Radtour Radelwoche in Franken und Bayern
Dag 2, etape/stage 2: Forchheim-Nürnberg
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Erstellt am 07.07.2014
Gesamtlänge in km
Durchschn. Steigung Aufstieg %
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durch Ottocolor am 07.07.2014
Trackpoint-Dichte per km
Forchheim, Bayern, DE (241 m NHN)
Nürnberg, Bayern, DE (317 m NHN)
In the morning sunny and warm, later more clouds, but still pleasant. The last 10 km through the old city centre of Nuremberg I cycled in splashing rain. The wind light to moderate right into the behind.
KNAUS Campingpark Nürnberg
First along tarmac town roads in Forchheim and up into the "cellar forest". More gravel surface on the canal path today, but still excellent. A few detours from the canal due to ports etc. Examplary beautiful and well signposted tarmac bike path from Fuerth to Nuremberg along the river Pegnitz.
The second day and stage of the Franconian/Bavarian bike week from the tent site north of Forchheim to the camping site 5 km south east of Nuremberg with a lengthy visit to the Forchheim town centre and into the 'beer forest' of Kellerwald.
My morning in Forchheim was incredibly peaceful. No people at all, except a few, I saw walking or cycling on the path in the distance beyond the huge, abandoned campsite. So I enjoyed my breakfast in the sun in front of the locked service building. The only room that was open was the large bathroom in the gable. But that was all I needed. When I was about to pack up, the campsite manager dropped by and with him a lawn mower tractor. I did not think that the grass needed mowing, but the manager said a large crowd of scouts was due to arrive the following day, and thus the site needed to be ready for that move-in. Well, I was lucky I had the space to myself. For the exorbitant sum of 6 €! Shortly after I cycled into town. I would look at in the morning, including the so-called Kellerwald outside the town, and then cycle the approximately 60 km to Nuremberg along the Main-Danube canal in the afternoon. That program I was happy with, because it involved a beautiful old town with a medieval center, a forest with beer cellars and associated beer gardens, easy car-free biking along the canal, a stop in the old town of Fürth and a look at the Nuremberg city center before the final stretch out to Nuremberg's camp site on the old nazi party rally area.
So far, I stopped at a tower in the medieval town wall, which remain as residues. It turned out to be called Saltorturm. You could not get into it, so I did with walking up the stairs to the door. Opposite stood a wing of the old imperial palace. In the Middle Ages the town was a long time border of the Frankish kingdom, and the emperor stayed occasionally here to mark his dominion over the area. The Frankish kingdom was later divided into a French and a German part, and the name Franken lives on here in northern Bavaria. The wing of the castle had got a super modern glass façade with a transparent elevator patched onto the old walls. One must say it looked violently. Architects today are certainly not afraid of themselves, especially when it comes to using glass and steel. The rest of the elongated castle facade was, however, more lovingly restored. I was considering a look inside the museum that is housed in the imperial palace, but gave it up for time reasons. I had a lot, I wanted to see yet. So I rolled through the old cobbled streets and passed the café Babylon, where I had watched football yesterday. I also made a trip down the pedestrian street that had a small stream embedded in the modern paving stones. I think it must be a challenge for the commercial vehicles to deliver goods to the shops. At a bakery I fell for the temptation to sit in the sun under an umbrella, enjoying a bread roll and reading the newspaper on the German national football team's achievement the night before. At the end of the pedestrian zone, I came down to a very large square. I let myself be guided by the GPS map, but could not really orientate properly, as it was turning around with myself. One is used to that a map always has north upwards. I found out that you click on the map's North arrow, and make it stick to the north direction, and that was helpful.
