At breakfast, there is one plate of sausages per guest. It is so much that I make myself a snack roll. A couple from the next table gives me their sausage as well. They are invited for lunch and are not allowed to eat so much now.
The bike is packed again and pushed onto the road. The water supply is refilled and I feel the saddle again. After a few kilometers I arrive in Aalen. This is a hearty little town with an old core. In the tourist office I get a city map and make a small round trip. The photos below were taken during this tour.
The Romans already founded a riding fort here on the Limes, the northern border of the Roman Empire. The foundation of the town by the Staufer Emperor Frederick II is assumed to have taken place around 1240.
Finding the way out of Aalen to the bike path is not easy, but succeeds with the help of the city map. Again and again I stop and study my maps, read street names, wonder, go back a little bit, only to turn around again, finally convinced to be on the right track.
8 km after Aalen in Oberkochen I come across the factory buildings of the Carl Zeiss Werke.
The Hohenlohe-Ostalb cycle path leads through Königsbronn.
Along the railroad it goes to Heidenheim. Just before the beautiful bike path is interrupted. It takes place namely of a state horticultural show and the bike path would lead through the area. Outside around on the road I come to the city center, find the city full of life, but otherwise not very exciting.
After the town begins a beautiful route to Eselsburg. This seems to be a popular destination for excursions.
The village of Eselsburg lies at the end of a picturesque valley. The continuation of the path is insanely steep. Even pushing becomes extremely tedious. But eventually every height is climbed. I reach the Lon valley. But the deserved downhill is not yet there. It goes the Lon upstream. The Lon, by the way, flows into the Brenz and this at Gundelfingen into the Danube.
The Lon Valley is again very picturesque. No car traffic, only the bike path. An idyllic little bench invites me to take a lunch break. I devoutly consume my thickly sandwiched roll, an apple and the cereal bars I bought in Ellwangen.
The bike path leads out of the valley through a forest. There it goes once again very steeply uphill. Finally there is a clear view of the Danube valley and it goes downhill. Near Langenau I come into the Danube meadows with ancient trees.
I arrive in Elchingen and read: 'Cycle route to Ulm' and ride off blithely. There my misfortune begins. At a not signposted crossing I turn wrong. Firmly in the belief to go to Ulm, I cycle on for a long time. There are no more signs, but I don't notice that. I cross a highway. Only a place name sign makes me suspicious. Where am I?
I study the map for a long time until I find myself again. So back over the highway and then the road straight ahead to Ulm. After some time I see a sign: "Cycle path to Ulm". There I was already. I drove in a circle. Desperately I ask a woman where the cycle path continues and find out my mistake: just turn left instead of right. Finally I get onto the Danube cycle path and manage to get lost again at a level crossing. But then it goes quickly towards Ulm. In the meantime it has already become a little late. There is a lot going on in Ulm and all the accommodations are occupied. I drive crosswise through Ulm in search of a place for the night. Directly at the cathedral I find a last room. It is a triple room and the woman asks 60 euros. What the heck, I agree. Only 10 seconds later two cyclists look in and ask for a room. Unfortunately nothing more freely says the woman. As a small consolation for the expensive room (with bathroom and toilet in the corridor) I get my stage beer for free. On foot I still make an evening walk through Ulm. The cathedral is already closed.
Here in the Spanish wine tavern (Hotel zum Anker), right next to the cathedral I found my quarters.