Basel is a city which lies at the intersection of three countries (Switzerland, France and Germany), we had cycled through the city the day before and stayed in the French part, along the northwest side of the river. We had said goodbye to the Swiss part of our tour without even thinking about it.
Packing our stuff within the dry shipping container we had slept in, while it continued to rain outside, was great. Our tent and groundsheet had dried perfectly and we had been able to wash most of our clothes, which were about 50% dry. We threw them in a bag and hung them at the end of the day. We even sat down at the table to have breakfast, so civilised.
We loaded the bikes and trailer in the rain. For the girls, I lined the bottom of the trailer with a tarpaulin to stop the water from coming through the nylon floor. It wasn’t particularly cold and riding in the drizzling rain was actually not unpleasant. Once we were going, we quickly joined the Canal de Huningue and headed out of Basel. When we reached the Canal du Rhone au Rhin (which connects the two rivers) we switched. For most of the Canal de Hunigue we cycled on the soft, wet, fine gravel, after a while not bothering to avoid or slow down for the puddles. We and the trailer became covered in the wet grit. The girls seemed perfectly happy; cosy, warm and dry in the trailer.
We passed several WWII monuments and sites of significant battles, such as the one at Pont du Bouc. At the bridge we crossed the canal and headed north through forest trails and access roads, the rain stopped and we dried out quickly. We noticed for the first time the leaves just beginning to turn, even though up until that day the weather had felt far more like summer than autumn. We left the forest near Blodelsheim, we were now in the Alsace region. The ride continued to be flat as we passed by little French towns and through corn field after corn field. . As the day’s riding was so flat, we made good time and pushed onto the campsite without a proper lunch, just a few snacks.
Our destination, Camping Vauban, just outside the star-shaped fortress city of Neuf-Brisach, was beautiful and inexpensive. The campsite has a bicycle repair station with hoist, undercover tables and an immaculate garden with little tree-houses that you can stay in. It was one of the best places that we stayed at. We set up amongst the banks of wildflowers and with the weather now quite warm, I cleaned the trailer and bikes. We headed into the city on foot, through the defensive walls. We explored a little of the town before doing some shopping and having an icecream in the square.
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).