an enchanted ride through the forest that
inspired Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
360 km / 224 mi
4,504 m / 14,777 ft
We entered Germany from Basel, Switzerland, paying a quick visit to The Three Countries Bridge, which crosses the Rhine River where Switzerland, Germany and France meet. We then rode through The Black Forest with Dan’s brother, Jacob.
Sadly we were time-pressured and ended up catching a train through the rest of Germany once we said goodbye to Jacob.
A few rainy days where we were drenched through, but other than that, mostly dry and warm.
Riding with Jacob for 2 weeks.
Visiting the city of Freiburg.
View Tower in Freiburg.
We cooked nearly all of our meals. ALDI and Lidl were like heaven to us. We did treat ourselves to dinner at Feierling in Freiburg and it was delicious. They also brew their own beer in the bar – and we tasted a few of those too.
We filled up at campsites or asked in restaurants and cafes.
We brewed our own coffee each morning. We had the occasional one in a cafe, but it was expensive.
Primus Omni-Fuel Stove fuel
We struggled to find white gas (Coleman fuel), mainly due to the confusion about what white gas/white spirits are and then translating it. We ended up finding Spezial Benzin in a DIY shop and panic bought 4 litres of the stuff. From memory it was around €5 per bottle. We prayed to whoever would listen for it not to blow up when we turned the stove on. It didn’t.
German campsites were the most expensive of all the European countries we cycled through. We were also forced to pay €33 per head to stay in a YHA, due to severe weather. Some of that cost was down to having to buy a YHA card – such a con.
Our confidence had grown by the time we reached Germany, so we were more bold with our wild camp spots. We once camped in the field of a boxing centre. Thankfully we didn’t run into any boxers…
Excellent quality. All smooth tarmac. We were on a lot of single-track road and forest paths too.
Roads were pretty quiet through the Black Forest and drivers were considerate.
Die Speiche Radhaus – When Jacob landed in Germany, he realised he’d left his pannier rack clips at home. He cobbled something together to get him from the airport, but it wouldn’t of lasted the trip. Thankfully these guys stocked every Ortlieb spare you could imagine – as you’d expect from a German bike shop, I guess – and Jacob’s panniers were saved.
We caught a train 870 km, from Forbach to Flensburg (near the border to Denmark). You’d think that would cost the earth, but it was actually super cheap. We booked a Quer-durchs Land Ticket (translate: cross country ticket) online for €52, which allowed us to travel on any local and regional trains between 9am and 3am the following morning. The journey took 15 hours and we made 6 changes. It wasn’t as painful as it sounds – honestly. There’s no off-loading the panniers, you just wheel the bikes on and off designated bike carriages. We also had plenty of time between trains to grab food and drinks in the various stations.
Note: it was €44 for one person, plus €8 every additional passenger, totalling four people. So it could work out cheaper if there is a group.
Our UK SIM-only plans worked perfectly at no extra charge (GiffGaff & Vodafone).
EuroVelo – Download all the EuroVelo GPX and KML files.
Komoot – navigation app, which we found really good for routing throughout Europe.
Camping.Info by POIbase – great app for finding campsites.
Trainline EU – app for booking trains in Europe.
Watch out for ticks lurking in the tall grass. Dan went for a midnight wee without realising they were a problem and end up with a handful downstairs.