Day 18 - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - Strasbourg to Marckolsheim - Trip 106.51 Time 6:41:29
NEVER AGAIN!!! will I stay in a 4-bed Youth Hostel room. Felix (German) has a bad cold and had to blow his nose all night. The 2 other guys (I found out they were Quebekers later on) kept coming and going until 2 AM. One came in at 1:30 he was so pissed he couldn't get the swipe card to work to get the door open. He had to go downstairs and get the night receptionist to come and help him get the door open. I'll be damned if I was going to get up and let him in!!! He stumbled around for 5-10 minutes then fell into bed and soon started snoring. Not to loud thank goodness. There were also several football teams (ages around 12) staying at the Y.H. They were up until midnight running amok. Then to top it all off there were several volleys of very loud, rapid gunfire (probably fireworks) at 11:30. Probably to culminate the concert in the park.
In spite of all the racket I did manage to get a few hours of sleep.
Went down for b'fast at 7:00. No sign of any activity in restaurant. I checked at reception. Told b'fast wasn't until 7:30. I showed him my welcome note with b'fast highlighted in pink and it definitely said b'fast was at 7:00 to 10:00. He went off to get things started I think. I waited another 15-20 minutes before going in to restaurant to start b'fast. It was a disaster. No juice. The tea was very weak. Should have had a hot chocolate. Brotchen with butter and jams and a croissant. Two choices of cereal corn flakes or coco puffs. And of course the noise and shouting of the football kids. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Felix had joined me for b'fast. He had a pretty bad cold. He was supposed to cycle all the way to the Bodensee and then back home. Not sure if he made it or not. I said goodbye and wished him a safe trip.
When I went to the "Velo Garage" to collect my bike I noticed two bikes with trailers. One of them had a Quebec and a Canada flag on the back of it. That's when I realized the two guys who were still asleep were most likely Quebekers.
I set my GPS for Illkirch-Graffenstaden and set off at 8:20. The GPS took me over a bridge towards Kehl which was on the German side of the Rhine. I wanted to stay on the French side. I reset the GPS and went back over the bridge towards Strasbourg. Eventually I started heading South towards I-G. I saw a bike path (paved) along "Canal du Rhone-au-Rhin" with a sign indicating Eschau. This looked like the cycle route indicated in my Rhein-Radweg guide. It turned out to be an on and off again path and eventually I got lost and somehow ended up back in Strasbourg. It took me another hour to figure out how to get out of Strasbourg. I ended up passing the same sign for Eschau again. This time I kept to the road and eventually was on my way. (3 hours and 30 kms to get out of Strasbourg)!!! Needless to say I was not a happy camper or cyclists for that matter. I swore I would not have anything more to do with "Canal du Rhone-au-Rhin". I passed through Krafft, Gersheim, Boofzheim, Diebolsheim, etc. and eventually arrived in Marckolsheim only after going to Mackenheim which I confused for Marckolsheim.
I checked out several Gites de France along the way but all were fully booked or no answer. I lucked in in Marckolsheim. Found a nice Gites for 40 E including b'fast. No Wi-Fi. Madame who was running the Gites was very friendly and chatty.
After lugging my panniers up to my room I went out around the corner to a horse betting bar. Had a couple beers and updated my journal. It was now 6:00 PM and I decided to have a pizza for dinner at the restaurant next door. Only they didn't start serving pizzas until 6:30. Went back to my room to freshen up and change before returning to Raphy's Grill for wine and a pizza paysanne. It was OK but deffinitely not up to Christopher's standards.
I noticed my thumbs are taking on the shape of my handle bar horns. Instead of being straight they are taking on an S-shape!!! I noticed another cyclist in the restaurant checking out a Rhein-Radweg cycle guide. I went over and introduced myself. He turned out to be a Britisher from London cycling from Basel to Rotterdam? along the Rhine for the 3rd time. He's writting his own cycle guide which he says will be published in 2013. Unfortunately I didn't get his name. He didn't think much of the Rhein-Radweg guides. He felt they were very innacurate. I couldn't agree more after my Canal du Rhone-au-Rhin experience.