Day 9, 30 5 2013,Mittershiem to Strasbourg

We actually had a plan today, which was to get to Strasbourg.  Unfortunately, we had not measured the distance, not that it would have made much difference.

We started off down the Saar canal to its junction with the Marne to Rhine canal.  This was an easy and fast 20Km on a very good sealed path. On reaching the canal junction with the Marne to Rhine canal, we turned on to it on the understanding that it would lead us straight to Strasbourg, but this was not the case.  After about 10Km there was a sign saying that the bike path had finished and that was that.  We had asked the tourist information man about this route and he said there was no problem, but he was wrong.  After discussions with other bike tourists, and a microscopic examination of our map we realised that about 25Km of the track was missing and we would have to ride on the roads until we could rejoin the canal path.  This was no big deal, and coincidentally TomTom put us on to the correct route.  We ended up descending on a path through a steep valley that paralled an obsolete canal, that stepped down through numerous locks.  This was exceedingly beautiful country.  We rejoined the Marne to Rhine canal and from there it was a pretty straightforward ride into Strasbourg.

It is interesting to note that the extensive web of navigable rivers and canals means that you can go from one corner to the other in this continent in your boat.  However, it can be very slow.  We watched boats waiting their turn to step up through the 13 locks from the Saar canal to its end, and it would take at least a day to cover just a few kilometers.

Strasbourg is absolutely beautiful.  I don’t know why half-timbered houses are so stunningly attractive, but they are and lend a lot of character to this city.  We arrived on a cool but balmy evening when the people were out and the city looked great, after riding through mostly unsettled weather all day.

A long day, but not hard riding.  122 Km for the day.

No map again today, but for almost all of it we were beside the canals.


Roz says

A lot of hotels full but we found a room in town, and still had time to see the sun through the fabulous cathedral stained glass. Hooray.

On to Day 10