The weather forecast was concerning..heavy rain and thunder storms were forecast so many of our group got up a little earlier in order to hit the road earlier in the hope of not getting wet! Fortunately the hotel has breakfast from 6.30 am and we were fed and ready to roll by 7 am.
We set of with Bob, Al and Debs but within 500m had become separated from them. We headed off across the bridge leaving Germany and re entering the Swiss Rheinfelden. Market stalls were being set up all around the various cobble stoned streets.
We headed up to Mohlin and shortly thereafter we were joined by David who rode with us for the rest of the day. He had a slight delay to his start as he could not find his helmet. He subsequently found it his shower!
We rode through Stein (14.0 km), Kaisten (21.4 km), Laufenburg (24.6 km) and then crossed the river Aare ( which feeds directly into the Rhine). We just happened to ride past a BMC bike dealer so stopped to see if they had the BMC rear derailleur hanger we were after. No luck but I did purchase my second trip item ( a pair of Swiss short cycling socks). David lashed out and purchased a very bright fluoro jacket.
About 100m up the road we found a restaurant open so decided to have coffee. We were immediately chastised in German by the owner for wheeling our bikes into the courtyard and she gesticulated towards the bike racks ( that we had not previously noticed).
We enjoyed our coffee and out stop and headed up the hill to Bad Zurzach (50.1km), Rekingen (52.9 km) with the course undulating to Zweidlen (67.3 km) and Seglingen (71.9 km).
The course to date had generally run reasonably parallel to the Rhine, but not directly adjacent. We had been riding on a mix of open roads and cycle paths (both sealed and cinder).
At the 74.4 km point we descended on gravel to the river. It was steep and slippery and I was very cautious as I am not overly confident on steep gravel descents. The view of the river was inspiring.
We stopped at the bottom for photos.
After crossing the bridge the notes said to turn right and that the path climbed steeply last the car park and continued to climb steeply for a few km. I was hoping the steep climb was not gravel and was very pleased to see that it was sealed.
At the 79.5 km point we had reached the top of the climb and were rewarded with a nice descent through Bergum Irchel and then Flaach. Low and behold, there was another BMC dealer in this village. No luck with the derailleur hanger though.
The rest of the ride was pretty cruisey. We knew now we would not be getting wet as we were within comfortable striking distance of our accomodation. At Dasche (96.1km) we stopped at the little cafe and David kindly shouted us coffee and Black Forest cake! Very yummy too. Thankyou David, who coincidentally is celebrating his 39th wedding anniversary today, and had remembered to order flowers and ring his wife!
Rheinfall is a spot where you can view the Rheinfall! Fancy that. Rheinfall ( or the anglicised Rhine Fall) are Europe’s largest and we were keen to see them. The car park was overflowing with hundreds of cars and the place was crawling with tourists. We battled our way through with our velo babies only timing that the view is obscured unless you pay Swiss francs.
I had a bit of fun.
There are multiple cycle paths here.
We decided to move on, descending down a cinder track with a descent warning sign.
A little along the track we had a nice river view of the upcoming towns.
Only a km or so on we arrived at our accomodation in Neuhausen. After showering and setting up the Chinese laundry we headed off on a walk as we had been told you could get a good view of the falls from this side of the Rhine.
We walked down a really steep hill and were quite blow away by what we saw. The photos do not do justice to the size of these falls. They are 150 metres wide, with a 23 metre drop. The water depth is around 13 metres. In summer 600,000 litres of water per hour flow through ( versus 250,000 per hour in winter). Very impressive.
Tomorrow is another three country day – Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Forecast is rain but we cannot head off early as breakfast does not start until 8 am. I will be starving by then!!!