Day Twenty – Monday 15 August 2016
Strasbourg to Gambsheim – about 22 kilometres
JP decided we'd hit the road instead of sightseeing in Strasbourg, so off into the unknown we went. Getting out of a city is always more difficult than getting in. After a minor error in our navigation we asked a family of cyclists for some directions, remembering that not all directions we receive are correct. We pedalled along the Route du Petit Rhin and across the bridge.
We started off in the right direction but that wasn't to last very long as we got somewhat confused around the Chateau de Pourtales where we entered a forest. We rode along quite happily until we came to a 'T' junction with no signs of which way to go. For a change, we weren't the only people who were confused by this either. However, the good thing we did see which we'd have otherwise missed was a memorial board dedicated to the crew of a RAF NZ Lancaster Bomber crew who ,presumably had come down in the place during World War II in 1944.
We asked some other folk for directions but they were just as lost as we were.
We stopped a young lady on a bike – usually a good bet – she didn't know either but came up with a reasonable suggestion; turning right. We all cycled off together and we found that our new guide was Laura (27) who was looking for a waterfall nearby.
We soon joined the correct path on top of a flood-dyke and after a short time found the waterfall that Laura was seeking – more like a small weir than a waterfall. JP said he wanted a break and headed for the water, as usual. We could see fish swimming in the clear water. Laura and I chatted about the better opportunities there are nowadays for people to travel compared to when I was a young person of her age. I told her that when I was born both our countries were trying to recover from the devastation caused by World War II and there were no home computers or internet that are standard in almost all homes now.
We got going again, having taken some time to persuade JP to leave the water. Laura accompanied us to the next village where she put us on the right road. She warned us that it was a public holiday in Alsace celebrating Mary, the mother of Jesus and that almost everywhere would be closed so it would be difficult to buy food. JP and I got going and soon got lost, as usual.
We arrived at a railway station as did a group of 'proper' cyclists who were also mystified by the route; the signs not being at all helpful. They consulted their maps and off we went in a not altogether correct direction. We eventually found our way out of the maze and pedalled onwards.
Arriving at Gambsheim, we saw a sign for a campsite and made for it. It was a bit 'touch and go' as to whether or not we would be found a pitch but the kind lady receptionist found a space for us just a few yards from the lake. JP went off to buy us some ice lollies as it was such a hot day and the nearby young lady wearing a skimpy bikini did nothing at all to lower the temperature! JP headed for the lake to cool down, leaving me in the nearby company of the bikini clad young lady. Grace called me just then so I explained the problem with the temperature and she laughed with me at the scenario.
After his first swim, JP returned and I sent him off for more ice lollies. Later we had a meal in the campsite snack bar – various processed meats with salad and bread; and we bought some chips too. We returned to the tent and JP headed back to the water. Can't keep him away from water for very long.