Thursday, 27 September 2007

Wednesday 12th September (Day 56): Basel (Switzerland) to Isles la Doubs (France) (100 km)

Regretfully, we left Basel which we adore (could get used to living there) to set off, with a little trepidation to France. We have been influenced and inspired by a book that I stumbled across in a bookshop in Vienna called France by Bike (1999 (4th ed), Karen and Terry Whitehill, The Mountaineers, ISBN: 0-89886-316-3). Although it is a tad dated now, it had the reassurance that we needed, and had some detailed instructions for 14 routes through France - a real bonus.

The sun was out in full glory as we threaded our way out of the city and over the border. The architecture gradually changed as we set off on some of the best cycling we have done to date. Mainly quiet, or almost deserted, , rural roads wound their way through countryside with many copses, fields of assorted crops, and paddocks with doe-eyed white cows. The hills were rolling, and the wind followed us, making what would have been a very tough day a little less demanding. The climb from Basel was, overall, gradual and we were helped by the many things to look at, as well as the fact that the temperature got up to aournd 25°!

Flowers seem to qbound in the tiny villages we cycled through, spilling out of window boxes, over fences, lining bridges, and hung in great clumps from baskets. Lots of small brooks gugled through the centre of villages and this delectable kitchiness was complemented by the sight of a couple of immense eagles very close by.

The campsite was huge, well8equipped, by the Doubs, and just about dark enough to look at the stars. Our 'neighbour' is a friendly German chemistry student called Tobias and who is cycling to meet his mates.

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