Belgern – Radebeul 78.5 kms 243’ ascent.
Bit of a frustrating start to the day. Our pension was ideally situated to allow easy access to the tourist office and a bank, both of which we needed. The tourist office was shut for some reason until 11.30 and the bank ATM not allow my withdrawal or attempted withdrawal. A very helpful bank clerk explained that it didn’t take VISA! “But I need some cash,” I wailed. Maybe the bank two doors up will provide. This machine accepted every card I had ever heard of and spewed out my cash within minutes. Well now, we had cash but no map and no food. As I say – not a good start. Lidl provided the food and we decided to wing the route. This meant that we had to stick slavishly to the signs for the Elberadwig. The sign posting was excellent and we enjoyed almost uninterrupted views of the river and the traffic thereon. What provided cause for considerable chagrin (and I think Mr. Grumpy may have more to add to my comments) was the sheer number of cobblestoned paths. Apart from being very cycle unfriendly, they are the most labour intensive surface to lay. It is undoubtedly an art form and requires great skill but the artist must have a grudge against cyclists. However, worse was to come; cobblestone steps! Big, steep steps! The concession to bikes was a rail running from bottom to top which would allow the wheels of the bike to run smoothly up the slope. No extra ones for trailer wheels though, so these two old wrinklies had to separate trailer and bike and physically carry Herman and Sherman to the top. We were not amused. As if the penny had dropped, a few kilometres later, the planners had instigated a deviation for bikes with trailers! Wow! What clever people. By this time though, little would appease the ire of my man, who swore and spat tacks at these lardy planners. The first real casualty of all this bumping around, was Alan’s water bottle, which he noticed was missing when he went for a drink. With all the shaking and rattling, I hadn’t noticed it fall. (I always bring up the rear – very important position.) Add to all this the fact that often the path was too narrow to allow cyclists to pass easily in either direction, stress levels were running a little high.
By 75 kms , we were ready for a rest and with the usual friendly phoning a friend we found ourselves in a B&B the size of an aircraft hanger. (And that was just our room). Tempers abated with the imbibing of a glass or two of the local wine which had been highly recommended and we accepted that cobblestones are attractive if entirely impracticable.