in a very, very long time and found out just how weak we had become after 6 weeks off! Lucky we have a week here… and we were rewarded with this view over the valley!
On the next day we headed to the crag “Streitberger Schild” where Kurt Albert invented the “red point”. A red point means doing a route without falling after trying it more than once. The wall is around 30m high and feels exposed on some routes but very nice climbing. We also found a slow worm (which is a lizard that looks a lot like a snake) next to our lunch spot, having a snooze.
The next day we headed to Oma Eichler, a famous campsite in Frankenjura, famous for the cakes made by Oma Eichler herself. It is also now infamous to us for the amount of slugs we had every morning! Pick your camping spot at Oma Eichler well! You have the choice between slugs and ants.
On the Friday, 19th May, it was a friend Tobi’s 30th birthday and Tanya’s birthday on the same day, so he arranged to have a birthday celebration weekend! Tanya’s twin brother Eddie also came down to celebrate their birthday together, along with his friend Oscar.
On the Friday, Simon, Kati and the birthday kids – Tobi & Tanya – spent the day climbing at Weißenstein, a climbing crag with lots of star routes. Tanya had her own birthday present by doing a route she had tried many times 2 years before. It’s always nice to come back to the same route and see progress!
On Friday evening we had a birthday barbecue in the wind and rain before heading inside to the warmth and enjoying some very good beer!! We spent the weekend enjoying the company, eating good food and great climbing! We snapped this photo on the last day. Unfortunately we forgot to take a pic of the whole group.
We arranged to meet a friend in Osp on June 9th… so that gave us very little time to get down to Slovenia… so we decided to take a train from Forchheim to Freilassing, close to Salzburg, and cycle through the Alps from there. This gave us more time to spend climbing in the Alps and then enough time to cycle to Osp. We were greeted with this view when we arrived – the start of the Alps!
We found it hard to find a wild camping spot as we cycled into the Alps. Then we stumbled on this beautiful picnic spot right next to a stream and the main Saalach river. The water was unbelievably clear with a turquoise tinge.
As we rode into the Alps – the views became more and more spectacular. You feel so small, like a tiny snowflake but feeling the power of an avalanche all around you. The landscape changed very quickly – almost like stepping through Narnia’s wardrobe and entering another world.
Then we found ourselves in Austria! Crossing the border we found this very unassuming sign. A picture worthy moment – we have left Germany! Austria, here we come!
More photos can be found here.