The Rhine

After our mega day to get to Lucerne we had the prospect of a free night in a bed courtesy of Baz and Lisa over in Zurich. It took us almost 0.36 seconds to consider and accept this kind offer with the added bonus of a rest day in Lucerne before the trip to Zurich. The rest day was spent lounging about, eating ice cream and an obligatory trip to the Rotsee* for old time sake.

JPEG image-6570A9390314-1Post rest day Dictator Loz was adamant we had to be up and on the road early before it got too hot so we could spend the hottest part of the day sat under a tree. This is easier said than done. One of the biggest inconveniences in Herbs and my relationship is that I’m very much a morning person, and Herb isn’t. Needless to say most mornings I’m up, wide awake, clambering over everything in the tent, making all the noise and having to shove a coffee under Herbie’s nose before he even attempts to stir. The response I get normally (always) is complaining that it’s the middle of the night, my watch must still be on the wrong time zone and that I should be quiet. Then I normally (always) undo the valve on his thermarest, HA!

 

JPEG image-BB48F803E369-1Anyway, I digress. You can tell our mornings usually start on the right foot. Back to Dictator Loz… AMAZINGLY we rolled out of the campsite before 9am!!! It was like angels were singing and there were unicorns galloping alongside. We spent the first part of the morning cycling along a motorway. Well, maybe more like a generic city outskirts dual carriageway but at least there was a cycle path, and an Aldi.

Luckily we came across one of those amazing Swiss cycle path signs so decided to avoid the traffic and instead found ourselves alongside beautiful lakes, traffic free cycle paths and generally enjoying the pedalling. The day included only one mountain pass and was mainly alongside the lakes which we occasionally jumped in. Cycle touring at it’s best 🙂

After a wonderful night spent with Baz and Lisa, who cooked us great food and even let us use their washing machine, we were on our way to the North in search of the Rhine.

Our plan for now is to make it to Maastricht to watch my Dad compete in the IronMan there on the 31st July. I know what you’re thinking, not bad for an old lad eh?!

We figured the Rhine would be the right general direction and most importantly, flat… Two days of monotonous cycling alongside a river and Herbie turned into Grumpy McGrumpus. Apart from him being a complete pain in the ass I was secretly delighted. He had finally broken too, normally this would have been a good point to do a grumble bum shake** but he had gone too far. It took a McDonalds pit stop, long shower and then a night out for dinner to finally bring him back again. If you’re going to do some Rhine cycling please note that the section between Koblenz and Breisach is pretty monotonous. The path is mainly gravel / rocky, you’re not that close to the river and there isn’t that much to look at apart from the gravel path, the bum of the cyclist in front of you or trees.

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Today, to avoid any more grumpiness we’ve digressed from the Rhine river, into the Rhine valley. Where there is wine. We found a beautiful canal to cycle into Colmar, the only traffic being about thirty children out on a cycling adventure then after a few wrong turns found ourselves on the Alsace Velo route. Meandering through vineyards, quaint French villages and under the watchful eye of beautiful castles we stopped off for coffee and enjoyed more traffic free roads than you could shake a vine leaf at. To top it off when we found our campsite for the night they had FREE food and wine on offer from the local tourist board. We did our best not to be too greedy before another night of cooking pasta al la camping gas roulette.

* Little fact for you, back in the day Herb was pretty good at rowing and raced here for Ireland at the Rowing World Cup.

** If somebody is being a grumblebum hold their hands, get them to stick their bum out and wiggle as fast as they can. Usually this shakes the grumbles off their bum.

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