Day 25: The Rhine - Heidi Ho - CycleBlaze

July 5, 2012

Day 25: The Rhine

Switzerland is truly a tower of babble. I don't think that most Americans can understand the diversity of languages in this part of the world, I wouldn't have. I suppose it's necessary, being multilingual in this neck of the woods, but it's impressive nevertheless.

Last night I shared a campground with a couple of Germans who were born in Poland, we spoke English, though the man did not speak as much English as his wife. A bit later a Dutchman arrived. He wasn't a cyclist but, being Dutch, he was interested in cycling, but also where we were from and where we were going. He effortlessly talked to us all, in English and German, translating for everyone, and it felt seamless.

People here think nothing of speaking German, English, French, Spanish, and a host of other languages. Maybe it's normal to the locals, but when you come from a country where one language covers almost 3-million square miles (not including Canada), where only English is spoken (with a spattering of Spanish and other languages here and there), you notice. It makes an impression.

This is how the sky looked this morning. So nice compared to rain!
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This mornings scenery
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So pretty!
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Today I had two goals. One was laundry. You know things are getting bad when you take a whiff of your two clothes bags and rate one as "barf making" and one as "smelly yet tolerable." Yes, making time for laundry tonight, would be a priority.

But, of course, the top priority was to ride a lot of miles. I just felt like it. And as it turns out, it was a perfect day for it.

After yesterday's, on and off, rain, I was surprised to wake up to blue skies and warmth, and I set off in high spirits. I followed the bike route to Chur, which rolled through quite towns and forests. At Chur I picked up the Rhine route, and rode next to the river as it grew wider with every mile, I mean kilometer. It was flat, the riding was easy next to the river.

I took a detour to Liechtenstein, for no particular reason, except that it was another country, I mean principality. After that I doubled back and made my way to the Lakes Route, and rode until I ended up in Murg for the night.

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Some of the route went through a forest.
I don't know what that sign means, but it seems that something important is about to happen in 250 meters!
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Some of the route was a bit gnarly
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...though these guys sure seemed to be having fun!
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In Murg, at a beautiful campground on the Walensee lake, I met two Dutch woman.

"Where is the sink to do laundry?" I asked one of them, of course they spoke near perfect English, the Dutch usually do.

"They don't have sinks for laundry here, but they do have a machine."

Rats,, I thought. Washing machines in Europe are usually expensive, and mostly unnecessary. "How much is it?" I asked her.

"It's free."

I threw every last thing I owned, aside from the clothes I was wearing, in the machine.

The perfect end to a perfect day.

The Rhine Route. WOO-HOOO!
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I saw a lot of these along the Rhine River. It looks like the Swiss were a bit nervous about being invaded by Germany in WWII and were digging in, just in case.
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Lichtenstein! Another country, I mean principality, visited!
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Liechtenstein
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More Liechtenstein
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This bridge connected Switzerland and Liechtenstein at one point
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Inside the bridge. The Trucker is in two countries (I mean one country and one principality) at once!
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More of the Rhine Route. Two tourers up the road.
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This was the scene at my campsite on the lake
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This struck me as odd. Isn't this the sign for radioactivity? Is Liechtenstein radioactive? I better not stay long.
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Lager hell? I drank this beer at the campground. I didn't think it was hell though.As a side note, this picture looks photoshopped for several reasons but it's not. I didn't even crop it. The bottle was just sitting on a table. Strange effects don't you think?
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Today's ride: 126 km (78 miles)
Total: 2,482 km (1,541 miles)

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