Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Sunday 9th September (Day 54): Bad Zurzach to Basel (88 km)

The route today was strangely undulating given that we were following the Rhine downstream; Unhelpful was the heqd wind, complemented by the industrial estates; rubbish dumps, and electricity generating plants that the route passed through. The river was often q distant companion, not visible from the path we were on. That is not to say that the day was a total write off. The sun shone some of the time, and the woodland that we cycled through was lovely (native trees planted where pines had been harvested).

Fun was also to be had with the number of other cyclists who were out and about on a "Ride the Rhine" event. A fully laden touring bike is quite formidable, especiqlly at full pelt, but a couple of guys still nearly tried to run us off the track. The trick is to hold your line while the dogs whine and scatter, children cycle screaming to their parents, qnd old ladies throw themselves into the verges (I am joking, really I am).

We worked well together even though the 70km flat day turned out to be an 88km undulqting day. Basel, as indicated in all the guide books is an amazing place. Quite lqrge and set on two sides of the river, architecturally it looks like the sort of Medieval town a cartoonist might draw; it has real character. There was also a festival underway, so we soaked up some culture strolling alongside the river listening to African drumming, a particularly good funk band and soaking up the carnival atmosphere. We ended up at a superb little restaurant where we enjoyed some excellent galettes, and discussed some of the issues in the book that John is reading called The God Delusion. Got pretty heated at times....

I think we are going to stay a couple of days in Basel to rechqrge the batteries a bit, and also do justice to the great chocolate shops that are all over Basel.

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