One should measure oneself not by ones dreams but the fulfillment of those dreams.

Bike dreams
Well we departed Xanten Germany with its 4000 years of history and found ourselves back riding the dikes along the river, occasional dropping down into a village or just riding along side, every once in a while climbing back to the top.  Once I thought I would rush up and rest, while waiting for Jeanne to catch up, but alas as I hit the summit 4 or 5 meters above where we had been and looked back to begin my rest; alas there was Jeanne right behind, just cruising along without a care.  So much for rest.  

Then we noted a beer garden ahead and beside it along side the road coming up to the dike was a German flag and on the other side of the road a Netherlands flag.  The border.  Barely a line and being European Union no control between countries, but a very distinct difference.  From the beer garden we heard German being spoken and at a bench on the Dutch side three people were speaking Dutch, which we had not as yet heard.  Only a political line but things change, hard for me to describe.  I never have figured out how come there is such a distinction just with an arbitrary line.

The dikes were shall I say neater, (maybe) and the bikes changed.  German bikes were cruisers and would easily be recognized in the United States as general bikes.   The bikes in Holland for the most part were more utilitarian, no fancy lightweight things but bikes built for everyday use to and from somewhere for something, often with baskets or boxes, almost always with kickstands, and full chain guards. (Bottom and top chain protector) one sits upright.  And still a large number of e bikes with little old fat ladies roaring past us.  

Then there were the road bikes.  We saw very few in Germany but now there were pelatons of 20 or so riders racing along in a whir.  Side by side and 10-15 deep.  But the track is a two lane track and they did not slow much for oncoming traffic which scared Jeanne a bit.  I usually kept riding to the right but Jeanne usually stopped and pulled off.  They were generally flying along at speed.

passing the pelaton
But in general it was a delightful afternoon.  Had reservations in the city of Nijmegan through and the GPS took us winding through some narrow streets.  On arrival from the countryside we joined numerous bike riders just going wherever in the city, along the bike path beside the road next to the sidewalk.  We are learning to watch the signal lights.  There are car signals, pedestrian signals, and bike signals, of which going the same direction can all be different.  More than once we wait

then a signal for bikes to go, it turns green but the pedestrian signal does not.  And when you hit the button often it does not just wait for the car signals to clear but gives a specific right of way to bike or pedestrian.  But

we rode into town with a continuous line of bikers going here and there.  But the GPS took us to the Prikkels sign which was our hotel except this was an ice cream shop.  I went in inquiring about the hotel and it was the right place, just no hotel sign, only ice cream, so I bought an ice cream cone.  Now this is a hotel.  

Hotel Pikkels

A delightful place only open as a hotel for two months and the steepest staircases yet to the second floor.  No wasted space on staircases here. 
no wasted space on staircase
lots of space
room with a view
   And another delightful evening wandering about and another superb meal.  Is there bad food anywhere along this trip? We have not found it

But booking rooms is becoming a necessity as we realize We cannot just wander about looking for a guesthouse, hotel or whatever as often we do not know what to look for.  And now getting closer to the end, hotels, seem difficult to find, so we agree to nearly 90 k tomorrow and get to Rotterdam in another 70 k.  Will be some of our biggest days.  

So we ride skipping the GPS directions and sticking to the dikes along the river and a ferry ride across to the north side and the city of Gorinchem and our first motel similar to ones along the freeway at home.  And no restaurants nearby except Macdonalds so we eat at the motel restaurant and it was bad.  Deep fried breaded stuff.  Went to Macdonalds for desert and coffee.  It was nice riding today but not our best day together, but only 80 k as overrode the GPS.  For whatever reason it does not like dikes even though it shows them and definitely does not like ferries.  

Then our last day riding through the city which is no problem as seems there is always a bike path.  The GPS often guides us through countryside in the midst of the city.  Delightful.  Over the bridge and the Rhein river is big here, especially when compared to 26 days ago between Andermatt and Disentis Switzerland.

Rhein river near the mouth at Gorinchem

I had concluded when putting in waypoints and for the map it was going to be a navigational day, and it was.  I can’t count the number of times I told Jeanne we are lost again.  4 ways of navigating, GPS, the map, directional bike signs for the route, and just heading downriver.  If 3 out of 4 agree that is good, but often total disagreement.  GPS wants the shortest without ferries, and today it shows a total of 150 kilometers getting near Rotterdam and going back to the last bridge at Gorinchem to cross to the north side, signs in Holland have become sporadic and one does not necessarily know if they point the route to the east or west.  And the map shows no detail but does show what may be a more scenic route which is where I get my GPS waypoints from.

