Today was a shorter (rest) day – only did around 60km on a flat road. It was wet but not cold. The bike route is still along the river and sometimes on towpaths along a canal which has been built to the side of the river. These canals were built in 18th to 19th century and are not functional today. However we began to see quite a few houseboats moored along them today.
We spent quite a bit of time in Besancon, both at the tourist info and looking around the city. We also visited 3 bike shops but none of them could sell us a new wheel for Kris’s bike. Kris is resigned to replacing all the spokes, we think it is due to poor quality spokes as the bike mechanics can’t see anything wrong with the wheel (never buy an Avanti! We have friends that had the same problem with Avanti).
We found our accommodation through the tourist info – it is a bed and breakfast at the top of someones house, practically on the cycle path. It is at Beure, just a few km outside of Besancon. He charged us 5E less because we arrive on bicycles. The other guests are French and also on bicycles – we all had coffee together when we arrived and a conversation in a mixture of French, German and English.
- breakfast at the farm B&B- our best so far. All farm or local made products. She had made the best apricot jam I ever tasted. Also wonderful cheese. Coffee served in bowls.
- Reflections of the trees in the canal
- The rain stopping and fresh feeling in the air
- Coming around a bend in the river and seeing the Besancon citadel emerge out of the mist up on a hill (looked like something out of Lord of the Rings)
- riding past citadel fortifications which are UNESCO world heritage site
- bike path going through a tunnel alongside the canal on entering the city (with water dripping on you from above)
- Narrow streets and tall white stone buildings in Besancon centre
A beautiful and easy ride. Mostly flat. Around 80km. In contrast to yesterday the weather was perfect – sunny with no wind, though the air still cool. The Bodensee is an amazing place, it is a huge lake with Alps in the background. On the slopes are vineyards and orchards and a picturesque town every few kms. Most of the towns have a waterfront leisure area with yachts, ferries, cafes, etc Today was a public holiday for Ascension Day so all the locals were out and about enjoying the sun, many of them on bicycles too. We passed three bands playing. At one local celebration we stopped to buy cheesecake from a a street stall run by the community. The atmosphere was festive. We found very spacious and nicely furnished accommodation at the top of a private house in a small town at the very end of the lake at around 3pm.
- Enjoying a beer in a waterfront cafe at the end of the day. Followed by a picnic on a bench on the waterfront eating food bought at a farm stall – including fresh strawberries and a locally made fruit liqueur.
- Kris breaking a spoke mid morning and losing about an hour struggling to balance the wheel after a friendly German cyclist tried to help (and mucked it up).