I headed on southwards the next morning, stopping at the main railway station in Wiesbaden to ask about tickets to Venice. It turns out the only person at the ticket counter didn’t speak English, so I had to go back into Mainz to the Hauptbahnhof. There the second person spoke English and was extremely helpful. She booked me a ticket from Heidelberg to Venice and walked me through the complicated sheaf of paper that was my set of tickets and how to find the correct carriage for my bike. I cycled briefly through the old town in Mainz and saw the traditional wine bar Markus had suggested I visit, but sadly it was closed. I really didn't leave myself enough time to see much of Mainz, but with the weather turning nasty I was eager to head south.
|Mainz old town.|
After a dinner of very yummy homemade meatballs Wolfgang said that he needed to go out to help a group of friends serve drinks at a local wine festival, and asked whether I would like to come along. The drawback was that his shift didn’t finish till 3am. While I was fair exhausted after my fast ride I thought it sounded like fun and I would never get another opportunity, so I agreed and we headed off at about 10pm. The festival was in a small village called Gau Algesheim, very close to Bingen. What had taken me two days to ride we covered in less than half an hour by car. The festival is held annually and runs from Friday to Monday. Sunday night is the final night, but everything is open again on the Monday morning and many people take the day off work to attend the morning drinking session which even has it’s own term that means something like ‘early drinking’.
|Serving drinks at Kaffee Kaput.|
I spent the rest of the evening backstage talking to the awesome folk who were volunteering. There was one other foreigner there that night, a guy from England who had become involved with Kaffee Kaput many years ago and now would fly or drive over to assist each year. Testament to the great people involved. I was very impressed with the people and the event, and was chuffed when I was given a small glass and a scarf with Kaffee Kaput on it to keep. This is certainly something I would make an effort to come back to in future if I am ever in the vicinity during the second weekend in October.