And it was delightful, through little villages and out into the countryside of farm fields. On and on but getting lost and going backwards, generally having a great time just riding our bicycles.   

rhein river delta riding
We had seen on the map an area which said national park.  Now what could be here to make a national park?  Well it turns out quite a lot.  We are in the delta area of which people told us the Rhein is not really a river at its mouth but a series of canals all over.  Well we came to the park headquarters and museum hidden in a mound of dirt.  DeBiesbosch National Park.   

Museum nationaal Park DeBiesbosch
A movie was shown in English and learned the history of the area from the year 1421 when work began on utilizing the area often flooded with either River floods or high storm tides from the ocean.  Over the centuries various things have worked well and harvest in the area were of the bull rush reeds then willows.  Complicated system of dikes, channels, canals were developed each changing the landscape and preserving a little bit.  Then in 1995 and 1996 there were floods which required more extensive work and large dams and holding areas were developed.  But people have realized with climate change the floods from the river will only increase and sea level is rising.  For a country below sea level that is not good, so a change in attitude is coming about.  They seem to realize you cannot just build the dikes higher and in the future they are going to give the river more room, not less, which means some farm country is going away.  

The park I believe translates to beaver national park and they have introduced beavers there to help with habitat, and apparently they are helping, but as noted time will tell.  It was a wondrous museum although mostly in Dutch, but pictures, artifacts, and diorama most helpful to our understanding.  And the mound of dirt did not look big from the outside but from the inside seemed huge.  

Then on taking a total of 4 ferries (which the GPS hated) one a bicycle, pedestrian only ferry across the Rhein.  Again we were wandering about the countryside going through the towns of Dordrecht and Papendrecht before approaching Rotterdam which the building are beginning to be seen some 16 kilometers to go.  (Did I mention there are no mountains here to block the view and it is flat). A most delightful ride winding our way about various canals.  

Then we find ourselves riding between two canals with old windmills all about.  The famous windmills.   


the famous windmlls built in 1740
We ride for several kilometers the crowds getting thicker as we approach the other end.  Turns out this is a tourist area and it is Sunday afternoon and we heard Spanish, Japanese, German, Dutch and English languages.  From our end of entry it was free but from the other end there was a charge walk amongst the 20 or thirty windmills.  Awesome. They use the windmills to pump water to and from various canals and water systems.

Then another ferry ride and into Rotterdam.   
Be careful as pedestrian sidewalks, bike paths, trams, cars and all with separate signals.    

What a concept bikes have right of way.  Roundabouts with bike lanes.  But be careful bikes can move a speed and you must watch when crossing or stepping into a bike lane.  

But directed ourselves into town center which seemed to be the railroad station hoping to find a sign which said end of trail.  Instead we found some folks from Perth, Australia (who speak excellent English although Australian English) who took our picture at the end of the trail.   

Contrast to 

It has been quite a journey.

The Rhein River travels

“The Rhine combines every quality a river can exhibit. The rapidity of the Rhone, the breadth of the Loire, the rocks of the Meuse, the sinuosity of the Seine, the translucency of the Somme, the historical reminiscences of the Tiber, the regal dignity of the Danube, the mysterious influence of the Nile, the golden sands of the glittering streams of the New World, the phantoms of some Asiatic stream.” Victor Hugo
Strassbourg was impressive.  Seemed much to do – museums, exhibits, walking, culture, European Union headquarters, universities, old buildings and incredible architecture- the list goes on and on. What to do what to do.  It would take weeks, months, years to explore, and we have one evening.

The folks we met on arrival to Kehl suggested the light show on the cathedral. We chose to wait and see. Arrived at hotel showered and just enjoyed the room awaiting the heat to diminish. Finally about 6 headed for city center, thinking we would catch the tram which stopped just outside the hotel. But we began walking and discovered we were downtown in 2 kilometers amongst the narrow streets and wondrous architecture of the old city. Then we rounded the corner. 

    The cathedral here had the cornerstone laid in the year 1014 and it was finished in 1469. I guess that was before iPhones and instant gratification. 450 years to build. We sat in the plaza and ate another incredible medal and enjoyed it all. The Catholics certainly no how to do grandeur. 

Religion is interesting here as no separation of church and state.  Statutes of Jesus are frequent along the roadside and at various places. But folks here declare the church they belong to and 8% of income is taxed for the church. You can opt out but no baptism, religious named, burial is like a pauper grave in the U. S. , no religious wedding ceremony. So I ask!  What is the problem?  Whatever, that is a separate subject and I believe Richard Dawkins covers it well in the “The God Delusion”. Ok I am biased. 

