May 5th, 2011. Freistett - Durlach, 76km, 5h31, 13.9 kph
Via Memprechtshofen (on Road 36), Helmlingen, Rhine cycle path, Greffern, past Söllingen, Iffezheim, Rastatt; then due to error: Otigheim, past Muggensturm, Road no. 3, Ettlingen and camp ground in Durlach.
A few kilometers by road to Helmlingen, then back on the Rhine cycle path all the way to Iffezheim. Cycle path along Road 36 till Rastatt.
Beautiful town with a red stone château and many interesting buildings.
On the way out of town we got lost (once again), and ended up in Steinmauern, then Otighem after a ride through some woods where we met a couple who put us on the right track again...
In the end, it turned out that their directions were as bad as ours.
The other side of Otigheim we followed Road 36, then Road 3 where we stopped at an intersection, for a picnic near a lake.
Road 3 then took us, against the wind, to Ettlingen: lovely town that happens to be twinned with Epernay !
The two young guys at the tourist office were super helpful. We were supplied with various maps, with a list of camp grounds and with other goodies, including of course, a new stamp in our Travel Logs. Thanks Guys !
The cycle path along Road 3 continued all the way to Karlsrühe/Durlach.
In the suburbs of the city, we did our usual afternoon shopping for dinner at a super hard discount store.
Not easy to pedal with bags dangling from the handle bar, but I was getting used to it... Breaking the bottles was the biggest fear !!
While I was asking a tram driver if he knew where the camp ground was, I lost sight of Daniel who had continued on his way.
After a while, I finally got there. Daniel had just arrived, by another road.
The place was perfect: we had a choice of sunny or shaded areas, the grass was short and level and there was a large, clean, sheltered picnic table... Within 5 minutes the tents were up and the cyclists in the SHOWER !
Half of the day had been spent riding through meadows, forests and asparagus fields in the hot sun (and against the wind)...
It was interesting to see how the asparagus were picked: the rows were covered with wide strips of dark plastic to prevent the stems from turning green in the sun. As the pickers moved along, a specially designed sleigh raised the plastic in front of them and dropped it back onto the row behind them.
The country side, the cities and the cycle paths were spotless: no paper wrappers, no plastic bottles, nothing littering the roads !!... Felt good !
Rastatt and Ettlingen would have deserved a few more hours, however, the beauty of the bike is to be able to see a lot more than on foot, when available time is limited, while still not rushing around like mad.
People were very helpful when they sensed we had got lost. In Rastatt, a gentleman even took us all the way to the Rathaus so we could get the coveted stamp in our Travel logs !
'Paper-work' and dinner were taken care of on the picnic table allocated to the tent section...
Was it the Lidl 'porc and beans', simmering on our gas stoves -or the bottle of French wine- that drove the two young Germans away ? ...or was it the reeking Camembert that Daniel extracted from his bags ? We'll never know !
Within minutes, the whole table was ours....