After a great night’s sleep in my luxury room it was time for breakfast.
I took time to sort out my tubs of teabags. I had brought two tubs with me, I could now fit almost all the remaining teabags into one tub. That’ll be less luggage to carry tomorrow.
I set off at 9:30am with overcast skies. The forecast was for 16 degrees but I don’t actually think it ended up that warm – I felt a bit chilly some of the time with just my jersey on.
That looked too deep to cycle through! I turned round as I could see from my Garmin there was an alternative route along the main road. As I went back to the junction I saw a fire engine dropping off sandbags. I note the news in the UK is talking about flooding in the south Germany, in Bavaria mainly (I am in Baden Württemberg) but the river has clearly been rising rather more than it should.
I joined the main road which was rather higher than the cycle path and looked down on some flooded allotments.
I was soon able to rejoin the official cycle route when it went a bit higher and before long I was at the gates of Waldshut.
And then in Dogern I came across this really messy bit of path with bottles, sticks and general mess strewn across the path for a good 100 metres. This was actually the first litter I have seen since I’ve been on this tour and clearly it wasn’t normal litter – the Rhein had obviously flowed over the bank previously and then subsided. Anyway, I crawled along, pedalling slowly (didn’t fancy walking it) and fortunately the path was back to normal fairly quickly.
This is more my kind of cycle path surface!
Look at this church nestled against rock in the interestingly-named village of Albert.
I’d been nriding alongside a main road for a while but at Luttingen the cycle path headed through some open country away from the road (but nearer the river).
The Rhein itself looks very brown and swollen and fast – and also pretty wide in places. Here it is as I approach the town of Laufenburg.
I had originally thought to stop at Laufenburg but in the end decided to press on. There was a rather steep climb and then I found myself crossing the railway line – and the railway was disappearing into the mountain with an interesting structure around the hole!
I had a five minute break at this point as I fiddled about with my banana bags. I had fixed them on differently today (two straps across the rack, only one on the seat, rather than two on the seat and one on the rack) but the new arrangement meant that sometimes the right hand side bag rubbed against the chain tube which was noisy, so I switched them back.
This is looking back at Laufenburg.
I rode through Murg and then had a long, fast stretch to Bad Säckingen where I decided it was time for a snack as it was midday.
I found a bakery and looked at their vast selection. It’s hard to choose, but then I had a thought – I’m in the Black Forest. I checked this with the serving lady and she said yes, this is the Black Forestt, so you can guess what I chose!
That cake cost me 2,70€. And it was huge!
Suitably fortified I decided to ride for another hour before stopping for a sandwich. I had checked out hotels in Weil am Rhein but had also looked at some in Bad Bellingen which was 20 miles further on and seemed nicer (and the hotels had great reviews in Bad Bellingen). Progress had been a bit slow today, though, so I thought a 70 mile day might be pushing it. Weil am Rhein was at about 52 miles which might be plenty, but maybe after a sandwich I’d feel inspired to go further.
The route now struck off on its own alongside the river with several fields in between me and the road. The Rhein was getting ominously nearer and the path seemed rather wet.
Unfortunately the path got worse and worse until I was faced with this.
I tried to ride through it (what else could I do?) but my front wheel got bogged down. I had to get out and push Alfie through this muck that was an inch deep.
Alfie now had mud on his wheels, frame etc, although fortunately the Banana Bags were high enough to be out of the way. Fortunately the path improved fairly quickly – but I ended u p with a muddy right foot!
Still, there were benefits of taking the scenic (and mucky) route, like going through a bird reserve and seeing these cygnets.
On I went and the official cycle route led me through Schlosss Beuggen which is some kind of church conference centre now.
I was heading for Rheinfelden where I planned to have lunch. There was a huge hydroelectric plant across the Rhein just before Rheinfelden – I took a photo for James.
The route from the hydroelectric plant to Rheinfelden was rather nice with this pretty bridge…
Which then led to an absolutely evil uphill. I needed first gear for it. This chap was watching me grind up the hill.
Here’s a view of the other side of the river from Rheinfelden (which is still called Rheinfelden, I believe, but is in Switzerland).
I had a warm ciabatta-type roll and a cuppa which was very refreshing.
I decided at this point that I would stop at Weil am Rhein as I was too tired to make it a 70 mile day. I kept getting directed onto untarmaced surfaces too, which were OK but I couldn’t ride as fast on them.
As I reached the outskirts of Basel I found an Aldi and decided to pop in and buy some biscuits. It was technically still in Germany – just!
I then headed into Basel itself. Initially it wasn’t very encouraging as I was riding through an industrial estate and various manufacturing plants. I also missed a turning on the cycle route and ended up riding on a really busy road with cars whizzing past both sides. But soon I got back on the proper route, which goes right alongside the river, and enjoyed the view of the buildings on the other sidee (which is the main bit of Basel).
I was really keen to finish my ride now and had just four miles to get to Weil am Rhein. I followed my Garmin’s suggested route which worked mostly OK. As I entered Weil am Rhein I cycled through a rather lovely park which had lots of vehicles in it setting up some kind of staging for a big event. I was very much in ‘get to the Hotel’ mode and whizzed past everything.
I had a choice of three hotels that I had researched and aimed for the centre of Weil, at which point I found myself at Hotel Central. They had a room available – the singles were all used but there was a double for 64€ which sounded OK. The man put Alfie into a garage for me and locked the door so he’s securely stored. I have only locked him once on this entire trip which was in the hotel in Düsseldorf!
Here are the statistics for today in imperial and metric. Average speed is a bit lowwer than sometimes as I went slowly through a fair number of pedestrianised bits of towns!
The hotel seemed a bit tired and in need of a refurbishment but the staff were brilliant. I asked the chap if there was somewhere I could buy a cup of tea and he thought about it a bit and then went into his office and brought out a kettle which he handed to me. He then got me a mug and poured out enough milk for about four cuppas into a glass. I have enjoyed two cuppas whilst writing this blog – the first I’ve had in Germany made with water that is actually boiling!
Also, I thought it might be a good idea to give Alfie a clean up. After my evening meal I went to the reception desk to ask for them to unlock tthe garage so I could wipe Alfie down with a sock or something. The lady disappeared and then reappeared with a bucket and a large cloth for me to use. How kind!
Here is Alfie before the cleaning.
He looks a lot better now!
My evening meal was in the Chinese Restaurant attached to thhe hotel. When I walked in I discovered the place was full, which was a good sign.
I enjoyed my chicken chop suey and rice!
I spent some time looking at my route for tomorrow and it seems that Breisach is the place to stay – it’s about 40 miles away and there’s nowhere else within a reasonable distance. I pre-booked a hotel in Hochstetten, just o utside of Breisach, as it had good reviews and looked pleassant. It will be nice to have a slightly shorter day tomorrow and I want to get to a post office to post back two of my Radweg books (this trip has entailed bringing four books and they’re heavy; I have now used the Bodensee Radweg and the Rhein Radweg Part 1 books so they can be posted home – I have a plastic envelope and name labels for in readiness).
Weil am Rhein isn’t that exciting a place really – it’s relatively modern without much to recommend it – but the friendliness of the staff here has made the evening very pleasant. I look forward to more riding (and hopefully fewer floods) tomorrow!