But back to the cathedral. It was impressive and would have like to have seen the light show but no way am I staying up until 10:15. Thus we wandered about managing to get lost, finally turning us to the right street from several obvious choices. 

Up somewhat early and off we go back to the two rivers bridge and a delightful day just riding the dike keeping the river in its correct path.  And again hot peaking at about 35 (95F)but again with humidity and we were sweating profusely but a bit of breeze along the river, but intense sun and searching out shade was off the route.  Stopped at some locks for the river and a beer garden where Radlers were consumed.  A small amount of beer and lemonade for energy.  Awesome drink for bikers.  Then onward thinking it a short day, but alas things change.  


coal plant
beer garden along the Rhein route
riding the dike containing the Rhein
small boat launch on dike
 This is an example of reservations and no reservations; everything planned out and itineraries full and mapped out.  No surprises.  We started looking at 50 kilometers saying no problem, but first town where we looked had one guesthouse but closed.  Proprietor said no problem as Au am Rhein had several, thus 5 k farther of pleasant hot riding. But first place is locked up tight.  I ask next door at the bakery and the lady says just around the corner a hundred meters is a good one.  Alas also locked up but someone opens a shutter to say closed but points us to another  one just down the street and around the corner.  It was the original one we went to.  Three within a hundred meters and all closed.  We discovered later not only is it holiday season which we knew, but that means the people who run hotels and such are on holiday too.  Imagine that.  So off we go the the next village about 5 k down the road.  Here we manage to go in circles for a bit trying to find a guesthouse, following signs, asking people and just going to the center of town but finding nothing.  Once Jeanne asked if a building was a hotel but it was a building supply store.  So on to Karlsruhe 12 k further, and now we are out of water, very hot, very parched, sweaty and I might add getting tired.  At a stoplight Jeanne asked a lady if she knew of a place and she pointed down the street to where we had been but fro the other direction.  Finally came to a place but locked.  The a lady comes running down the street and wants to know if we want a room.  Yes, yes, and yes.  I say we will,take it before even seeing it or asking the price.  She runs down the street to the restaurant and gets the key and we have a room.  Our biggest day of cycling 89.6 kilometers and we started looking for a room at 50 k.  And a wonderful room, shower, wifi, and down the street to the restaurant, where we began our assault on refreshing our thirsty bodies with beer.  

The owner (same lady who came to our rescue for the hotel) was trying to explain the menu in English but she did not speak English, so enlisted the help of a couple sitting a few tables away.  Soon they came over explained the menu and suggested the weinerscnitzel salad for a hot day like this.  Amazing and perfect.  Cool and refreshing.  We had a great time with the couple who ended up buying us a round of local after dinner liqueur.  They then offered to take us on a tour of their neighborhood, which meant the Catholic Church.  He grew up in the neighborhoods and she was from a distant 20 kilometers north. She apologized that her Protestant church was a mediocre building, with no prominent features. The difference between Catholics and their grand offerings and the Protestants with their humble whatever.  Anyway it was a delightful evening and would not have happened had we prearranged our lodging or trip. As with the day before and coming into Strassbourg the adventure may be a pain but the rewards can be great.  

One note on restaurants in Germany.  As noted one does not go there for fast food.  Go to macdonalds for that.  But Jeanne and I both like water.  Seems the only thing here is bottled water, with or without gas.  Jeanne asked a few days ago for just plain tap water but could not explain it.  I thought the waiter was going to flip out.  The water tastes good as we commonly give our bike bottles to beer gardens and they fill from the rap without problem, but at the table a big problem.  What has the world become, we encourage drinking water but then make it difficult.  I view the current ideal of bottled water as a refute on the badness of tap water.  Even at home where the water tastes excellent people drink bottled water. Another dilemma J. R. can’t figure out.  

Then there is smoking.  Seems many people smoke here in Germany although I am assured it is no more than elsewhere and much less than France, just more visible.  Ok I can live with that but a restaurant.  Apparently illegal indoors but one eats outside here, and the table next to you is puffing away.  Weird.  And difficult.  

Ok enough ranting. Back to the hotel this morn and again Jeanne asked where a market was for lunch material (bread, cheese, meats).  The lady offered to get us some.  When we opened the packages it was fully made delicious sandwiches.  Life is grand.  

