….as we have crossed the Rhine/Danube watershed today (Thursday) so it is DOWN the Danube from here.
(We don’t really believe that!)
After the rest day in Basle we set off by crossing the Rhine to Germany by the footbridge close to the campsite. We crossed into Switzerland almost immediately, without Stephen noticing, and then made our way, in a haphazard fashion, back to the river after it had made its 90° turn to the east (as you head upstream).
We continued on the German side for a while which, while not exactly pretty, looked better than the Swiss side as we had been told. We were following signs showing EuroVelo15 (the route that appears to follow the Rhine from source to sea) rather than our target EV6 which was on the other side. However, all of a sudden they indicated a right turn and we found ourselves on a bridge with signs saying “CH”. “Oh well” we thought. After a short stretch walking through a pretty Swiss town we were on an undulating track through the woods that was hard going because of the loose surface. Even the arch Swissophile (Christine) got fed up with that pretty quickly and when the opportunity to go back to the German side presented itself we were there!
We both half-remembered the next section from a holiday more than 10 years ago – the last one with all 3 of the children – when we cycled around Lake Constance and then up the Rhine to Basle.
With the weather similar to the previous two days (i.e. hot) we progressed slowly but eventually arrived at our destination of Waldshut (Germany) and checked in to the campsite. Stephen was a little narked by the relatively high price of €17, not including showers (€1 a time) or WiFi (€3). But it has to be said that the facilities were of a higher standard than any of the French sites (including toilet seats and paper!!)
The weather forecast had promised overnight showers and after dinner the clouds started gathering. There was an hour of thunder and lightning – quite spectacular when you are in a tent! – rolling around the surrounding mountains before just a few spots of rain arrived but that was all there was. We read the next day about people being injured by giant hailstones further into southern Germany so I guess we were lucky to avoid the worst of it.
On Thursday we left early because more rain was forecast (but thankfully didn’t materialise) and headed away from the Rhine as Christine had spotted a “convenient” river valley heading in the direction of Donaueschingen (the start of the Danube). Initially the climb was relatively gentle albeitv a little steeper than the climbs alongside the French canals and rivers. However, we then hit a couple of steep ones, the second of which was 2 km at up 14%. We were mollified by the fact that the map indicated that the second of these was the watershed referred to earlier. We started descending, but then had to endure some further shorter climbs before reaching a point where the land fell away on all sides and we could enjoy a prolonged downhill section.
Arriving at another smart German campsite (an admittedly limited sample of two earning a definite thumbs up!) we celebrated the day’s achievements (climbing 600 metres) with a treat of dinner in the site’s restaurant -schnitzel all round!