Isn't that view gorgeous?

I was kind of afraid I would be exhausted after canoeing for just 1 hr, but hey, this is Europe...I do more activities here than when I am at home

Eichstatt: Arrival

So... we have no plans for the next week. Yes, you read that correctly: Al & Lin-Wei Bonney have NO PLANS for the next week, and we are in a foreign country. No hotel reservations, no plans to climb any mountains, and no plans to go to nature parks and canoe down the River Atlmuhl. Well... maybe we did have some tentative plans.

Freedom! Nature! Climbing!

So we were heading over to Nature Park Atlmuhltal, which is smack-dab in the middle of Bavaria, and the city of Eichstatt is in the middle of the park. I had read in our guidebook that it was a beautiful park, with canoeing, hiking, and all-around goodness, so I lobbied for and received a blessing from the boss. She wasn't sure what we'd do there for 2-3 days, but I figured we'd find something. Lin-Wei made sure to eat her breakfast meat sandwich while I had my pastries and coffee, of course.

I remember being stuck behind very slow traffic on the way over. The roads in Germany are good, but they still have a lot of roads that are just one lane each way, and you ALWAYS ALWAYS get stuck behind a line of five huge-ass trucks. Therefore manual shifting skills are put to the test as one tries to weave in and out of oncoming traffic as you move up past the trucks. Loads of fun for the whole family!

Arriving in Eichstatt we find ourselves... leaving Eichstatt. We took the wrong turn as soon as we got into town, and starting leaving town by a different route. We got ourselves turned around, and found some fun-facts with a map of the town, and headed towards the tourist office.

One of the many town squares, but the only one with our hotel

This is where our roughly ten phrases failed. I went there to find some info on canoeing and lodging, but they didn't speak a lick of English. Not one word. So the tourist people and just stood there staring at each other for a while (Lin-Wei was keeping Leon company), but they did give me brochures. Yeah, so that was fun. Using our new German maps we found some parking near the old town square. Crossing the new bridge over the river, we found a canoeing place mentioned in our guidebook as having an English speaking owner. Nice. As we would later find out, he was only one of three people who spoke English in Eichstatt. One of the other ones is currently writing the log, while the final person is waiting impatiently for this log to be finished.

The Hotel Adler

It was about 11am when we talked to the owner, and we negotiated a canoe, some paddles, a barrel, and a ride out to the departure point around 12:30. We all agreed that a four hour canoe ride would be just about right, so we told him we'd be back in an hour or so.

Next, we walked into the old town square and found a hotel mentioned in our guidebook (three cheers for the guidebook, the only piece of written English in Eichstatt!) They did have a room for us for the next two nights. Nice. At € 110 per night (ouch.) A quick check-in, and a quick meal of spaghetti Bolognese at an Italian place down the alley from our hotel was had. The deliciousness of the food outweighed my guilt in not eating German.

With lunch over, it was time to begin our river adventure!

Canoeing the River Atlmuhl

Copyright (c) The Sticklers 2006