This will be the last full day of riding in France. A day of unusual sights and total wilderness along with a reminder just how close to the border we are.
We set off from Niderviller with the aim of locating food for the ride. There are very few villages before the big empty stretch starts. Signs are still out for Boulangeries open but many are closed for August. picked up quiche, no sandwiches.
Quite lovely open countryside – farming as usual. Didn’t take us long to find the canal. Saw as many boats today as bikes. turns out the benches below are the only ones we see for 80 km – a bit early for lunch.
Headed off into the Sarreguemines lakes area. It’s sunny with some cloud and cool. pretty much the perfect weather.
The first encounter is we are supposed to turn right after the path above and we are on the left. We then spot the bridge and Duncan thinks “oh shit, we may have to go back” but they we see that the bridge has a rail for bikes. Up we go – not easy ….
Unless you are some smart arse with a bike that weighs nothing and panniers that contain only your sandwiches!
Found a grassy bank for lunch. This area would be great for just relaxing in a big box boat, which you can hire. Fishing, bird watching, lazing around. Some people do just that for a week – we would go mad. moving boats to the left, lazing about boats to the right.
Found a coffee finally after lunch, perfect timing. Here is the map of the area. It’s still the EV5 following the canal through the lakes at this point and there are maybe a dozen or so travelling in the opposite direction. Very few walkers but many single cyclists out for a peaceful ride on the weekend.
Then we cycle by this – a sure sign we are getting close to the border, which we shall do tomorrow morning. Another oddity for today is that people have stopped saying Bonjour – it is now “hello”. Coffee shop and most voices are now German. The place names have been German for most of the Alsace but now more so. This bunker is part of the Maginot Line – Aquatic.
Zetting is a bend in the river. We are staying at the only accommodation we could find. There is one restaurant in town. This combination beforehand left us a bit nervous but a miracle happened for our last night in France. The accommodation is an architecture miracle inside an old farmhouse. The owner is stylish and the bedroom huge with massive bathroom. Then we have the best meal on the whole trip so far. Simply superb. Just opened with new chef 200m away. Perhaps this little place may get a reputation.