This was my fourth visit to the German town of Trier. The first was in 1976 when I was ten, and on a family holiday. My clearest memory of the campsite was the drinks’ vending machine. Not having any German pocket money, I tried shoving a Franc into the machine, when it wouldn’t dispense I pressed the reject coin button and a Marc came out, wanting my Franc back, I shoved in five pence, pressed reject again and my Franc came back.
My second visit to Trier was in 2008 when I cycled along the Mosel with friends from Nancy to Koblenz, the Rhine from Koblenz to Strasbourg, and the Rhine to Marne canal from Strasbourg to Nancy.
My third visit was in 2011 when we visited for two nights on honeymoon, and rode through the vineyards lining the Mosel on our tandem.
This fourth visit too was for cycling. With traffic free cycle routes upstream and downstream, on both sides of the Mosel, we were spoilt for choice for cycling with the dogs running free alongside. Unfortunately, on the second day my bike suffered a puncture in the rear tyre, and I was unable to fix it. We did, however, find gas, and exchanged our grotty eBay empty cylinders for pristine bright blue full ones. 66 Euros.
Day 2 in Trier and I got my bike fixed, and Ben’s tyres pumped to full pressure. Ben’s speed now doubled. We all whizzed along, Clare struggling to keep ahead of Ben at 20 KPH, me puffing hard hauling Jack in the trailer, Meg trotting alongside, and Jess making suicidal attempts to get under everyone’s wheels. We made it to Luxembourg, found the route blocked by a tributary to the Mosel, turned around and cycled back. Five miles cycling at the age of 3 years 7 months: I know I might be a biased dad – but I think this is quite exceptional. Perhaps it’s because at last Ben was fuelled up on home cooked food.
Day 3 in Trier and packing up day, we had to leave at 9am the next morning for our train home, so sleep in travel mode. Leaving Clare to pack, I took the boys off to Trier itself, some 8 Km downstream from our campsite. Ben made it all the wat there, but ran out of steam on our return, so his bike went in the back of the buggy and he went inside.
After packing everything away, we went into town for our last meal out. Delicious.