And off we went taking 5 k to find the river whereas the couple last night said it was only three, but it began our day of route finding misadventures.  Crossed the river as apparently the west side more interesting and less industrial. And we found it so but there was no just follow the dike along the river.  Up a dike, wander a forest trail, go through a village where GPS said go one way, signs point another, and our sense of directions was way off.  But arrived near Speyer and left the trail in search of a place to stay advertised on the trail. Alas no rooms and others closed until 5 pm for the Monday rest day.  (Today is Tuesday). But the proprietor calls and a room is available in next village no more than 2 kilometers away.  Easy to find next to the church (always a prominent feature). 3.5 k later we found three churches and I went up to what I thought was the hotel but was the fire hall.  Continued looking and found it.  Again very nice place.  


Hot days and the Rhein River bike way.

Being Negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult.

What can I say, the title seems to say it all.  Left Basel (actually Weil am Rhein) and worked our way to the euro 15 bike route.  When we booked the hotel we had no idea where in town it was, but turns out it was made to be convenient to all the highway, freeways and intersecting travelers  passing there. A 10 story modern hotel with a Mexican themed restaurant and general clientele which is only stopping for the night and passing through.  And we were some of those people.  

When I turned on the GPS we were 126 meters from the cycle path.  (My Garmin 1000 I have loaded with the cycle paths of Europe). And I learned something else about the Garmin.  It had me going back saying wrong way as I had put in bicycle touring as preferred track.  I changed it to mountain biking and it lets us ride on gravel pathways now. Not exactly what I call mountain biking., but I see the reasoning.  But I digress to the technology.  

But we immediately saw the route signs and wound our way about a few streets always on the cycle path beside the road.  With 2-3 kilometers we were on the edge of the Rhein.  Actually the dike defying the northern bank of the river.  And basically that is where we have been for two days.  

 The Rhein River in no way shape or form resembles a free flowing river.  From Chur in Switzerland it is contained with very strict dikes, often two on each side.  And it seems 95% of he time it is a pathway for walking and biking.  The are place along the way where access with a boat can be made or beach areas, and certainly a fair number of sloughs and side channels, which the paths go around.  And frequent benches for sitting and resting.  

The are dams and weirs often and the required locks to go with that.  Fun to watch barges going along.  Apparently near Basel there are connecting locks and channels which connect to the Danube which flows to Istanbul, completely connecting Europe.

And as noted earlier the river is clean and clear.  People swimming in it.  Yesterday stopped at a put in and some fellows were building two rafts for a day on the river.  Car tire inner tubes and they were building a wooden platform which held a sunshade.  They were ready for a delightful day.  

And not only people swimming but hundreds of white swans.

As noted there are numerous slough with weirs. Most with fish ladders for the Atlantic salmon which come here, and I assume is one of the fish we see people fishing for.


yes those are watering cans at each station
Yesterday we did not have reservations but agreed to leave early as breakfast was served at 6 am.  We decided to call it quits when it was 1 or 2 o’clock as the highest heat of the day is from 2-5 pm.  We arrived at Breisach about noon and went into town.  Reminded us of Juneau with boats parked along the river and parked so as the visitors can do what they do in town – eat and shop.  There was a wine festival going on (this is a wine region with lots of vineyards we have been riding through and along) and a carnival but we still had energy and carried on to the village of Sasbach, two kilometers off the Rhein River,where a room was found at the guesthouse.  Walked to the grocery store in preparations for future lunch materials, as next day is Sunday and most stores are closed.  

After the walk I laid in room and caught up on reading, as still in the 30s temperature wise (90s Fahrenheit).  Dinner and bed and no internet at hotel so we were with each other.  

Today much the same although breakfast not until 8 so we packed and we’re ready to depart immediately after breakfast skipping the last cup of coffee.  Supposed to be hotter today and it was.  On arrival here it was 34 on my Garmin (95 F). And do not forget the humidity.  Sweating is a way of life, and then you do something.  

But good riding deciding to stay on the German side of border as more along the river and hopefully a bit of breeze.  (Not much but almost a breeze, the sailboats were moving) our goal was Kehl across the river from Strassborg on the French side.  Bike path the entire way.

With only 3 k to the town center, we were riding through a park and pass a couple who commented on my Alaska jersey.  Seems Alaska is quite the place.  Anyway we talked and told them our story as they seemed interested.  They lived in Kehl but said not much of interest there but yes Strassbourg was interesting.  They came from England and Australia, hence their English was good.  

