Our first 50-mile day! You don’t want to see certain parts of me.

We had quite a late start from Kaiserstuhl, neither of us really feeling like getting going on what we knew would be a long day. We had planned stops at Koblenz, Bad Säckingen and the Roman ruins at Kaiseraugst.

The first of these don’t work out. We should have taken notice of the signs in Bad Zursach saying ‘if your tank is empty, refill here’, with artwork implying both stomachs and e-cars could be refilled there. We saw no-where we could sit over a drink in Koblenz but fortunately a few miles on we saw a local roadside swimming pool selling ice cream, chips and drinks. Apparently it was hosting an event celebrating the 1st of August. No, I don’t understand either!

The planned stop at Bad Säckingen did work: pan-fried potatoes, vegetables and lots of cool drinks in a square next to an impressive church.

After that we knew we had only 20 miles to go to get to Basel directly, so we thought it wouldn’t add much to the journey to follow the Rhine closely. We’d not reckoned on a combination of gravel paths with lots of undulations. I was tired and Elly’s chest was hurting from her cold and asthma. We stopped for a wee chat and were approached by someone who asked if we wanted directions. My answer was ‘Ja bitte, eine Straße mit Asphalt zu Basel!’

We were pointed along another gravel path, but heading away from the river and sure enough there was soon wonderful, delicious tarmac leading us on to Kaiseraugst. It was a main road (think ‘single-carriage A-road with substantial traffic’) but it had cycle-lanes either side. These are respected by the Swiss: no idiot-double-parkers, pizza-vans or other stuff in the way apart from some hard-to-navigate roadworks just before Kaiseraugst.

The roman remains at Kaiseraugst are well worth seeing, although the cycle up from the amphitheater back to modern times is on gravel at about 15 degrees. (I didn’t quite make it.) After that, back to the main road and pushing and pulling each other into central Basel. Tschuss!

Nuclear power station near Leibstadt

Nuclear power station and the power of my heart near Leibstadt

dam at Leibstadt

Panorama from the dam

Down a slope to the Rhône near Albert

Inside the amphitheater at Augusta Raurica (left side)

Inside the amphitheater at Augusta Raurica (right side)

Detail inside the amphitheater at Augusta Raurica

What it means

You too could have a chocolate Switzerland!


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