A first journal from on the road...

An old woman picking plums somewhere close to Schaffhausen was inspecting our luggage critically and asked laughing: „are you going to America?“ What was I supposed to answer? „East“? Or „no, but to China“? She would either have thought I am funny or she would have thought we are nuts. But she would probably not have understood what we are actually up to. Probably we haven't either. At least it hasn't really struck us, somehow it's still more like a weekend trip or a couple of days in the fresh air. Maybe when we reach Slovakia, the first place where we will not understand the langue anymore, we will feel that we are actually on a longer journey?

So far it has been a pleasent roadtrip that started with a breakfast on august 11th. Good friends are coming by to say goodbye, some are coming to cycle a bit with us. Of course it was touching, saying goodbye to some even quite emotional. Then on the bicycle route towards Olten, beautiful weather, the Mittelland from its best side. One after one, most escorting friends are breaking away, trying to reach their offices in time. Left are Rita and Christian, his mother, and Sabine, an experienced eastbound-cyclist herself.

The cheesely tuned and baseline-banging cars suggest that we are approaching Olten. The sky has turned grey by now. Sabine leaves our party in Olten, we continue towards Lostorf in order to follow the friendly invitation of a former work colleauge for a night under a dry roof. That there is also a great view over the Mittelland and a generous swimming pool is a welcome and surprising surplus. How nice to have such friends :-)

Already the second day is (hopefully) going to make it to this trip's history books: constant rain from Brugg on, or in other words: the whole day. But we are motivated and ignore it. Until we reach the Youth Hostel in Schloss Laufen, we have water everywhere, even in our 'waterproof' cycling packs. There is no such thing as good marketing! The positive in this? It can't get any worse and we know we can hold it out!

On the third day we cross the first border, the one to Germany. Tuttlingen, a village on the Danube is our goal. Getting there proofs to be more exhausting than expected. The swiss have a tendency to think that Germany is as flat as a Bierdeckel. How wrong! But we make it there, and the last co-traveller (Christian's mother) is saying goodbye here, leaving behind the two of us in the ultimate team constellation. A bit like Frodo and Sam. Our precious is not a ring, but the beijing duck riding along on Ritas front carrier.