Cologne…just the beginning

The year is 1096 and Pope Urban II had preached the first of what would more than 2 centuries of crusades, to keep Constantinople Christian, and win back Jerusalem. Some 40,000 excited people gathered in Cologne, before setting off on there murderous and hugely destructive journey to Byzantium.


The final kms into the city took me ‘off-piste’ until I found myself enveloped in forest


…battling along dirt tracks that hadn’t yet absorbed the recent heavy rains


….but the arrival outside the most iconic of European Cathedrals, the Dom, was sweet. But to bag a pitch at a city campsite, I had another 8kms zooming south along the Rhine, and found myself among other fellow cycle-trekkers


…one Dutch couple in particular, who are away on their bikes for months at a time. This time, they will be following the Rhine, then the Danube, all the way to the Black Sea.
So either this afternoon, or tomorrow morning, I will begin my anti-crusade to Istanbul from the steps of the Dom,


following in the footsteps (with my wheel tracks) of the 40,000 in 1096…..none of whom, it is believed, ever returned home.
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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on May 10, 2014, in Kimbolton to Istanbul 4000kms: a crusader's route and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hi Frank – stumbled across your blog this morning as I was playing with the idea to bike around Erkelenz maybe if this weather settles – husband has to go look at some property up there. Anyways – we have a studio in Bad Honnef … About 15 km south of Bonn on the right side (cross over on either the middle or south bridge in Bonn and follow path right along Rhine) … Nothing fancy but as it’s vacant right now it’s yours for the night if you like – email me back and let me know…otherwise good luck on your journey – very admirable, hope to get some tours in myself this year.

    • Thanks Anne, for the very kind offer. I just left the outskirts of Bonn this morning, and am currently passing through Altenkirchen.
      Good luck with any future rides! Would love to hear about them.

  2. No problem – wow that is a long ride…too bad that I only read your blog today with the weather the way it was yesterday and today hope you’re keeping dry and using those gusts to get a push over the climbs – good luck! Expecting some better weather tomorrow.

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