Now I remembered the things I had forgotten to take with me on my trip. I had better get them immediately. The first was a bidon, which I bought at a bike shop on the market square. The second, and even more important, were pegs for the tent. But first I looked down to the river Wiesent and was completely captivated by the beauty down there. The houses are built right down too the water and several had the loveliest gardens towards the river. The water looked quite clean with sea grass on the bottom. On the square I had been inside the tourist information office and asked where there was a sports equipment shop that sold tent pegs. They had been kind enough to call and ask if they sold that, and as it did, I got the address. I tried to find it now, but it was by no means an easy thing in spite of my new gps and I must say it annoyed me that I was such an idiot. I had to produce an old-fashioned paper map and by means of that and a control question to a passerby, I found the sports business of Dürbeck. Here I bought some very long and heavy pegs. They were okay. They also sold German soccer jerseys, which I bought one of. On the evening before I had worn my Bayern-shirt, okay it had Schweini's number and name, but someone had shouted on me that it was Germany, not Bayern, who had won. Yeah, now I would be properly dressed for the next match, Germany was to play at the World Cup against Ghana. Although I would already be on the way home by then. Payment could only be made in cash, which I was out of, so I left the shirt with an explanation of where the nearest ATM was. The direction was towards the "cellar forest", which I absolutely wanted to visit, so I would stop by on the way back and pick up my shirt later. And so I went. On the way to the forest, you pass a railway bridge and halfway up the ramp a car in front of me lost the closed trailer, his car pulled. Right in front of me! It was now just standing on the hill instead of rolling back down, as I had feared. Along with the car's driver, we quickly maneuvered it into place on the trailer hook again. What a thing! Now it went quite steeply upwards, as the cellar forest is located high above the town. But it would be worth it! First I came to a sign with the directions for the various beer cellars. It was as incredible, there were so many, divided into an upper and a lower cellar road. As I stood there in wonderment a few boys overtook me wheeling their bicycles. I could not help but cry out to them: "Come on into the pedals, boys." And trample past them with my heavy luggage. Naturally, I had to select the upper road. I could hear the boys had taken the challenge behind me, and since the hill went on and on, I was worried that they would overtake me. It would have been embarrassing, but they gave up the pursuit just in time! Now I was also 'finished'. Expectedly enough, the vast majority of the 22 beer pubs had closed on such a weekday morning. But I nosed around several places. Typical the cellar, where they stored the beer cool in the old days, on one side of the road and the pub, where most of the serving took place outside under the tall beech trees, on the other hand. Each brewery in the area, and there are really a lot here in Upper Franconia, has its own beer cellar. I would visit one of the four breweries here from Forchheim, Neder, Hebendanz, Eichhorn (from the center) or Greif (just north of it). It looked mighty nice and cozy by Eichhorn, but it was closed. Through the trees I could only hear the sound of beer glasses, talking and sounds of cutlery a little further on, and certainly, the Neder-cellar was open. That was luck, because they serve Schwarze Anna (Black Anna), a real black beer. Not too strong, not too malty, but just right for a portion of sour pickle. On the menu it said "with music". Okay, I could not see any orchestra, just an empty scene. But "music" also means a kind of vinegar dressing it turned out. You can always learn, even I in German, which is my second, and if you take it literally, my real mother tongue, as my mother was German. So it definitely was not a bummer to eat and drink on the Neder-cellar. In German they say "auf dem Keller". In late July they celebrate the great Anna-party here, named after Saint Anna, whose feast day is July 26. Then they really amuse themselves out here in the woods and ALL the cellars are open till late into the night. Kolja and I must try that some day. After the light lunch in the open I rolled on around in the beer cellar mecca and eventually found the way down to the town again. There I picked up my German national team jersey and took down to the southern bridge over the canal in order to continue the journey towards Nuremberg. But as it was blocked, it was a bit of a detour over the northern, I had come along in the morning and down the path along the canal. It had been a perfect visit to Forchheim in perfect weather. Certainly not the last time I had been here.
Now it was early afternoon and I had still not left the town of Forchheim, where I had spent the night, so now I had to put some speed in my bike. And it was not hard, indeed very welcome. The trail course went right next to the Main-Danube Canal and was partially paved. But the gravel pieces were also very nice to ride on, quite even with tiny white stones. The wind blew fine from behind too, so I made good progress. A few times there were small ports and bulges on the channel, I had to go around, and at every lock there was a hill. Until the watershed near Hilpoltstein south of Nuremberg, where the canal is gradually lowered to the Danube again, there was a short climb, the increase that the ships on the canal overcome by way of the lock. And there was a lot of traffic on the canal with flat canal barges, many of which flew the Dutch flag. They exploit apparently, the possibility to sail all the way from Holland along the Rhine and Main through the canal to the Danube and on through Austria, Hungary, Serbia and that way. By Frauenaurach I was forced away from the canal for a while, but was soon back. Soon came a long section away from the canal through Stadeln, a northern district of the city of Fürth. Here the canal path was blocked, so I had to follow a bad bike path through a lot of traffic lights in the afternoon rush hour traffic. At a cemetery, I tried if the path in the meantime was open again, and it was. How wonderful to get rid of all the cars and just trundle in nature. Now I was fairly close to the old city of Fuerth. Fuerth's and Nuremberg centres are only 7 km apart and yet these are two very important ancient cities, so there is naturally a strong competition between them. Thus, the football clubs of Greuther Fürth and 1 FC Nuremberg cannot stand each other. They have for some years, after the old big club Nuremberg's deroute and frequent relegation from the Bundesliga, been almost equal and actually both play in the second division now. In terms of urban size Nuremberg, however, by far is the biggest and has always been, but Fuerth managed Fürth to avoid the administrative annexation of 'big brother'. As it was time for my afternoon coffee it was obvious to visit the 'little brother' on my way. And here my gps led me safely into the marketplace, which is the natural choice when you want to see an old city centre. The secret is to draw the route as close to the true route, you want to run. The challenge is to choose the proper route on the computer as to where bikes can go and where it's good to bike. And here I had done everything right. It was nice after the gps hassle in Forchheim. I celebrated it with a cup of coffee and a portion of ice cream on the market square in Fuerth. There were quite some people under the large parasols, which now served as umbrellas, because it was starting to drip.
