Due to terrible internet, this is a day late!
We were both quite happy to leave Strasbourg. Another very large city which Julie thought a cross between Paris and Colmar. Very busy and at times, chaotic. We managed to stay on one of the busiest roads into the city and close to a set of traffic lights and unless your entertainment is watching cars and hearing horns blowing, it’s not the place to be. Getting from there across the bridge into the city with roadworks, four crossing trams, buses, cyclists and too many people was quite nerve wracking.
Once in the pedestrian area or down by the canal or river, it was pleasant and we did a lot of walking but mainly Duncan worked. Julie went on an endless and fruitless search of fresh green veg. The walks around Petit France and the dam looking back to the four (no longer) covered bridges was lovely. The architecture was gorgeous and there were many fine Prussian buildings.
We met Wolfgang for supper and after several Flam whatevers, we walked around the city on the river – in the rain. Wolfgang stayed in Strasbourg overnight, so we had plenty of time catching up and hearing all his news. Very good of him to make the journey to see us outside his free transit German Pass Zone.
We set off at 9.30 as usual. It seems difficult to get out before then.
The first 20 km were a little dull and suburban but we soon reached a canal and enjoyed the smooth and quiet route. We found a town in which to top up our cheese homemade sandwiches with apple tart. This was a brewing town and something was slightly off – other than the smell. There seemed to be quite a lot of rough looking guys around that weren’t particularly attractive but they seemed to have rather inappropriately dressed women with them as if the town was having a “dress like a hooker” day. Not sure what was going on but the women could have been hanging onto the men because they couldn’t walk in their high heels unaided (sorry, no photos).
One missed turn involved going over a closed bridge and scrambling down to the correct bike path on the opposite side.
Now in the Lorraine Department. We cycled through Saverne, a very pretty town where we stopped at a bike shop. Duncan has been looking for a bike pump for two weeks and Julie has had a sticky gear problem for a very long time. €10 well spent although another gear is sticking now. While in Saverne, we were approached by Cheryl, from NSW, who was travelling with her husband Rod for six months on their river boat. Every now and again it seems rather appealing. To be able to make a cuppa or have a nap when the urge takes you would be lovely. And you also get to go on this ….
This canal has been the busiest for boats we have come across. It is beautiful countryside with pretty towns but we wonder if the Le Plan Incliné adds to the curiosity for some. We instead used the now defunct Ecluse (locks) route of 8 locks which has been turned into a hiking/cycling path. Through some stunning countryside. The locks were every 150m or so. We are not sure which would take longer – going through the 8 locks or queueing for ages to wait for Le Plan Incliné.
All in all a very pleasant day, still on the EV5 but with a handful of cyclists. Back in the high forest areas and instant cooling. Tranquil when resting off the bikes. Very good accommodation in a well oiled B&B and dinner at the recommended canal restaurant where Duncan had venison and Julie a fine river fish – there was even a bit of veg!
Things are looking up in an area we were very nervous about. Tomorrow is even more remote.