DAY 12 – Rested, refreshed and with a sunnier day awaiting us, we packed up from the hotel and cycled out of Duisberg in the morning. I had planned a direct route to Cologne, which I estimated to be around 70km, following the ‘8’ road we had roughly followed for our time in Germany thus far.
Everything went smoothly for the first hour and we left the empty Sunday morning streets of Duisberg and progressed into the countryside. Then, about 20km into the day, the ‘8’ road turned into a no-bicycles-allowed autobahn road, and for a few minutes we were unsure of the route to take. I should add here that I had bough a map for the Rhine route from Cologne onwards the previous day, but didn’t have a map to get from Duisberg to Cologne.
I asked a passerby who suggested we take the Rhine route, and when I asked how to get there from where we were, he promptly instructed us to follow him! He led us for about 10km until we reached the river, then said cheerio and went on his way!
We began to follow the Rhine heading South, and apart from a few wrong turns we managed to follow the route fairly well throughout the day. We soon arrived into the centre of Dusseldorf, where we got our first German sausage sandwich for lunch! Things carried on well as we rode south into the afternoon, passing the 500km mark for the trip.
South of Dusseldorf, the route swarmed with Sunday afternoon joggers, cyclists, skaters and walkers, and onwards we rode. By late afternoon we had passed the 70km mark and were still some distance Cologne, however we had arranged to stay with a Warmshowers host, Andreas, so we continued on.
The last few km into Cologne were becoming a struggle until we met a couple, who as keen cyclists had ridden the Rhine Route from Cologne to Rotterdam the year previous. They showed us the way into the centre of Cologne through a few tricky industrial estate areas, and we eventually made it to the centre of Cologne, where we passed the Cathedral and made our way to Andreas’ house.
Andreas lives in a very central part of Cologne and after our introductions he took us to a German pub where bratwurst and chips were the order of the day, and most welcome after a 95km cycle ride. After dinner Andreas took us on a guided tour of the centre of Cologne and filled us with facts about the city and its history.
Another great experience for us with Warmshowers. Thanks Andreas.
- Route: Duisberg to Cologne
- Distance: 95km