|Der Schneider von Ulm by Johannes Pfeiffer 2012|
I got told off at breakfast by a German lady in the hostel who said I was going too far and fast and not enjoying her beautiful country. She also proved that I had been hideously mispronouncing German place names and said I looked tired. THIS IS HOW I LOOK. I promised her i’d take a day off when I got to Ingolstadt and she said “Oh don’t bother stopping there.”
I seriously can’t win.
|Where I met the Danube with Ulm Minster playing #LandmarkPeekaboo in the background|
I finally met the Danube. It was a moody grey day and in the shadow of Ulm Minster church, everything felt very gothic. For added gothic overtones; I was heading to Ingolstadt, where Victor Frankenstein made his Monster (in Mary Shelley’s novel, I know it’s not real. IT’S NOT, IT’S NOT, IT’S NOT, I repeated to myself while riding through the creepy bits).
The beginning of the Danube trail was great with lots of art installations on the bank and wide, marked cycle paths but it soon veered inland. Very inland.
Not only did the impending rain mean I had to waterproof up (which we know I hate), it also awakened the entire mosquito population of the Danube who proceeded to ambush me. I’m delicious. I basically got eaten to shit.
This day was long and I didn’t actually see much of the Danube until quite late on in the day. I bonked. If I hadn’t promised myself a rest day I might have lost my shit and I don’t know what? Lived between Ulm and Ingolstadt forever? I listened to podcasts and told myself I was awesome to get me through. And I ate lots of chocolate.
|At Neuberg an der Donau|
At Neuberg an der Donau I met the Danube again and was all like ‘WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN? WHAT TIME DO YOU CALL THIS?’ But it was so calm and beautiful so I forgave it.
|The Danube looking pretty damn sexy|
I left the Danube and followed the Schutter river to Ingolstadt through a park with lots of contemporary sculptures and joggers.
At the hostel I dumped my stuff and sat outside eating sandwiches with the hostel receptionist who saw me as the perfect audience for his monologue on how Pierce Brosnan was the best ever Bond. Man that dude knew a lot about James Bond. Apparently cinemas in Germany used to play James Bond films ever day during off peak hours for free in the 90s (which isn’t 10 years ago any more). I think that’s what he said. It would certainly explain the whole Pierce Brosnan loving thing they have going on out here.
I excused myself and went to my shared room full of lots of noisy Italians.
The thing about being 34 and staying in youth hostels is that I have no qualms telling people that it’s late and they need to shut up because I have lots of cycling to do tomorrow. I lied, i’m having a rest day.
On rest days I go into shops and try on dresses. You know? So I remember that my life isn’t just wearing shorts, vests and grease marks.
Now I’m refusing to cycle in anything else. If you want, I can get you the matching lederhosen?
Thighs Matters Euro Tour stages:8 Ulm to Ingolstadt// Bonking and trying on dresses