Day 344 – GERMANY: From Karlsruhe to Mannheim

Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 72km
Average speed / 平均速度: 15.3km/h
Time on skateboard / 走行時間: 4h 42m
Total skateboarding distance to date / 今までスケボで走った距離: 165.54km (plus 400km)
Total cycling distance to date / 今まで自転車で走った距離: 11,800km
Ascent / 上り: +125m
Descent / 下り: -115m

A big thanks to Dennis from CouchSurfing for putting me up last night at his place. Thank you for the meal and good times.

'Dragon Steak' in Karlsruhe, Germany

From Karsruhe I headed in the general direction of Mannheim, not sure if I would be able to make contact with some CouchSurfing hosts that I had contacted at Dennis’s place. Due to the nature of my style of travel, it is hard to contact people too far in advance…

I was away from Karsruhe by 10am, and enjoyed good cycle paths and a tailwind through Linkenheim, Leidolsheim, Russheim, and Phillipsburg. It was very hot, but a welcome cool breeze kept me cool during breaks in the shade.

A jumping jack near Karlsruhe, Germany

By 4:30pm I had arrived in Hockenheim for a welcome break. Hot and sweaty, I spent half an hour sitting in a shadey bus stop on the main street watching luxury car after luxury car drive by. I still don’t know why, but Hockenheim seems to have comparitively more flash cars than anywhere else I have seen in Germany.

Boy racers (the upper strata version) in Hockenheim, Germany

I stopped by an internet cafe and checked my email. To my delight one of the CouchSurfing hosts I had emailed had replied – Mili, a university student from Peru. I gave her a call and organised to meet her in Mannheim. What’s more, the Turkish owner of the internet cafe/call shop didn’t charge me for the 15 minutes I was in there.

By about 6pm I was in Mannheim, enjoying the great industrial squallor that is this wonderful stinky city. As you enter the city from the south, you pass through great areas of factories, some of which are producing deodorants and other domestic cleaning products. The mix of scents and grey factories makes for a welcome change to the old architecture of the rest of Europe.

Sun setting over Mannheim, Switzerland

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