Breaking the sound barrier

Well, we are in France, sitting outside a Turkish fast-food joint in a bilingual area, about to eat pizza (for me, so without cheese) and chicken goujons with pommes frites, sat next to a Dutch couple. Today’s mid-morning stop involved a pretzel and a pain au chocolat. Multi-cultural noshing!

Today’s portion of EV15 mostly stayed away from the Rhine, instead following well-tarmacked country roads or unmade roads with well-compacted surfaces: hardly any gravel! The route is signposted excellently, despite the claims of a fellow cycle-tourer that Switzerland does it better.

The thing that fascinates me is the variety of German that is/was spoken here. (Alsace has an unfortunate history of being fought over by France and Germany.) Unfortunately, I speak only Hochdeutsch (standard/‘high’ German) – very badly – so the sounds of other varieties of German have been rather trippy. It feels as though I should understand conversations around me but don’t. Of course I don’t mean I should listening in to other people’s private conversations, but it’s like I’m in a four-poster bed where the posts are missing but somehow the curtains still stay in place! It’s right but not quite right and that small difference is somewhat jarring.

I know that reads as a moan but honestly it isn’t! It’s intriguing and at worst a challenge to overcome. Fortunately, my schoolboy French is working well enough, although I have to thank Iris for help today with how to say things politely.

Anyway we are in Neuf-Brisach, built to replace Breisach. Notice the vowel-shift? Does that mean that the local German of the time pronounced ‘ei’ the same as the local French pronounced ‘i’, or something else. Answers on a piece of smoked tofu to the usual address, please. Tschuss!

Dreiländereck statue

About the statue

What we’re doing!

One of the more colourful bikes we’ve seen this trip

Crossing the Rhine at Huningue

Shop-sign at Fessenheim

The home of computing?

Around Neuf-Brisach

Around Neuf-Brisach

Around Neuf-Brisach

Around Neuf-Brisach

Street-signs in Neuf-Brisach (notice ‘stross’ rather than ‘Strasse’

Around Neuf-Brisach

Around Neuf-Brisach

Fun graffito

Bilingualism

More street-signs

More street-signs

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