Having shook hands with S a final time I headed off alone towards Trier and the train to Rostock. On the way I was treated to a splendid morning view of the southwestern end of the German Mosel valley.
In Trier the DB ticket office was still closed, but a helpful older gentleman at the infodesk printed out a schedule of my journey. He also made sure I got a "starter ticket", which I would show in Koblenz when I changed trains and bought a full ticket for the entire trip. The lady who sold me my final ticket made a small mistake, though. Without asking, she for some reason assumed I had a BahnCard and gave me a 25% discount. This was spotted by the staff on the train and I was promptly informed I had to either pay the missing amount or get off in Köln. Turned out I wasn't carrying quite enough cash and it took some haggling before I was sold a cheap enough ticket to make it all the way to Rostock.
My experience of travelling by train through Germany luckily wasn't only a negative one. Next to me on the IC was Felix, a graphic designer from Aachen. F and I had a nice conversation which made at least half of my 9h+ on the trains seem a lot shorter.
Once I'd made it to Rostock I called Paloma, my host for my first night in Germany. She had been out surfing and wouldn't be back in town until late in the evening. I then cruised around in central Rostock, explored some of the parts I missed last time around. I also got some cash and a bite to eat. Remembering the prices of food on the ferry, I found a Lidl and stocked up on bread, bananas and granola bars. While rolling through the streets of R-town I heard live music coming from Neuer Markt. Turning the corner I found myself in the middle of a pride festival, complete with drag queens and guys in denim micro-shorts. Why does this always happen when I'm wearing my lycras?! Last summer I stumbled upon Stockholm pride while out on a training ride..
I wasted my last hour before I had to wheel myself to the harbour in the park in front of the main building of the university. A cone of ice cream made for a perfect treat before saying goodbye to this town and this country.
That's it, my adventure on the roads of central Europe is over. I have now boarded Superfast IX, and should be back in Finland around 5.30 on monday morning. It's been absolutely amazing and as long as I have any say in the matter my touring days are far from over. The experiences I've had on this trip have made such an impression on me, and left me yearning for more.
Today: 40,87 km, 2h11m04s, 18,71 kmh avg, 42,3 kmh max.
Tour total: 1047,11 km.