Tour de Odenwald - Day 1

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The Odenwald is a low mountain range mostly located in southern Hesse, between Darmstadt marking the end in the north west and reaching as far down as the Neckar river valley near Heidelberg and even a little further beyond the Neckar river, while the eastern regions reach into lower Franconia in Bavaria.

The typical landscape oft the Odenwald are rolling hills with green fields and forest, dotted with small towns and villages. In some areas red sandstone breaks through the vegetation, giving the scenery a more rugged and alpine look.

For a weekend full of the charm of rural Germany we decided to take bike trip though the region, split into two days to give us more time to take it all in. Also we're not all that well trained on bike rides and there would be quite bit of altitude changes to overcome.

 

We planned our route to be as easy to ride as possible. For us that meant first riding to the east from Darmstadt, pretty much along the northern end of the Odenwald region, and then turning down south from Höchst, continuing on towards Michelstadt in the center of the Odenwald.

On our way we came through many small town and by some Odenwald Highlights like the Veste Otzberg, a medieval castle located very perfectly on the top of a hill.

After we had climbed that hill we were also done with the thougher sections for the day, and looked forward to a long descent back down into the valley that would ultimately lead us towards Michelstadt. Right before we finally got to roll down that hill though we noticed Tims carrier had partly come of the bike. With quick wits and the tools we had luckily brought we managed to mitigate that problem and soon were on our way again.

The remainder of the day led us by and through a lot of quaint villages located beautifully in the valley.

During a short stop at the Ententeich Asselbrunn we had a run in with another Nutria. This one was a lot less shy than than the one we had previously met at the Mönchbruch. It swam up to us, climbed out of the water and came right up to Tim, probably thinking that the camera might contain food. We didn't have any treats, so after staring at us for a few obnoxious moments it returned to the water and tried to find food elsewhere.

Michelstadt

We spent our night in Michelstadt. Together with the town of Erbach, that connects right to Michelstadt, it is kind of the center of the Odenwald. Michelstadt is also the biggest town in the region.

It's famous for its beautiful oldtown with the historic town hall that's built on stilts. But we found the other half-timbered houses throughout the historic center of the city just as beautiful. Due to the Corona pandemic still restricting (social) life there weren't too many people either. We were lucky though that restaurants were finally allowed to reopen this weekend. In all our eagerness for taking this trip we had totally forgotten to pack real food. And after a day of riding our bikes with only candy to keep us going we were absolutely ready for a real meal.

The Hotel and Restaurant "Grüner Baum" luckily had a spot for us, so we took a seat in their Biergarten and induldged in a local specialty, the Kochkässchnitzel.