I slept in a little this morning, not going down to breakfast until 8:30am.
On offer was the most sparse breakfast of this holiday (and in fact of any German cycle tour I can remember); just bread, cheese, two choices of cereal (both muesli), preserves, butter, orange juice and tea/coffee. One of the ‘breads’ I chose was a croissant, and on my other roll I decided to have some cheese (after all, that was the main option). It was proper Swiss cheese though – huge hunks you had to carve a slice off.
Before heading out I checked my emails and saw one from a ICE rider’s newsgroup which said they were enjoying my blog and had put my photo on the front page of the Yahoo group. And so they had!
I think they misunderstood my message to the group (which started ‘Grüße aus Österreich’)!
I settled up the bill for the room and the Strudel last night and then fetched Alfie from his overnight storage.
This is today’s route:
Off I went, enjoying the fact that it wasn’t raining! There were some mountains visible in the distance as I headed up (and ‘up’ it was!) to Hemishofen.
As I was cycling along I heard an aeroplane engine which sounded very World War 2 to me. I tried to take a pic (not very good) but it was a twin engined plane. I saw it several times today so I think it might have been doing flying tours of the Rhine valley.
I had taken the slightly-less-used north bank of the Rhein route for today; this route spent more time in Germany (cheaper food!) and also my planned stop in Tiengen needed me to be on the north bank. However I was in and out of Switzerland all day, crossing the border between Germany and Switzerland nine times in total. You can tell from this photo that I am in Switzerland because of the red cycle route signs; I find the red ones easier to spot than the German green-on-white cycle signage.
After Hemishofen there was quite a long climb and I started warming up (I was wearing my windproof jacket which wasn’t 100% dry from yesterday’s rain, even though I attacked it with the hairdryer before I left). Then I reached a very sharp gradient up and the windproof had to come off!
The road surface now turned to the standard German off-road designed, crushed gravel, but a very light colour (which has made a right mess of my trike!)
Still I quite enjoyed this bit of the ride as the woodland was full of wild garlic and the smell was heavenly!
After a couple of miles of this I came to a barrier and the path turned to a more earthy kind!
This carried on for about a mile and then I was back on asphalt. I was glad it wasn’t raining as that would have made Alfie even more mucky.
I had a nice speedy downhill into the town of Gailingen which had the most wonderful wooden bridge.
The bridge is actually the border between Germany (Gailingen) and Switzerland (Diessenhofen).
I thought it would be nice to get someone to take a photo of me and so accosted a passing family to ask if they could take a pic. The young lad was game to have a go of my iPhone and so I posed.
And this time with a church spire growing out of my head.
I had a really nice chat with the family who were asking about my travels and then they said I could take a picture of them, so here it is.
They were holidaying here from Kaiserslautern. When I said I couldn’t really understand the Swiss accent they saidd they couldn’t either. I gave them my blog business card and said they could have a look although they don’t really speak English so could only just look at the pictures really.
This is looking at the Rhein from the edge of the bridge.
Having had an enjoyable 15 minute chat with the family it was time to get the pedals turning again.
The patches of blue sky were getting larger as I headed along to Büsingen.
After about an hour and a half’s total ride time I reached Schaffhausen.
I loved this speed limit sign for cyclists!
Schaffhausen had a very attractive quayside with lots of punts you could hire although I reckon punting would be pretty scary with the speed of the water!
I followed a group of other cyclists through Schaffhausen which was handy as there was an underpass to get under the main road and I think I would have missed it oon my own.
There were a few more ups and downs and then I reached Neuhausen which is the nearest town to the Rhine Falls.
As I approached Neuhausen there was some rather complicated signage which showed different ways to get the the Rhine Falls. In the end I saw that one route was preferable as it headed off to the next town I needed to go through; I think the other route would havee switched me over to the Swiss side (atlhough I crossed into Switzerland a mile later on the north bank anyway!)
The route had a very steep uphill and then an underpass below a railway line. The other side of the underpass was steps – I didn’t fancy them and found a lift that fitted Alfie in. It seemed rather random to have a lift for a cycle route, but there you go!
It was a long climb up at Neuhausen and then I had the most fantastic descent which tested my brake discs very effectively (yes, they do get very hot if you descent a 12% hill for half a mile and have to stop to avoid falling in the Rhine!!!)
And this was at the bottom of the hill:
The view was fantastic and the noise very significant too. I’ve partially lost my hearing and white noise does terrible things to my ability to hear but the awesomeness of this made it not matter that I couldn’t hear anything else!
There are people standing on that rock in the middle – a boat takes them to the bottom and they climb the steps. You can see the yellow boat in this photo.
This is a view back at Neuhausen.
I fancied a break at the Rhine Falls (and a chance to watch them for a bit longer as they were rather fascinating!) but the café had plastic-looking muffins and no exciting pastries so I went for an ice cream instead. As this was Switzerland this cost me 2,50€.
Notice that the sun has bleached my eyebrows so they’ve virtually disappeared. Very uncool!
Here is Alfie enjoying the view. It took me a long time to get this pic as most of the time groups of Japanese tourists were standing round him looking and taking photographs.
As I was riding along a German man ran after me, stopped me and asked if he could take a photo – which I was happy to grant. That hasn’t happened before!
