We woke up to blue skies and the promise of a brilliant days riding in favourable climatic conditions. Firstly we needed to backtrack 6 km from central Belfort back to Danjoutin to pick up the route descriptors.
We then headed towards Vezelois picking up the cycle path adjacent to the canal. We were able to sit on a nice and steady pace along a well sealed/cindered bike path.
The canal path went on and on and on, but it was quite picturesque, passing by the edge of numerous villages. There were many fisherman sitting on the edge of the canal often with multiple rods out. Not sure that I would be keen on eating the fish as the water is quite muddy looking and I am pretty sure the fish would taste muddy too.
At the 48 km mark we needed to negotiate the large city of Mulhouse before rejoining the bike track. This was quite slow and fiddly.
We passed an open spot featuring a field gun and over the canal an army tank. I gather the area saw a battle involving the sad demise of around 1500 soldiers during World War II.
As the day was so nice and easy we decided to continue on and break just before the Swiss border at Huningue, as we had a good supply of euro but no Swiss francs. We found a delightful cafe called Le Shakespeare adjacent to the canoe centre and enjoyed a great lasagne. The waiter talked us into having tiramisu. Whilst I was already full it was very, very nice!
Back onto the bike path following the Rhine river to cross the Swiss border we saw Basel looming ahead.
The Swiss border theoretically was just a few hundred metres ahead but access was blocked by a very large locked fence and gate. So we needed to use our nous and create our own deviation path backtracking and heading away from the river. I think the path was blocked due to the demolition of a large BASF building.
The Swiss border toll point was reached without so much as a glance towards us so we rode on.
Hitting the central section of a busy lunch time in Basel proved interesting as we were told to climb a steep road adjacent to Davidoff Geneva. It was very steep, cobbled and full of pedestrian traffic which is not ideal when climbing.
At the top was Munsterplatz, a quite large communal cobblestones square adjacent to Basel Cathedral.
A few km on from this we spent about 29 minutes trying to resolve route instructions at a very busy vehicular interchange junction including flyovers. By using a mix of the yellow sheet route descriptors and the Garmin Gpx map files we eventually found ourselves on the correct route and heading towards Rheinfelden.
We also passed an old Roman amphitheatre. I found the outside more interesting as the interior was redeveloped using modern rock retention methods of rock inside metal cages, as commonly used now for retention.
Rheinfelden is a town that is in both sides of the River Rhine, meaning one section is Swiss and the other half German. We had ridden on the Swiss side from Basel but crossed over into Germany by way of a pedestrian footbridge.
We were very pleased to have found our hotel! Tonight we are to spend time with my friends Ralph and Sandra who live in Sissach, Switzerland. I met them in 1985 in The Maldives and stayed with them in early 1987 in Switzerland but not seen them since. What a great opportunity to catch up. Can’t wait!