One of the reasons to go on a bicycle tour in July was to get away from the heat of Antalya where it’s 35°C every day. I hate to come to Europe and complain about the heat, but, wow, it can be hot in southern Germany — 35°C every day! The way we found to keep cool was to get in the water, eat ice cream, and drink beer at every opportunity. Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that there were lots of opportunities.
The only thing the sheep can do to escape the heat is go for the shade.
In Antalya one evening while drinking beer with a German friend from Freiburg, Sebestian, I suggested he teach Ferda and me a couple sentences in German for our upcoming trip. We joked around a little, and in the end he said, “don’t worry about German. You can always speak Turkish in Germany.” Well, we crossed the border from Basel into Germany on a bicycle path underneath a highway. We made a couple turns, and boom, there it was! Çınar Restaurant, çiğ köfte, döner kebab, a Turkish market, and everyone was speaking Turkish. As an added bonus, everything seemed to cost about 1/3 as much as it did in Switzerland. That was a nice relief.
The Germans who don’t speak Turkish often speak excellent English. A man started chatting with us on the Rhine bicycle path and then invited us to his home in Istein to fill our water bottles. He had cycled much of the Rhine on a tour with his high-school-age son who also spoke great English and was excited to hear about our experiences. A couple days later after visiting charming Staufen we missed a turn and did a bonus steep climb into the Black Forest. We made it back to the correct path in low spirits, tired and thirsty, only to be rescued by a cyclist who took us to his house in Kirchhofen and filled us with cold drinks. We were too dehydrated to take him up on the beer, but the sodas went down well.
In the middle of the heat wave we rolled into Freiburg where we stayed three nights with Sebastian’s friends, Ralf, Arzu, and Lilisu. It was great to have a break from the riding during this hot weather. One day they took us on a short hike in the Black Forest where we cooled off in the stream and cooled off again later with ice cream in the village. Lilisu learns German from Ralf and Turkish from Arzu, but stubbornly insisted on speaking with us in German even though we couldn’t understand. Maybe she was trying to teach us.
Crossing the Rhine back to France: