Day 61 07/18/23
We had an excellent two days in Meersburg at the Victoria hotel but the time came to leave. We headed to the ferry for a ride across to Kontanz where we will begin pedalling. With a beautiful day stretched out before us the flat trail took us along an emerald green shoreline dotted with villages and homes. We stopped for a quick ice cream around 11:00am only to be told by the shop keeper that they were closed. But he grumpily took our money in exchange for the ice cream bars. We were happy.
We rode into a couple of villages that were stunning. I wish I could tell you the names but at least we have some pictures. People are always asking us, "Where were you yesterday or where are you going today?" We rarely have an answer, not because we forgot but because we cannot pronounce the names of the towns or villages.
We stopped to eat some lunch and the clouds began to gather. I asked Sarah to check the weather app and it showed no rain but my eyes were telling me a different story. We decided to start preparing for rain by putting on the pannier rain covers, rain jackets, tent cover, handlebag covers and shoe covers. It was quite a task since we weren't expecting it and most of those items had been buried deep in our packs. Remember, we are supposed to trust what the experts tell us and ignore what our eyes can see. It rained. Thankfully it was not a drenching rain and it eventually cleared up.
We arrived at a campground in Jestetten Germany and set up our tent. It had a very nice pool but we decided to eat dinner and play some games before bed.
Keep it rolling
Scott and Sarah my
Rode 42 miles
Day 62 07/19/23
We woke up to a clear sky and were on the road by 8:00. Our ride took us along the Rhine River most
of the day. We came into a small village where I decided to fill up my water bottle from the town fountain. Just as I was ready to take a big swig of my water Sarah yells out, "Don't drink it," as she was pointing to the sign that said "Non-potable."
We came to the town of Stein, Germany. In the middle of the town was an enormous square. The square was filled with music supplied by two violinists. People were having their fill of lunch and wine while sitting at tables adorned by beautifully placed umbrellas. As we rode into the square, all eyes were upon us as if we had some kind of royal presence. They must not see tandem bikes too often and especially ones with riders in brimmed hats.
Our attention was immediately captured by an outstanding church building that dwarfed the town center. Above the door was inscribed the words, "Sola de Gloria," to the Glory of God. We walked through the front door and immediately had an overwhelming feeling of awe. The frescoes, the sculptures and the architecture were beyond words. But I did find something very out of place.
As I stood in the center of the aisle in the back of the church, I could see all the way to the front of the where the altar stands. As a person who likes things to be plumb and square, I was stunned by what I saw. I had Sarah stand in the center of the aisle where I stood to verify what I was seeing. Looking from the back to the front of the church you could visibly see that the building shifts to the left by a foot or two. I could only imagine after 2O years of building what the foreman said when he saw the outcome of his final product.
Leaving the church we decided to ride over the covered bridge to buy some groceries in Switzerland. Why? Because we had an abundance of Swiss Francs to offload. Even though groceries are more expensive in Switzerland it is a better return on investment than holding Swiss Francs in a momento jar.
The first campground we hoped to stay at turned us away which is always a little deflating. We had been riding since 8:30am and it was now 3:00pm. But we kept on riding and came to another campground five miles down the road in Mohlen. We got there and took a time lapse video of us setting up our tent. We wanted to capture our daily routine and we had fun doing it. Once we were all set up, we treated ourselves to some slushies at the campground. Then we choked down a terrible dinner that I cooked. Tomorrow we head back through Basel, Switzerland. From there we will finally be heading north on the Rhine to the Netherlands.
Keep on rolling
Scott and Sarah
Rode 54 miles
Day 63 07/20/23
Woke up to another perfect day for riding. We have been blessed with some very good weather on our trip. We rode back through Basel looking for a place to spend the remaining Franks that we had left. Unfortunately, nothing was open. Now we have some souvineer cash since we won't be returning to Switzerland any time soon. Just after leaving Basel and within the span of an hour we had travelled through Switzerland, Germany and on into France. Amazing!
The odd thing about being back in France is that it seemed to feel a little more like home. We had become comfortable with the language, customs and daily routines. That familiarity makes it much easier to function. Sadly, we will only be in France a few more days. But, the end of our trip will bring us back to France when we ride down the West coast back to Calais.
We pulled into our next campsite and got a fairly excluded site. We did not feel like cooking so we chose to have dinner out at a nice restaurant. I had veal Cordon Bleu (Sarah boycotted from across the table). She enjoyed eating a flambee not to be confused with a flambe. A flambee is more like a pizza without the sauce but with all the toppings.
After dinner we walked around the town of Neuf-Brisach, a fortified octagonal walled city built in the seventeen hundreds. Stopped to read a few of the signs pointing out the events that were significant to the city's history. We are surrounded by so much history. Back at camp we washed down a few Oreos with cold milk and went to bed. Whoever invented Oreos was a genius!
Keep on rolling
Scott and Sarah
Day 64 07/21/23
We planned for a short 30 mile ride today so we got up later than usual. Spent some time talking to a couple of Brits who were riding a tandem as well. They gave us some good tips on where to stay as we travel north on the Rhine.
Just a few miles from the campground a man rode up next to us speaking in German. Apparently he saw us heading down a bike path that he felt was not as suitable as the one he was about to suggest. He was winded because he had sped up to catch us before we made the turn. He quickly switched to English as we expressed our lack of diversity. With a map in hand he put us on a course that was very scenic with less head wind. He was so nice to do that and we were very appreciative.
Basically we spent the next three hours riding a canal trail and eating a few wild blackberries that grew along the route. We stopped to do a shopping run and decided on burritos for dinner. Arrived at the campsite early and sat on the porch eating lunch and waiting for the reception to open. We have rented a little bungalow for the evening as rain is forecasted. This time we hope the experts are right as we will be as snug as a bug in our little home away from home.
Keep on rolling
Scott and Sarah
Rode 32 miles