Day 55: Augst Switzerland to Waldshut, Germany: It's Schnitzel Time! - Grampies on the Go - Again! - CycleBlaze

July 13, 2012

Day 55: Augst Switzerland to Waldshut, Germany: It's Schnitzel Time!

If we would ignore the gaggle of camper vans behind us and just look to the Rhine, our campsite was really great.

Our campsite by the Rhine
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The Rhine was calm this morning
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We sat at covered tables by the snack bar and cooked our oatmeal. The laid back owner was fine with this, and we also paid for yesterday's camping, something he was not hung up about either. We also bought eight croissants and buns, for a total eight Euros. We noticed another family with a basket of those little jams so commonly offered with toast in North America, and we picked two for use with our buns.

The basket got returned to the counter where the buns were on offer. After a while I went to get two more little packages. However by this time our laid back Swiss host had been replaced behind the counter by his wife.

Hey, she said, there is a cost for those! Surprised, I said OK, I'll put them back, but we did buy eight buns.

A little later she asked where we were from and on hearing the answer volunteered that she was from Pennsylvania. Dodie saw the wheels turning in my brain and said (to me) "Just drop it". No chance. I said to the (American) owner "Ah, you come from the land where they understand that butter and jam comes with free with the bread". "No", was the reply "You pay for it one way or another".

At about $1.30 for a little bun, I figured I had payed for it. But what the hell, I then did let it drop. I think actually the problem was not ugly American me or capitalist American her, but the fact that she and her husband were not clear with each other on how they were handling this momentous issue of the jam pots. Anyway, it did bug me enough that now it has made it to the Internet!

We crossed back to Germany over the run of river dam, which had a number of displays about the river and it natural environment. We could only understand this one:

A display of all the fish in the river.
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We knew were in Germany because we encountered these dogs:

A daschund, proof that we are in Germany
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Proof we are in Germany
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As we began to cross the countryside we tried to get a grip on what the buildings, people, stores, and land are typically like here.

Colourful lettuce
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A cigarette vending machine
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The choice of brands
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Our first bakery in Germany
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The breads look pretty good...
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.. but our test pastry was very low quality. We later saw that this is a chain bakery. Hmmpph.
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We noted a very little truck go by, and thought it looked very European. Later (returning from being lost and circling a bit) we encountered the truck being jacked up. The front wheel brake was dragging and causing a lot of heating. We found the owner spoke English, being a Berkeley trained chemist, and learned that this electric truck was not typically European. In fact only a few hundred had been made and production had been discontinued. The significance of this account, though, is that we found someone to discuss dragging brakes with in a country where we do not speak the language.

The little electric truck
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We spotted a Lidl store, famous with us from other Crazyguy blogs, and stopped in toe check out the Internet offering. We bought a USB stick for 40 euros an 15 euros of time of some type. The people in the store did not know what the deal is, and all the materials are in German. Soon I will see if I can activate the stick online and get going with it. If not, Marius, stand by for some urgent questions!

Once in the LIdl, we had a quick look around:

Bakery in Lidl - not tested yet
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Eggs, as in France, stored on an ordinary shelf. How about that, Canadian paranoid food inspectors!
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Veggies are never that great in Lidl
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Ritter Sport chocolate. About 1/3 the Canadian price
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Finding our way back to the marked bikeway, we carried on up the Rhine.

The path ranged from paved among the open crops to this intriguing section
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One example of pretty dense new construction
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Ten year old Theo and his dad Stephan cycled from France. It was fun having someone we could speak to (in French). Actually, about 1/2 of the people we addresed here in Germany could answer in English.
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More snazzy buildings with solar panels. This sure is different from the ancient stone villages of the Loire!
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More neat and tidy new looking communities
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We were starting to get the idea that all these neat new looking communities were representative of this area, and of course they are. But this is also the Black Forest (southern bit) and heading into Bavaria. These areas do have an older, unique, special appearance. We rolled straight into it when we came to Sackingen:

A postcard of Sackingen
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The church in Bad Sackingen
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A detail of the painted decoration
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Central square with painted houses
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More Bad Sackingen
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Triplets!
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Leaving Sackingen we headed towards Laufenburg. Laufenburg really showed us what a special place we are in.

all kinds of great bike signage!
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For Arthur - the second run of river power station we found.
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Approaching Laufenburg
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Laufenburg
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The cobbles are laid in an interlocking type pattern
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In Laufenburg
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Laufenburg
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Laufenburg
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Naturally, it's a bit of a tourist attraction, though we did not actually see any live tourists.
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Chinese restaurant in Laufenburg
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By now, spitting rain had become drenching rain, and we were in our full rain gear. Because we had somehow started late, we were still sort of nowhere, but just kept on:

This cow has an innovative scratching brush
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This is the southern tip of the Black Forest
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Near Luittingen - more clean and tidy new looking communities
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Lots of solar installations
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So many flowers around the houses!
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So tidy are these towns!
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At Waldshut we encountered that unpleasant combo: hills, heavy traffic, rain, oncoming evening, and not knowing where to spend the night. We asked directions a few times, qnd people tried to help but were vague themselves on where either camping of guest house might be, and where the bikeway might be. Those that did not speak English also tried, and somehow we understood each other for them to help as far as their knowledge went.

We go lost in Waldshut. This man got out of his car to give directions. Then he got down and drew some maps on the ground. What kind people!
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We finally descended the Rhine, intending to scope out a wild camp near the water. However we quickly came to Rhein-Camping Waldshut. For 16 Euros this has real washrooms (like with motion sensor flushing), sauna, indoor table, chairs, and power, refrigerator, etc. and a real restaurant:

At the campsite a vending machine for bike inner tubes. No 20" choices, though.
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The campsite has a full blown restaurant. Here is one of our schnitzels and mineral water!
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Apple strudel with great coffee. The 90 days limit for staying in Europe is gonna hurt. In fact, we could easily stay just by this restaurant!
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Today's ride: 65 km (40 miles)
Total: 2,452 km (1,523 miles)

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