From the camp site we navigated our way through the streets on the outskirts of Konstanz to re-join our route. Riding across the southern side of Konstanz, we were never really sure whether we were in Switzerland or Germany, although we did come across a couple of border customs stops which were only interested in cars. Using Ride with GPS, we found that the best way to navigate on the fly was to use the OSM cycle maps. This way, we could easily identify the bike trails where we did not have to share the road with vehicles, or at least use roads with dedicated bike lanes or secondary roads. Riding without kids wouldn’t have made this such a high priority, but with the kids in the trailer we made every effort to minimise the risk.
The perfect weather continued and we cycled along the southern side of the Untersee, passing many of the small harbours and Swiss villages. The Untersee empties into the Rhine (or is it the other way around?) Following its course, we crossed at Stein-am-Rhine, a beautiful medieval town filled with half-timbered and fresco-ed buildings. It would have been great to explore a little though the side streets and stop at the lovely little cafes and restaurants, but instead we continued through and spied a playground overlooking the Rhine. The Stein-am-Rhine playground turned out to be the best of the trip. Set into a hill overlooking the river, it had little houses, over-sized swings, tunnels, boats and towers with slides. It was not without risk and Marielle (our eldest) was certainly afraid to climb the rope ladders and cross the rope bridge to the biggest slide but she made it with encouragement on the third attempt. We ate lunch while some of our clothes air dried, draped across the bikes.
On the northern side of the river, we entered and exited Switzerland and Germany a few times, especially as we crossed Büsingen – a quirky German town fully surrounded by Switzerland. Getting closer to Schaffhausen (our planned destination for the day), we realised that the closest camping was actually on the other side of the river. We had to cross at Schaffhausen and doubled back a few kilometres on the southern side of the river to reach Camping Schaffhausen, right on the Rhine. We had a beer and waded in up to our waists to cool off whilst we watched people drift down the river in inflatables and even a couple crossing the river swimming. The current was not particularly fast but would have taken a person several hundred meters downstream from where they set out.
To see the route, elevation profile, etc., click the link to Ride with GPS below (it should be able to be embedded but WordPress does not allow this).