Rhine Valley Cycle, Part Zwei
18 08, 15 Topic: Jolyon Yates
Cycling from Konstanz to Frankfurt
Jol, looking summer healthy
Having completed the top half of the Rhine cycle route from Amsterdam to Frankfurt last year, we set out to cycle the lower half this year.
This time, we decided to cycle downstream and so planned to finish mid-Rhine again, near Frankfurt.
Starting at the Bodensee (Lake Constance), we would cycle west along the Swiss-German border to Basel. Then north, along the Franco-German border through Alsace to Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Mannheim and to our designated finishing point, Gernsheim - home of Germany's best Backfisch (Fish and Chips!)
What we hadn't bargained on this year was the sweltering heat. We always cycle in August by necessity, which leaves us open to the possibility of such temperatures which are not uncommon in Central Europe. Daunted by the forecast, we had hung on for a few days - hoping for the temperatures to dip. They didn't, so we just set off, hoping against hope for a cooling off.
Travelling by train in Germany is typically a pleasurable business. The key here is space. Unlike in England, German railways are generally not an exercise in body cramming. Neither are they about financial extortion or perpetual delays. Travelling by train in Germany is a fair deal and English travellers really appreciate this.
The dramatic train journey through the Schwabian countryside was comfortable and timely, depositing us excited cyclists in the beautiful lakeside town of Konstanz on a hot summer afternoon. We made our way to the lake and cycled gently around the shore, finding a cafe with a lake view from which to watch the busy comings and goings of this popular holiday destination.
Constance lakeside, overlooking the clear waters of the Bodensee
Revived and enthusiastic, with the heat of the day firmly subsiding, we consulted our cycle map and set off in search of the Rhine.
More to follow …
Map of the Rhine route … this expedition in red
The lower Rhine, Stein am Rhine
Stein am Rhine
Oh dear !