Day Eleven: Osnabrück to Münster

Distance: 53.2km

Time: 2 hours 58 minutes

Average speed: 17.9 kph

Total distance: 837.4km

Total time: 41 hours 24 minutes

Wordle scores: Captain 3, Stoker 4

The Captain found another brewery for dinner last night, where we enjoyed kasespätzle and some lovely wheat beer. Like the one in Mechelen way back at the start of our trip, the restaurant was in the working brewery, but this time you could see the workings.

After dinner we returned to the Romantik Hotel Walhalla, and were asleep as soon as heads hit pillows.

We wanted to get an early start today, in order to arrive in Münster in time for lunch and with the afternoon for sight-seeing. We’d scoped out a little cafe in the Markt for breakfast, with a nice view of the Dom and the Rathaus.

This morning it was firmly closed, though, because it is Ascension Day, which seems to be a public holiday. No problem, back to the hotel for breakfast, and on our way by just after nine.

Getting out of Osnabrück was much more pleasant that getting in, it was very quiet, probably because of the holiday, and we were quickly outside the ring road and onto small roads and cycle paths. The first climb (of two) came up fairly quickly, and we tweedled up it perfectly efficiently. It wasn’t sunny, but warm enough, and although we were progressing slowly we knew that it would be all downhill after the second climb.

That was more of a proper hill, over 100m vertical height to gain, with some steep ramps along the way. Just as we were nearing the top we were passed by a very friendly little peloton of identically clad road warriors, all waving for the camera.

We stopped for a drink at the top in the wood.

After a climb, of course, comes the reward, a long descent where we pedalled not a stroke, that improved our average a little!

We seemed to be sharing the little lanes and paths with a panoply of others today. Here’s a selection:

That last one is the end of a procession of marching bands! The cheery fireman is controlling the traffic. Well, us, really!

The route was excellent today, very tiny, largely traffic-free roads, combined with cycle paths, mostly well-surfaced and easy to find. This one was amazing, evidently just resurfaced in the last number of days.

Sooooo smooth. But hang on, what’s that noise coming from the back of the tandem? It’s always wise to hop off and check if something doesn’t seem right. As we span the back wheel to find the source of the noise it became clear that the cycle path had been more recently resurfaced than we thought, maybe even in the last number of hours. It was still quite sticky, which had caused the unusual road noise. We switched to the road next to it, and a little further up found the end of the resurfacing progress.

We weren’t far from Münster now, and the route in was a dream compared to Osnabrück yesterday, well-signed, completely traffic-free and very easy. We rolled up outside our hotel, checked in and then wheeled the tandem along to the Rad Station to park it securely.

It’s just like a car park, with an entry ticket at the barrier and everything. There are apparently half a million bicycles in Münster and quite a bike theft problem, so this feels very secure.

After a pleasant lunch in the Ratskeller, we had a good wander around the old town, which is lovely.

It’s been a brilliant day, great cycling, loads to see en route and we both really like what we’ve seen of Münster so far.

Tomorrow is our last full day of cycling, and it’s going to be a big one. Over 100km pretty much straight into the wind and back into the Netherlands. It might well take us over six hours to complete. And the hotel we’ve booked looks … interesting, to say the least! It’s pretty much the only option in a tiny place, Ruurlo, and offers just a ‘surprise’ menu for dinner. The few reviews are positive and the pictures previous guests have posted of the food look delicious, but there’s a slight air of Fawlty Towers about the place, and we have been told to check in between 4pm and 6pm on pain of a penalty charge outside this window!

It’s either going to be sublime, or ridiculous. Stay tuned!

Here’s today’s route, and a short video.

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