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BICYCLE TOUR: EUROTOUR 2010

FLAVIO BASSI'S ON-BOARD DIARY

DAY 17

DATE: 23:07:2010
START: REMAGEN
FINISH: KöLN
LENGTH: 70 KM
AVERAGE SPPED: 15.2 KM/H
DIFFICULTY GRADE: A1
Welcome to Ruhr
Started from Remagen, we arrive early to the great cities. Bonn, nothing special to be honest, I remember only its pedestrian center hyper-crowded, and Cologne, even worse, where we stayed overnight.

Cologne in particular is the highway-town that marks the end of a world and the beginning of another: here it begins the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, here we start to notice that air, water and soil are not like those of the Alps .

There are no more people who bathe in the Rhine, there are instead many unmistakable signs with written 'BATHING PROIBITION'; the air is often chemical perfumed; territory is densely occupied by heavy industry with some unfortunate agricultural or residential parentheses; hotels and tourists suddenly disappear and return at the end of the river, on the North Sea.
But the bike path never abandons us. We continue to ride always on protected trails and we meet very few cars.

In Cologne there is the hostel. However from the artistic point of view there isn't much to do in town; the cathedral also has an urban highway a few meters away on one side, and at its base they have built concrete stores literally stuck to the ancient walls. If they are happy with them ...

We have dinner at a historic brewery, very crowded. Beverages low in quality, quantity and variety; I don't remember the food.

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