From our balcony I can see a range of hills (when it’s not raining, and of course today it is, but work with me) which form the European Watershed, which I find pretty exciting, but I did study Geography for several years. Rain falling this side of them will flow north to the Rhine and out to Amsterdam, and anything falling beyond will make an epic journey through Austria, Hungary and Romania and off to the Black Sea.
If todays weather is anything to go by, neither region will be short of water over the next weeks.
I could cycle over the European Watershed from here, I just haven’t got around to it yet. This is partly because I was otherwise engaged doing things like attending permaculture courses, visiting Japan and transporting poo, but also because I’m a lazyoaf and the idea of climbing up the side of said hills is a bit daunting. But next year I’m determined to cross that watershed.
I’ve done some serious plotting with things called ‘maps’*. It seems I can follow a route I’ve done before to the Neckar valley, which has a well signposted long distance route. From there it looks fairly easy to the city of Reutlingen, which looks a bit daunting, but after that there is a traffic free cycleway on an old railway line from Reutlingen through Lichtenstein (Not the tax haven, but it does have a nice castle) and then up the side of a
cliff hill to a smallish village called Engstingen, which is on a river leading to the Donau.
According to the mighty Google it’s about 65km. One way. And then I have to get back again, so 130km in total, which is a bit over my current record of 114km when we brought the Bakfiets from the Netherlands to Germany, and on that occasion it was in the sort of country where a bridge counts as a hill, whereas this route goes down into at least three valleys and back up out of them again, a caps the lot with a 200 metre (600 feet and then some) climb at the end. In theory, the return should be a bit easier because it’s down hill most of the way. Right…
Still, now I’ve told you lot about it, I’ll have to do it. I guess that’s not a bad new years resolution, especially as another resolution is to ride a full century (160km) next year** so It’ll be good preparation for that. I’ll put it on the list along with ‘sort out the garden’; ‘refurbish bike N+1′; and ‘write a blog entry each week’…
*A sort of papery thing that people used before GPS.
**Actually I said the same last year, but we’ll ignore that.