The warmth of the German people has been very welcome, because the weather has been bitterly cold! We continue to cycle in sub zero conditions (with the persistent North Easterly headwind) and the snow has only recently thawed. It's been hard to stay positive all the time, and on Saturday morning when we were preparing breakfast outside our tent (whilst simultaneously trying to defrost fingers and toes) it started to snow again...I could have sat down right there and then and cried....instead I jumped up and went for a five minute run alongside the river to get the adrenaline (and blood) flowing once again! It kind of worked, although I did wonder whether I was showing early signs of hypothermia...or insanity!
Talking of food, cake has been promoted to 'essential food group' status. In fact I would go as far to say it is a 'super food' like goji berries! We now eat at least one cake per day (and I'm talking family sized cake, the kind that you would normally have "just a little slice" of). It's amazing how much happiness a sugar-laden sponge treat can bring (not to mention the 900 calories!). With the weather as cold as it has been, we are constantly craving food. As soon as one meal is finished, we are thinking about the next! It's quite fun trying to satiate our hunger and not feel an ounce of guilt about whatever we eat!
UPDATE: 1st April. We awoke to sunshine today and cycled the short distance to Passau (close to the Austrian border). It's amazing what a difference a change in the weather can make: Ashley and I were noticeably more cheerful and upbeat! Passau itself has a lovely centre: pastel coloured buildings line the waterfront, river cruise boats loaded with Americans wait patiently to head off down the Danube towards Vienna and cobbled streets meander from one historic building to the next. I have to say that St. Stephan's Cathedral is the most ornate building I have ever been inside. Whilst the exterior is relatively simple in appearance, virtually every interior surface of the Italian baroque building was covered in large frescos, intricate sculpture or dripping with gold. My jaw literally hit the floor when I went inside. I found myself continually reminding myself that I wasn't in a museum or palace but a place of worship. I normally love being inside religious buildings, I find them very calming, relaxing spaces but I have to say that the sheer opulence on display inside this building gave me a slightly uneasy and distracted feeling and I was actually relieved to leave in the end. I was also a bit pissed off that I was asked to remove my headscarf. I wondered why mine was singled out, whilst the half-dozen others wearing hats were allowed to keep theirs on. Perhaps mine wasn't expensive-looking enough?
Love and hugs.x