Yesterday my bike and I took a train from Köln to Arnstadt because Ohrdruf doesn’t have a station. That meant cycling to Ohrdruf today in order to actually begin Bach’s Quest with the live stream tonight and onward journey tomorrow. So in a way it was a bit of a dress rehearsal of what to expect, at least as long as I travel though Thüringen, which is pretty hilly. Aaaaaand the first thing I had to deal with was indeed a seemingly endless uphill struggle, even before I left Arnstadt. Komoot, the excellent App I’m using for navigation, classes this 24km journey as “moderately difficult”. Well for me it was basically impossible to begin with and, yes, i did find myself pushing my bike up the hill and cursing the weight of the luggage: my bike is suddenly so heavy! The good news is that after it’s gone up, it does go down again, which was fast and fun, and in one place challenging as the track looked more like some of the mountain-bike trails I’ve seen (as pedestrian) in the Alps than something nice and cosy for middle-aged violinists who aren’t particularly fit. My favourite bit of the journey was the segment from Gossel to Crawinkel. The verges are full of fruit trees, I saw apples, pears and plums, and the plums in particular looked ripe and lovely. Unfortunately I was worried about getting to Ohrdruf in good time, so I didn’t stop. Apart from that, what stood out was the quietness of the route, which passes through fields and forests and is (despite the uphill bits) very lovely and generally unfrequented by cars. Off to Gotha tomorrow, which, thankfully, is only 18km away and classed by Komoot as an “easy ride” (phew!).