A few years ago my second son Ben moved to Switzerland..and yes, there was a young lady involved. Since then, she has become my daughter in law! I was in Switzerland May 2018 for their wedding.
Happily living and working in Switzerland means I do not get to see them often, so I took the opportunity for a short break to fly over and see them…oh, and of course I brought my touring bike with me!
I arrived yesterday afternoon in Zurich after four flights. I grabbed a hire car and then drove to Therwil, on the outskirts for Basel some 95 km from Zurich.
Ben has taken a couple of days leave to be with his dear, old mum. Fortunately I am in better knick than Ruth Cracknell’s version of Mum.
Despite my jet lag, we headed off on a ride through the adjacent local forest up a series of gravel paths. They wind around farms and crown land.
The sign above, in German, is warning users of the risk of bushfire given recent dry conditions drying out the forest. This place is so green compared to Australia.
Switzerland has a brilliant network of bike trails, using existing tracks and roads. They are well signposted.
They have well constructed bridges for shared use with walkers and cyclists. This was a nice river crossing.
In 2016 Tony and I rode through this area, en route London to Venice. We passed through Augusta Raurica and saw a very interesting Roman ruin. Here I am in 2016.
So I was keen to see more of this area as the area is a Roman archaeological site, and the oldest known Roman colony on the Rhine River, settled around 44 BC, in the vicinity of a local Gallic tribe.
Today many ruins have been discovered and preserved. However over 80% of the area is still to be ‘discovered’ awaiting the advent of advanced imaging.
First stop was an area of Fort wall, where a significant silver treasure trove of over 50kg of pure silver objects in 1962. The treasure chest had been buried in 350 AD.
They sure built thick walls!
The next spot was the base of the old church constructed between 360-400 AD. For part of its existence it served as the seat for the Bishop. By 749 AD the Bishop relocated to Basel.
This picture below shows the church, above the archaeological section we viewed.
Old gravestones have been found including these two.
Leaving the old church, we followed the narrow track adjacent to the beautiful Rhine River.
The Rhine baths were next. They were built around 260AD and were still in use until the 4th century. Today the only remains are the underground installations, walking on the floor of the underground heating system.
Wooden shoes were required to be worn in the ancient baths so as not to damage the floor.
The next site is where craftsman made and sold their wares.
The highlight is the ancient theatre. Workman were packing up from a Roman weekend festival.
The steps to the old temple.
The ancient amphitheatre barely exists, but the picture showed what it once looked like.
Very little remains now bar the basic shape. The vegetation has taken over the former seating.
Finally, we visited the former East gate and town wall, funerary monument, complete with a mini animal farm.
Finally, back to my view from 2016. Looks like the vegetation has grown!
It was stinking hot today. The temperature was over 33 degrees Celsius and we were 10 degrees Celsius when I left Tasmania on Saturday afternoon. It was a shock to the body and plenty of water was being drunk.
Water is available in all villages, as they all have sparking clean, cool water at fountains like this one.
We rode on parallel with the Rhine to Rheinfelden, a very pretty town, also visited during our 2016 trip.
The town has a bridge across the Rhine. So yes, that is Germany in the background. Plenty of people sunbaking and swimming from the island in the middle of the river.
Over the bridge into Germany and we rode parallel again to the Rhine, but heading back towards Basel.
Eco friendly church.
Another fountain. We both tossed out our remaining water here as the water was warm, and refilled with this lovely cool water.
The forest behind the church is part of the great expanse of famous German Black Forest.
From this Rhine River view we could see bathers swimming in Switzerland!
Ben has never been keen on having his photo taken, but his annoying mother got one!
This was intriguing. Ben told me that in another hour or so, hundreds and hundreds of people would converge on the river, with bags, and float downstream.
You can see some swimmers with their bags below.
We rode past where Ben works. He works on the 14th floor of Switzerland’s tallest building owned by Roche.
It was a lovely ride. So nice to be able to ride with one of my kids. Not sure how he will pull up as it was a bit further than he is used to. I think we rode about 56 km.
Thanks for reading….I will have to plot another ride for tomorrow next!!