This did not stop a couple of small children from playing in the fun fountain in the square, while the mother and her boyfriend (I presume) had their ice cream at the table next to me. But the kids were hogwash wet from the splash in the water and the mother had repeatedly to get up and call them to order. While her boyfriend just sat and enjoyed his ice cream. A father would not have been allowed this, I know from personal experience. Well, it was fun with some life around me. But tiresome with the weather, which had otherwise been perfect so far. I sniffed a little more around Fuerth, but there were no bike lanes and tram rails, so I had to take care. The City Hall, with a high tower in the Italian Renaissance style, much like that one, which once adorned the city hall in my hometown of Odense and which has been modeled on the one in the Italian city of Siena. As I looked upwards on the pavement, I was asked in English if I was from Denmark. A young man had noticed my Danish flag on my bikepack. It turned out he was married in the Danish border town of Tonder, as it's popular in Germany, as formalities are somewhat fewer and faster over there. He had since traveled in Denmark and had become infatuated. I answered him in German, and he was a little disappointed that I spoke German so well, when I was a Dane. I should have stuck to English. He offered me water, coffee, food or whatever else I might need. So nice of him! And I felt it was rude to say no thanx to everything. But I had just drank coffee and really wanted to ride the last piece to Nuremberg to find the campsite and put up my tent. Also, because the rain increased, and it was getting late afternoon. Well, he understood that very well, and I easily found my way down to the river Pegnitz.
Just north of Fuerth the rivers Pegnitz and Rednitz unite into - the Regnitz! Seems, they also unite their names. Funny!. The Pegnitz is the river that Nuremberg is located at and the bike route into it went through a large park along the river. Here one did not feel at all that this was a densely populated region in rush hour time. Only the now heavy rainfall was a nuisance and the GPS screen does not work well when it gets wet. And now I actually needed it, as the route often changed direction and crossed the river, but it was paved all the way, so it was probably the right trail. Eventually I got to Nuremberg's Main Market. But could not really enjoy it. Even if tthere were stalls in the cozy square, and the buildings around were great, and I was standing next to the so-called "Beautiful Well", but I was wet, weary and a little cold. Moreover, I knew that I would come back tomorrow on my rest day in the city, hopefully in better weather. So I rolled across the square and tried my best to follow the magenta-coloured gps-line on the flimsy screen to lead me to the campsite. It took a circuitous line along the river, through another huge park and along cycle paths along major roads under the railway line to the south-east. It felt much longer than it was, but that's when you really just want to arrive to your destination and make yourself comfortable. But then I saw the huge convention hall from the Nazi era and knew I had come to the nazi party rally grounds, where the campground is located nowadays. So just turn left around the lake Dutzend-teich (dozen-pond??), across the zeppelin-field towards the stadium and into the woods. So far, I knew the way, but the navigation unit was completely useless now, so luckily I could ask my way. But when I arrived at the reception, it was completely deserted. Rain belted down, so I had no hurry pitching my tent. Luckily there was a lean-to, I could sit on a bench under and wait. At the same time, I chewed some bread. When the rain finally eased a bit, I rolled down to the tent area and pitched my tent under some trees. Then I savoured a hot shower. Afterwards I thought I'd find the TV room and watch the World Cup match Brazil versus Mexico. But it was locked! What the hell? In the middle of high season during the World Cup and in rain. This was ludicrous. So I lay down in my tiny tent, listened to the rain and tried to enjoy myself. I had absolutely no desire to get wet again. And dinner had to consist of yet more bread, lying on my back. But then the rain stopped alltogehter and I cycled off to find a place to eat and watch football. And I soon found a pub just next to the stadium. It was 1 FC Nuremberg's home bar, so luckily I wasn't wearing my Bayern shirt. It was huge and stood right next to the railway line. The waitress informed me, however, that she would soon shut the dive, but the TV was showing the football game and food was served, too, so I settled in the wooden furniture. Guests were scarse, and I prayed they would stay, so the barmaid had a reason to keep business running. Obviously I wasn't able to generate sufficient revenue myself. Either way, I saw the match finish 0-0 after a magnificent performance by the Mexican goalkeeper. Especially his save of a Neymar-header was quite formidable and reminded of Gordon Banks' save of Pele's header at the World Cup in Mexico in 1970. Outside it was still dry, and now I just wanted to get home in the tent as soon as possible and consequently found a new and faster route.