We made every effort to get out of camp early. Something which we were beginning to see is key to having a good day. The less time at camp in the morning, the more time there is to: relax at lunch, set up at the end of the day and enjoy the destination, and to have time up your sleeve for unforeseen obstacles. We made good progress but then as we were almost packed we noticed that one of the seats in the Croozer trailer had begun to tear. The seats are sort of a hammock of material which is shaped into a seat and there is a 5 five point harness for each side. With the tear, Marielle would now have the middle of the harness riding up between her little legs, as her weight made the material stretch. I jumped on the bike and went to a large supermarket/homestore, which was luckily only a couple of kilometers away, and bought some needles and heavy duty thread. We stitched up the material as best we could and switched the children so that the smaller (and lighter) was now in the compromised seat. Of course this all took time and it was after 11am when we were able to get on the road.
After heading through the city centre of Schaffhausen and crossing the river twice, we followed a trail though a small forested area towards the Rheinfalls. The rough trail had a short and steep section to finish and we needed to get off and push with the trailer. Our experience of the Rheinfalls was a little disappointing. Audrey (our youngest) had fallen asleep and we needed to go check out the falls one at a time anyway, so that our bikes and gear were watched. From Schloss Laufen, you could barely see a portion of the falls though the gaps between the parapets and you needed to pay CHF 5 to move further into the building. Perhaps we missed something? Regardless, Marielle was very pleased with the fibreglass cows in front of the Schloss.
We headed south away from the Rheinfalls, along roads which we are probably secondary roads but that were actually reasonably busy, with fast moving vehicles. This always makes me feel a little uncomfortable with the girls in the trailer, even though European drivers are so much more respectful to cyclists than we have experienced in Australia.
The weather was again perfect and with it being a Saturday there were loads of people lining the banks of the Rhine wherever there was a patch of grass or rocky beach. The route took us though what seemed like quite sparsely populated parts of the river, with a kind of pristine untouched feel.
As lunch time approached we kept an eye out for a playground to stop at for lunch. Just as we were thinking the girls might have to forego the lunch/playground ritual, Emilie spotted a little one wedged between several apartment buildings in the little town of Eglisau. We doubled back, ate and watch the girls play.
The afternoon was hot and sunny. We passed though little Swiss villages, sunflower fields, and people-watched the sunbaking/drinking along the river. We passed several little pop up beer gardens without stopping. Notions of doing the trip again (sans children) began to form, with the idea to stop at every beer garden along the route. This idea would only grow over the coming week, as we continued into Germany.
We crossed the river to Germany in the last kilometer and finished at Rhine Camping Waldshut. As we pulled in to the camp site we found the German couple we had seen a few days earlier relaxing in the sun. The gentleman was wearing only his tightly fitting swimming trunks, although he didn’t seem to have done or be intending to do any swimming. The camp site was very nice and we met several other touring cyclists.
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).