Hi family and friends,
So as you know, we don't have a car here, and thus if we want to go anywhere we have to go by foot, bus, or bike. The last one was difficult because Sasha didn't bring his bike with us (schlepping it would have cost more than the bike was worth) and it took about a month for the one we ordered here to make it to the shop and get built up, but now we are both mobile!
To celebrate, we went for a bike ride after church the weekend after the bike came (three weekends ago, now). I saw in a newspaper that there was a crafts fair going on in a town 12km or so away from us, so decided that it should be our destination (I'm sure my husband would have rather go birding, but he agreed to come with me anyway). We decided to follow the river and bike path, which turned the trip into probably more like 15+ km each way, but we didn't measure it. And it might have been a bit more since once or twice we (OK I) got too distracted by the scenery and missed a turn...easily remedied by a consult with the map and a passing cyclist.
The crafts fair was really crowded, but we found some cool things, including big slabs of tree trunk carved with castles and city-scenes and felted lamps that looked like towers. Also, there was (as is true at any good German event) cake, coffee, and various schnitzel-y things for sale. We even bought a few small things (since neither the lamp nor tree trunk were within our budget or very manageable on a bike). Instead, Sasha found a cool red candle and I got a small nearly spherical gnome that I put in our "garden" once I got home:
We got some funny looks for wandering around in cycling clothing, but Germans as a whole tend to limit themselves to staring and then talking about you when you are (mostly) out of earshot.
On the way back, we did stop to look at a few birds, although neither of us brought our binoculars. Which probably ensured that we made it home in time for dinner ;-)
Since the weather cooperated, we have more exciting bike tours to report on from the more recent weekends but I'll post them when I have a chance.