We mentioned looking for a hotel.  He looked on his app “Very last room” and we had reservations 3 kilometers away and apparently walking distance to downtown Strassbourg where this evening we will try and see the lightshow on the cathedral.  Strassborg is apparently a world heritage center although my German does not allow me to know why.  But many have told us it is interesting.  We shall see. 

And crossed the first bridge which is pedestrian bike only. Having a beer on entrance to France as once again the heat is stifling and it was 70 kilometers again.  

Die Brücke der Zwei Ufer

Historically this area along the river has for centuries gone back and forth between Germany and France.  Apparently the bridge was built after the war as a friendship gesture between the countries.

And our hotel is delightful although the current temperature is 95 F and windows and doors open.  


view from 4th floor of Hotel Esplanade
And just as I am figuring out German we go into France where my French is non existent alas.  

Alone amongst millions

“real generosity to the future lies in giving all to the present.”

Albert Camus
Ok we stayed in the hotel at Meersburg exacting every inch of luxury out of it, staying until just past checkouts time of 10:30.  Actually quite delightful staying in the fancy hotel with little old ladies and their tiny dogs, brought to breakfast under the table.  I called various folks to update them on our progress – Günter, Bridgete, and Britta in Köln.  Then it was time and this time without a friend to guide us along, explain, translate, show us the way and generally provide some excellent companionship.  It was Jeanne and me and my limited German language skills.  

Wondered through the see side of Meersburg and found the ferry crossing to Kanstance and the southern side of the lake, which is where the main route goes.  We had detoured to the north side to visit Alfred, Bridgete, see Freidrichschafen and the Zeppelin museum, and Germany is the north side, tugs avoiding the expense of Switzerland.  We found the Euro15 and Swiss route 2 route signs marking the bicycle route, and we were back in business. 

Ferry ride from. Meersburg to Konstance

Navigating the route is simple but like any navigation can be misled easily.  There are bike way signs frequently and nearly every corner.  One just has to be aware and find them.  Then I have the Garmin GPS with Europe cycling routes loaded in, and Alfred loaded the GPX tracks in.  But the problem is even though it is supposed to reroute when off course it still wants me to visit every waypoint, even backtracking to it.  I just restart from current location.  Thus navigation is a combination of things – GPS, signs, the maps and guide books (all in German) and the tried and true method of we are going downriver.  

bicycle Route signs

The interesting part is Jeanne does not have a competitive bone in her body but often ends up in front and I have to chase her down for a missed turn or course correction.  She focus’s on riding and sometimes forgets to look for the signs.

It was delightful riding mostly on bike path, just cruising along.  We agreed before the ride to go approximately 60 kilometers a day and now we agreed to start looking about 4 pm for a place to stay.  We want to just see how it feels.  If one has reservations one must either be there and it is a long day or a short day.  

We made it to Diessenhofen on the Swiss side and Gallingen on the German side with a Swiss town apparently built in midevil times 1500-1600) and the bridge  in 1814-1815.

bridge between Diessenhofen, Switzerland and Germany
We agreed to stop but did not want to cross in Switzerland.  But Gailingen was definitely at the top of hill, thus we roads down the trail along river for a bit but realized no guest houses were forthcoming so back and climbed the hill.  

Ended up at first guesthouse we came to for 60€ and took it with shared bath and shower.  Overlooked town square and delightful.  Sat out on terrace where wifi was available and drank a delightful beer.  Then on to a restaurant for dinner deciding to try somewhere else to eat.  Lovely outdoor restaurant with incredible food.  Am loving this restaurant which is leisurely.  Dinner was nearly 3 hours long. Sit, talk, drink, enjoy and oh yes savor some delightful food.  Not rushed in the least.  I remember coming back from South America and going to a German restaurant in Plano, Texas and feeling rushed through, like the restaurant was a factory.    Here it feels comfortable to just order a beer and sit and enjoy even if it takes hours.  

But onward.  Breakfast at the guesthouse (included) and down the hill back to the Rhein route, and toward Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls, a major attraction.  People told us it is no Niagra falls but it is spectacular.  I have not seen Niagra falls and it is not high on my list but waterfalls are each one wonderful and different.  The Rhine here averages 22000 cubic feet per second so is a big river and the falls are impressive.  


above the Rhine fall a nice couple. Jeanne and J. R.
rhein Falls

One incident nearly disastrous when we came up to an intersection on the road.  We were behind a car and traffic ligh from the road we were to join, but I could not see one for our direction.  I figured I just could not see it and waited behind the car in front.  He took off and I thought I saw the oncoming cars light turn red but when I reached the middle of street a car was bearing down on me from the right with no apparent desire to stop. I was at speed now turning left and a car was coming from the right with also no apparent desire to stop.  I made it, but what the $:&!?)&.  Alas things are different here.  There was a light on main road but none from the road we came from.  The car in front had seen a clearance and took it.  Unfortunately it was not a green light and I nearly changed our trip.