Now it was time to leave Neuhausen and head off away from the river to Jestetten and Lottstetten. I had researched some hotels in these towns but the weather was good and I was making reasonable progress so decided to carry on to Waldshut-Tiengen. But first I had to climb the hill to the plain that Jestetten and Lottstetten are on.
Leaving Jestetten there was a wonderful piece of newly-completed tarmac cycle path. It was so smooth!
I arrived in Lottstetten and decided it was time for lunch. After Lottstetten I would be back in Switzerland for ten miles or so and wanted to make the most of the cheaper food. 5€ got me some asparagus soup (it is Spargelzeit!), a side salad and a cup of tea.
After I ate my dinner I telephoned the hotel in Tiengen I thought was the best choice to see if he had any rooms – he had several, the cheapesst single was 64€ including breakfast and wifi. Sounded good so I said I’d turn up in three or four hours.
I cycled up another hill to reach Switzerland and went through Rafz. I liked this wood store under the stairs of this house.
After Rafz I cycled through Wil at which point I thought there was a problem with my bike as I could hear a weird noise. My hearing loss means that certain sounds are very confusing and it seemed as though something odd was happening. When I stopped the noise continued and I realised it was ccrickets/grasshoppers in the grass beside the path!
There was a bit of on-road cycling through Wasterkingen at which point once again I changed countries and was back in Germany. I felt peckish so had the banana I’d filched from the breakfast fruit bowl.
I now arrived at Hohentengen am Hochrhein which looked very quaint, although the official cycle route didn’t take us through the town.
On the way out of Hohentengen I saw the obligatory cement factory; James has commented when touring with me that we always seem to see loads of ’em. Here’s a photo for James.
I rode on, getting closer to Tiengen all the time. I climbed the hill into Lienheim and then enjoyede the downhill to Reckingen. I was making very good progress and started thinking about doing a small detour – to Koblenz.
At Rheinheim I crossed the bridge to the south side of the river. There were a lot of men in uniform from the Feuerwehr wandering around over the bridge – a look over the side and I could see that the gardens of some buildings beside the river had flooded and the Feuerwehr were trying to help. Good luck with that, the Rhein looks very full and fierce.
My plan was to cycle from this side of the river (Bad Zurzach) along to Koblenz and then cross the river to Waldshut. I had my Bikeline book which showed me the cycle path but I didn’t have a Garmin track for the route this side of the river and it proved surprisingly difficult to find the correct path. My GPS track of this bit of my day’s ride will see me going round in circles until I found one of the signposts.
We climbed out of Bad Zurzach through some new housing.
The track followed the railway for a while, then swooped down into Koblenz. This is, of course, not the Koblenz where the Mosel and Rhein meet but a different one, a Swiss one. However I could theoretically pack up and go home now – but why on earth would I want to do that when I’m having such a good time?
The Garmin has the track from Konstanz to Koblenz and look, it says I have 357 miles to go!
I crossed back over at the bridge in Koblenz and headed off eastwards (back towards my starting point) to go to Tiengen. My detour added about six miles to the day’s ride but I had plenty of time so was happy to do it.
This was a very nice pedestrian and cyclist bridge on the way to Tiengen.
I watched these chaps canoeing down one of the four rivers that makes up Tiengen (the Rhein, the Wutach, the Steina and the Schlücht).
My hotel was in Bahnhofstraße which always makes it easy to locate – head for the railway and find the station!
The Hotel Bercher was very nice outside and in!
I had enjoyed a good day’s ride – here are the stats from my Garmin in Imperial and then Metric.
Alfie was stored inside a garden room which they weren’t using.
This is my room which seemed palatial!
It was so nice, in fact, that after my shower I went downstairs to check that it was the room I had ordered, the cheapest single room at 64€. The lady said they had put me down for an 85€ room but because I had said to the man on the phone that I wanted the cheapest room they would just charge me the 64€. Bargain!
As you can see, my cycling sandals foot tan is coming along OK!
I had a shower and washed all my clothes as usual. It has been noticeable over the last few days (in Austria and Switzerland) that my hair is a lot nicer; there’s something about German water that makes it go lank and heavy. Now I’m back in Germany I’ll have to tie it up or put a hat on or something to hide it!
I was feeling really hungry so went out to search for food. Being Sunday lots of places were shut but I did find some Apfelstreusel. This and a cup of tea cost me 2€. Germany is SUCH better value than Switzerland!
I then had a bit of a walk around Tiengen.
This Christian bookshop has in the window… a bike!
The Stork Tower.
After writing up some of this blog I went out for my evening meal – I had an absolutely enormous pizza!
Followed by a crepe with banana and ice cream. They forgot to put the ice cream in it which I discovered after taking this photo so they then added it.
It was then time to finish writing up this blog and check out some hotels for tomorrow. I plan to cycle to Basle but not actually stay there but find somewhere either before Basel (but in Germany) or after Basel (but in Germany). The forecast is overcast and 16 degrees but seeing as today’s forecast was for 4mm of rain and I didn’t feel a drop I’m hoping for blue skies and sunshine!
By the way, if you’re wondering why there are quite a few double letters sprinkled about the text, and sometimes double spaces, it’s because I’m typing this on a keyboard built into the case for the iPad. It’s not quite full size and it has a tendency to duplicate letters. I don’t want you all to think I can’t spell!
I hope you’re enjoying these reports – please leave a comment below if you feel so inclined!