Another hazy start of the day. While it already begins to brighten up in Haguenau, our directions sadly lead us into thicker fog. We fuel up and then ride east via Gambsheim towards the Rhine that marks the border between France and Germany in this area.
From there we carry on to and straight through Strasbourg with a short stop at the city center.
We continue back to the Rhine which the French very definitely do not romanticise: There are mainly industrial estates and harbour installations, most of the time the view is occluded by bank slopes. Alley cats line the street, in short, the scenery is not the most scenic ever.
Somewhat disenchanted, we leave the route along the river and take a westerly alternative to the south. We start to feel a little peckish so we are on the lookout for a restaurant.
It’s Sunday, but we are still surprised that this seems to equal closed restaurants in all the little villages that we pass. Even “Ouvert” does not mean open: It says so on the stand-up display outside of a very promising looking location, but all doors are locked in the inner courtyard – too bad.
Eventually we find a place that is in fact open. They only offer pretzels and cola – well, that stills the hunger and we intent to eat out tonight in Colmar, anyway.
We reach Colmar in the afternoon and we are keen not to repeat yesterday’s debacle concerning overnight stay. So we decide on a new, completely different debacle: Using the satnav again to find POI – Rooms, we discover an IBIS hotel in the list of suggestions – wasn’t that a synonym to cheap hotel? So there we go – but of course there are no vacancies, a gigantic group of asin tourists just invaded this place. The receptionist kindly offers us to check with the IBIS Style hotel which is close by, and yes, they still have vacancies for a whopping 140,00 Euro per double room. We say thanks, but no thanks.
So another look at the POI – Rooms – didn’t we just pass a Mercure hotel? Weren’t they kind of cheap, too? OK, the satnav shows us the way, it is just around a few corners, and behold, they have vacancies, too: 126,00 Euro for a double room. We look at each other quizzically. On one hand this is laughingly far above our budget, on the other hand we really need something nice after yesterday’s unpleasantness. So we agree – and the room really is topnotch, great bed, the shower is fantastic. The next morning we discover that breakfast and the underground garage are charged on top, of course, so that the total for our stay is the trifling sum of 176,00 Euro. Ouch! But we sleep superbly that night…
But before that we go eating out in Colmar, which is very picturesque.
The restaurant we choose offers surprisingly good food for reasonable prices, and additionally one very special person: At first glance a waiter, but when observed a bit closer it transpires that this man isn’t waiting tables but rather approaches hesitant people strolling by in their search for dinner and escorts them to a table. He does that fascinatingly well, not at all clumsy or pushy, always waiting for exactly the right moment to approach and with an amazingly high success rate, too – a true expert in his field. I am sure there is a name for his profession, but I don’t know what it is.
|Daily leg:||100 miles|
|Accommodation:||Mercure Colmar Zentrum Unterlinden, 176,00 Euro double room with breakfast and underground garage.|
|Accommodation for the bikes:||Underground garage, very expensive.|