Then on stopping at grocery store for lunch supplies.  More fun to just stop and picnic at trail side.  The grocery store had well used bicycle parking right at the door.  The carts were locked and you put a coin in and it unlocked the chain.  When done you return the cart reconnect the chain and your coin is returned.

grocery store parking


Lunch Stop
Then onward thinking we might get to Waldshut but probably not.  Well soon we were riding along the Rhein route alongside the river riding watching people swim and enjoy the water.  The river is incredibly clean and apparently great to swim and boat, although we have not tried as yet.  

Then we were at Waldshut and it was hot, and the town center is uphill, from the trail along the river.  Before we knew it we had passed it by, although now looking and the heat becoming oppressive in the 80s with humidity.  And no hotels, all full.  Waldshut was at about 50 kilometers for the day and after numerous stops and side trips and questions and heat and very tired, we made it to Luttingen a very tiny village before Laufenburg.  Numerous hotels and guest houses and people had told us places ahead and given directions and distances.  Almost all were wrong.  No more than 200 meters was 2 kilometers, 2 kilometers was 4 and sometimes there was nothing there.  Alas part of the adventure but we were hot tired and cranky, but I might add still getting along.  

We went a total of 76 kilometers when the Hotel Kranz turned up, and it was delightful.  Good beer, good shower, good wifi, and very pleasant staff.  Seems every place we stay (except the one in  Tamins, before Chur) the staff has been very excited and appreciative when we like it.  It is as if they are personally involved, and not just a job.  

They said part of the reason the hotels are full in this area is it is holiday time, but also the nuclear plant requires yearly maintenance and it is done in August. So hotels full of the workers.

Another incredible dinner and meal and talked with three ladies also riding the Rhein route but going up to the Bodensee where one has a sister living.  They commented how the river is very clean now which was not true 20-30 years ago.  Perhaps the world is realizing we cannot just dump our waste.

And she mentioned she had been to the United States and found it disconcerting all the lakes were private access.  Here it is public all along the beach and accessible.  (Think Lake Tahoe, California, Flathead Lake in Montana, Kenai river in Alaska, or even Kenai Fjords National Park. All private beach access) Folks have come to realize the importance of nature and access here, not just who has the money and the rest of you stay away.  (I had the same complaint when riding the great divide 3 years ago).  Alas!


along the Rhine
Then today and not wanting to get burned again with no hotel picked one from hoping it to be about 60 K away.  Some said it was 40 to Basel the maps said 55 so whatever.  We opted for Weil am Rhein because it was in Germany and avoided Switzerland and we could shortcut bypassing the city.  Could have stayed in St.Louis France but that meant going through Basel.  


side route along the Rhein way
resting along Rheinfelden
Rhein route near Basel below railroad tracks
Under the train tracks Basel
crossing the hydroelctric dam between Switzerland and Germany
And a delightful day even though the temperature did hit 37 degrees on my Garmin. (High 90s Fahrenheit for those still using that old system) we could never tell where we would be riding sometimes along a great forest road along the river sometimes small villages and near Basel forests and below train overpasses.  Criss crossed the river numerous times sometimes in Switzerland (did not have to buy anything) and Germany finally crossing into Germany for final time just before the hotel. We did 57 kilometers and arrived at the delightful time of 2:30. Sweating and tired but the room is huge and we have been downing Radlers (half lemon aid and half beer) and straight beer.

The beer here in Germany is great, but almost always local.  Not a microbrew with numerous choices of tastes, but a Hefeweizen or sometimes and ale.  It is made and sold only regionally.  But always good.  I remember living in Germany for a few months in 1967 and coming home.  My dad offered me a beer when home either an Olympia or a Coors and I remember saying “What is this?”.  Made me glad I was underage and did not have to drink that stuff.  Have disliked “those beers” ever since.  So many choices in the world why drink bad beer.

And we now have gone 483 kilometers of the supposed 1300 for the entire route.  Our map says this past part was 435 kilometers although we we on the north side of Bodensee and did go to Alfred’s and Bridgete.  One article said it was 250 kilometers.  Whatever we had fun and a third of the way.