Tuesday, September 4, 1928
Things began to stir at five so I arose before 7AM and, paying my bill in Belgian and French money, was ready to leave. Three French soldiers were there and we had quite a time figuring out my 3,50-mark bill for room and dinner. I could not get my puncture fixed here so started to walk my bike to the next town some 15 miles away. Before I had gone a half mile the three soldiers came along in a big army truck and we all went on in the truck. Arriving there after nine I took my bike to be fixed and then hunted the bank to have my money changed into German. Then I had coffee and rolls and went for my bike which was not yet done. The man didn’t know anything about a bike, so I finished the job myself and left town at noon. The road followed the bank of the Moselle River. It meandered all over. There were dozens of horseshoe curves and not one-half mile of straight river.
Straight up from the banks on either side were steep hills of 400 to 600 feet in height. Many of these were rocky with big bluffs and rocky cliffs. They were all covered with grapes growing on the almost perpendicular sides of the hills. It is marvelous scenery, the prettiest I have yet seen. Small towns were along the banks every two or three miles while there were dozens of remains of old castles built on the high crags overhanging the river, only a few walls, towers and turrets left standing. There were a number of bridges across which I went from one side to the other and once I ferried across on an old ferry.
My rear tire had a large hole in it and kept giving my so much trouble that I finally rode it flat 12 miles before I could buy another one for 11,50 marks. By this time it was 5:15 with 40 miles to Koblenz. There were no hills to speak of, the wind could not bother me because of the hills, so I rode 32 of those by 7:30. I put up at this hotel in a small town just outside of Koblenz to save money. Have a nice room and got a good dinner, all for 5 marks. The bath is also very important too. I am waiting for the H2O to cool now. I can only use the hot water as the cold comes down from the hills with all the dirt.
By using English, French, German, and my hands I got what I wanted. I usually talk English and get German answers and everything is OK, though both sides are mostly in the dark. Would like to take a river trip to Köln, but must save my money. The little towns are very dirty but also very picturesque. Many [people] seem to have nothing much to do but to sit out and drink beer. Rode 76 miles and army truck 15, making 91 miles.