Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 19 - Europe 2011

Day 19 - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - Marckolsheim to Neuf-Brisach to Freiburg
Trip 53:06 Time 3:16:03

Had a good night's sleep for a change. No noisy kids. No church bells until 7 AM. Went down for b'fast at 8 AM. Ordered juice and hot chocolate to go with the fresh croissante, baquette, butter, jams, cheese, etc. Paid Madame 40 E for my nights lodging. Carried my panniers downstairs to the courtyard and got my bike out of the garage. Lots of antiques just lying about in the garage!!!

My chain was sounding a bit rough from all the rain and dusty trails I'd cycled through so I put some oil on it before setting off for Neuf-Brisach at 9:30. The British cyclist I had met last night had told me about a fantastic old fort there that was well worth exploring.

I stopped at a bank for another 400 E withdrawal. Oh Oh - insufficient funds. I tried for 300 E and that worked out OK. Must top up my chequing account again!!!

Saw a bunch of Old Timer cars (early 1900s) heading for Strasbourg. What a sight and sound. I should have shot a movie.

I arrived in Neuf-Brisach at 10:30 and went directly to the Fortifications de Vauban a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A young lady said it was free to tour the ramparts and that I could take my bicycle. But first I had to negotiate a set of very steep steps with a ramp on the side for bikes. The extra weight of the panniers caused me to lose my balance, the brakes didn't grab and I came down in a hell of a hurry. I wasn't hurt but I did feel a bit foolish. I went around the fort on my bike and came to a steep gravel exit. Rather than attempt to cycle up this steep path I decided to get off my bike and walk up. Unfortunately, as I was getting off I slipped and fell on my tush. A paserby just kept on going - didn't even bother to ask if I was OK! Decided it was time to take a break and found a quiet spot with park benches and sat down to eat an apple.
I continued on to Breisach. Started seeing mountains looming in the distance a glimpse of what was to come. Crossed over the Rhein and stopped at a McDs for lunch at 11:50.
I continued on to Freiburg arriving at 2:00 PM. Stopped at Hotel Sonne (45 E w/c & shower in the hall & b'fast 12 E) to check it out. No Wi-Fi in the room - just a station set up opposite the reception. I decided to go on and see what else I could find. There was a kiosk about 2 kms further down the road with a list of hotels and how much they cost. The cheapest was 65 E with Wi-Fi but it was fully booked. I went back to the Sonne. As I was taking my panniers to my room on the 3rd floor I saw this twit come out of the shower with a towel wrapped around him that was far to small exposing his butt. He quickly slipped into his room. After locking up my bike at the back of the hotel under a lean-to I went into the bar for a beer. I ordered a Ganter Freiburg Badisch Weizen Bier. Tasted like smoked ham. Not my kinda bier!
I did a tally of how much I have cycled so far and came up with a total of 1357 kms. Heading for Donaueschingen tomorrow and the start of the Danube.
I went out for dinner and brought my Notebook along with me hoping to find a Wi-Fi Cafe. Must of walked 3-4 kms until I came to the Banhof and saw a McDs and a BK. McDs had Wi-Fi but you had to have a Telecom account to access it or pay .90 E/minute for an account. I went over to the BK. They had two terminals which cost 1 E for 10 minutes. They looked pretty beat up so decided not to bother as it would just be to frustrating. Walked over to a Kebap restaurant across the street and had a terrific Doner Kebap sandwich and coke. Stopped for icecream on the way back to the hotel.
I asked the manager if I could watch TV. She said OK. I found the Canadian GP on WDR. The race had been delayed after 30 laps due to heavy rainfall. Eventually the race was restarted and I was able to watch the last 40 laps of much chaos as it was still raining and the track was very wet. I won't say anymore about the race in case someone reading this blog has taped the race and hasn't watched it yet.
Finally hit the sack at 11:30. Lot's of traffic noise in spite of my room being on the backside of the hotel. I woke up at 3:30 AM all sweaty because of the heavy duvet....
Cheers, Roly

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