Out of Waldshut, we passed the Leibstadt Nuclear Power Plant on the other side of the river, riding along a spit of land between a canal and the Rhine. We followed the route along the northern (German) side of the river through the beautiful little medieval towns of Laufenberg and Bad Säckingen. In Bad Säckingen we crossed its famous covered wooden bridge, which is apparently the longest covered bridge in Europe (203.7 m Wikipedia says), the current iteration of which was completed in 1700. We stopped for the obligatory photos.
We then followed the southern side of the river, though the beautiful Swiss countryside and towns. Just out of Rheinfelden (Möhlin) we passed the salt mine towers and a brand new Tesla dealership. In Kaiseraugst we passed the large Roman amphitheatre. I would have loved to have stopped and wandered around but we just didn’t have the time. This is kind of “the rub” when it comes to cycle touring it seems. With a limited amount of time and distance to cover, it just isn’t possible to stop at every point of interest.
We moved into what we took as the outer metropolitan area of Basel but ran into a roadblock, literally. One of the train crossings on the route was closed. There was no way through. We made a detour based on a quick glance at the map but the point which I thought was a crossing for the railway line was actually a pedestrian overpass with lots of stairs. All in all, working out the detour added k’s to the day, time and a bit of frustration. We worked our way into and across Basel. The weather was turning and we had a strong head wind. We had also done the longest day of riding to date, with some fairly steep sections, and we were tired. For a road cyclist or even for touring cyclists, travelling with just their own panniers, the 82 km we did might seem a very easy day’s ride, but towing the trailer in addition to the panniers really adds to the work and slows the speed. Flat riding is not that bad but as soon as the road is a little heavy (gravel or not so smooth bitumen) or there is the slightest hint of a gradient, you feel the trailer with every turn of the pedals. We rode through Basel (which was lovely), but we did not get to really take it in as it was getting very late in the day and the clouds were increasingly menacing.
Earlier in the day, we had agreed on heading to Camping Au Petit Port on the other side of Basel. It was once we arrived that we realised we were in France and had left Switzerland behind us for good. The lovely lady at the reception of the camping, speaking in French with Emilie, said that since it was going to rain and that we had children with us she would offer us the “Algeco” for 18 euros (which was a steal after all those fancy Swiss campgrounds). Emilie had no idea what that was, but it turned out to be the brand name of a shipping container (kind of like saying the Hoover for a vaccum). The “Algeco” had two bunkbeds and a small table and chairs inside. We jumped at the chance and we were able to dry out our tent inside overnight while the other poor souls outside faced the constant downpour overnight.
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).