Yesterday we rode 45.19km from Bad Sackingen, Germany to Basel, Switzerland.
There were fewer hills than previous days so the distance felt shorter. Mila and Jette both held up well, but I think we are all a bit fatigued after 7 days on the road with no rest. It felt like a long slow day, as we made lots of stops. I had one mechanical issue and Jette took a tumble.
The plan was to pass through Basel and find a campground in France, but we decided, quite wisely I think, to find a hotel in Basel. We found a nice one in the middle of town with a comfortable bed and fast internet. Both are well-appreciated luxuries, and two hotel nights in a row is quite a treat!
I’ve dowloaded photos and videos from the cameras, and will try to get some posts written for the days that we have missed. When I do, I will back date the posts so they are published on the blog on the date they might actually have been if we had had the power/internet/time/energy, and they will appear in the blog in the “proper” order. Here’s the first one: Night Train to Lindau.
So, we began our day yesterday in Bad Sackingen with a huge breakfast at the hotel. Our hotel was a nice one in the middle of town and on the river. We had a fantastic view of the famous covered bridge, which happens to be the longest wooden covered bridge in Europe. It was built in 1272! It was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times and the current version dates from 1700.
The night before we enjoyed a stroll around town and dinner on the old plaza just in front of our hotel.
So with full tummies, we said goodbye to Bad Sackingen and hit the road. We crossed back into Stein on the South side of the river and followed the D8 route in Switzerland. the route had us on a busy two lane highway as we came out of Stein, so it was a pleasant relief when got out of town and into the forests.
Since the beginning of the trip, we’ve been noting and discussing the changing nature of the landscape, the river, settlement patterns, agriculture, land use and culture. Somehow it seems easier to see these changes as we travel on bikes. The landscape around is is not a motion picture blur like it is on a train or in an automobile. We see it passing slowly and feel the mountains and hills, smell the fresh plowed fields, feel the cool shade of the forests and even taste it in the water.
The route from Bad Sackingen was decidedly less picturesque than days before. The beautiful mountain scenery is past. The terraced hillsides of fruit orchards and vineyards have been replaced with industrial agriculture and more livestock. That’s not to say it is ugly or unpleasant, it’s just different. We did enjoy many shady forest trails.
On one of the forest trails, I made a u-turn to the left, then looped back a bit to the right to straighten out. The right turn was too acute and trailer tow bar hit my rear wheel. The trailer is quite heavy and the force of the bump knocked by rear wheel out of alignment, with the tire touching the chainstay of the frame.
I grabbed a few tools from the trailer, and in about 5 minutes had the wheel re-centered and we were back on our way.
We stopped at a great playground at a park beside the river for a little fun. There was a zombie attack and Jette had to escape to the tower.
Shortly afterwards we stopped in ancient Rome and had lunch in a 2,000 year old theater. Really.
We were in Augusta Raurica, the Roman settlement built around 15 B.C.
The theater has been excavated and the remaining, original structures preserved. Modern stone replaces what was lost to time, and the theater is still in use. It is a beautiful spot!
On the outskirts of Basel we decided that we would find a hotel in Basel. It was getting late and we were too tired to make it on to France and a campground.
After so many days in the quiet countryside, coming into the city felt like culture shock. We found a hotel in center city, but not before Jette caught her front wheel in a crack between the bike lane and gutter pan of the curb and took a tumble. Scraped knee.
We made our way through town and to a very nice hotel. Showered, found a grocery store, munched on dinner in our room, and crashed. We were tired!
OK, Im’m out of time. Have to get out bags packed and on the bikes for today!