July 2006


Supplement July 24, 2013
A valuable link which adapt the present. (EuroVelo15)

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The Rhine from the source (Oberalppass) to the delta in Holland. (Katwijk)

From 20 July until 08.August 2006. we cycled along the Rhine. As soon as the river reaches Holland, it gets the name Waal and later Merwede and some other names. It flows through densely populated area, and reaches in "Hoek van Holland" the North Sea. A tributary of the Rhine becomes the "Neder Rijn", at the Dutch-German border, at "Wijk bij Duurstede" Kromme Rijn and at Utrecht Oude Rijn. In Katwijk, the river named "Rijn" flows into the North Sea.

Arrival on the Oberalppass

Lake Toma on 2343 meters

Ascent to the Lai da Tuma

We (my sister and I) start our Rhine journey on 20.July 2006 on the Oberalppass. We walk in two and three-quarter hours to the lake Toma. Clear drinking water from the surrounding mountains flows into the Lake. It is about 150 meters long and 50 meters wide and on a brass board I read 1320 km. to the North Sea. Our bicycle computer showed 1456 Km. as we arrived in Katwijk.

In the Romance language, spoken here, "rhine" means nothing else than "river". There is a rhine Medel, rhine Sumvitg, rhine Maighels and the Valserrhine. After 70 Km., in Reichenau, 2 stately rivers flow together. The one is called Hinterrhein with origin in the Bernardino area, the other Vorderrhein and comes from Lake Toma.

Canton Graubünden decided on Lake Toma as; the source of the Rhine. The travel brochure I have, says so

The source of the Rhine, Lake Toma

Oberalppass - trun 37.5 km.

At 3 p.m. we are back at our bikes and start our bicycle tour to Holland. In Sedrun we stop not only for a coffee break but we go to the information centre to visit the "Alp transit". There is an 800 meter deep shaft where miner dig the longest tunnel ever built. (57 km. underneath the Alps)

After 10 km. we reach the Benedictine monastery St.Martin in Disentis. The origin is from the 8th Century and is considered one of the most beautiful baroque churches in the country Graubünden.

In Trun we put up our tent and, with nearly 30 degrees, a restaurant with garden is the right place for dinner.

Crystal-clear water flows into Lake Toma

Benedictine monastery in Disentis

21. July from Trun to Bad-Ragaz 79.45 km. = total 116.95 km.

From Ilanz to Reichenau there are three possibilities. The first, a very beautiful variant is on the right side of the Rhine via Valendas and Versam. The second, by train through the narrow Rhine gorge. The third possibility is the most strenuous via Laax and Flims with 400 m. uphill. My sister decided for the train, very comfortable and most beautiful with spectacular views. A road doesn't exist through the gorge.

I have never been in Laax or Flims that is why I decided for this variant. I know the gorge by heart from earlier times; Kajak was my first sport.

Just before Chur, Rika, my Sister, waited on a terrace on the main street so that missing here wasn't possible. We both have a mobile phone in case we lose each other.

We follow the way to Bad-Ragaz, the travel book "bikeline" recommend. It is our companion up to the Dutch border, 1:75.000 and very well described in detail.

Three maps 1: 75.000 with very detailed descriptions accompanied us up to the Dutch border.

Ester Bauer Verlag

Part 1. ISBN 978-3-85000-029-1
Part 2. ISBN 978-3-85000-052-9
Part 3. ISBN 978-3-85000-001-7

Other descriptions cycling the Rhine are
here. (in the German language)

22. July von Bad-Ragaz to Arbon 91.87 km. = total. 208.82 km.

From Bad-Ragaz we cycle on a dyke along the Rhine for about 50 Km. On the other side of the river we see the small towns of Lichtenstein such as Balzers, Vaduz and Schaan. At Oberriet we leave the dyke for dinner. 50 km. without cars, on a beautiful tarmac cycle path is an enjoyment for each cyclist.

From St.Margarethen traffic increases. Along the Bodensee via Rohrschach, Horn and Arbon cyclists are well protected by cycle tracks, mostly along the lake

Much peace through the Rhine Valley

From Bad-Ragaz to Oberriet is nearly 50 km on a dyke

A historical bridge connects Switzerland with Liechtenstein, here on the level of Vaduz

23. July from Arbon to Schaffhausen. 83.24 km. = total. 292.06 km.

It is Sunday and nice weather, probably the reason for so many cyclist. Along the Bodensee are many cycle tracks and nearly flat, which makes cycling attractive.

Stein am Rhein is worth a visit. This small town impressed us with many ornamental houses. A well, decorated with a Swiss warrior from the Middle Ages is not missing on the town hall square.

A Bodensee sightseeing tour is a pleasure for every cyclist.

Stein am Rhein

24. July from Schaffhausen to Möhlin 92.41 km. = total. 384.47 km.

We stay on the right side of the Rhine for a few Kilometer to the waterfall of Neuhausen. It is an impressive sight, although the Rhine has not much water this year.

We change the border often. Via Jestetten and Lotstetten we enter Swiss territory again at Rafz but only for 10 Km. The border is very confusing here.

In Waltshut with its beautiful market place it's time for a break and lunch. Over Albbuck we come to Laufenburg. These small towns on the Rhine are so beautiful that we wish to stay for a while. We make a short stroll through the city and a break on a terrace with view on the river.

Säckingen, also a pretty small town with Fridolins cathedral on the market place and the old timber bridge; probably the most remarkable sights. Over the historical timber bridge we come to the Swiss side and cycle to Möhlin.

Waterfall at Neuhausen. The Rhine falls 20 meters down


Historical bridge in Bad-Säckingen

Laufenburg German side, down Swiss side

25.July from Möhlin to Obersaasheim (Elsass) 85.45 km. = total 469.92 km

After Möhlin the way leads past two old towers to obtain salt, the same as in Zurzach.

The way through the city Basel to Huningue (Elsace) isn't difficult to find, we both have lived a few years in Basel. We cycle along the Canal de Huningue, that flows after 15 Km .into " Canal du Rhone au Rhin " which is in connection with the Grand Canal D `Alsace.

The tarmac cycle path leads across many kilometers through the Harth forest. We rarely meet cyclist, the small villages (which endings are nearly always with "heim") look abandoned, neither shops nor restaurants. Restaurants are open only at dinner and lunch times. Sometimes we see a "super Marsché" the selection in those Malls is overwhelming, with the finest specialities.

In Obersaasheim (before Neuf Brisach) we were the only ones except the owner of the campground. At the entrance is a stand with a large selection of Pizzas and other fast food. The campground owner invites us to take a place at the table. After pizza with beer, coffee with dessert is served. Not bad considering the next Restaurant is 7 Km away.

Traces of the football world championship

Tower to gain salt at Möhlin

Sluice gate at "Canal de Huningue"

Rhine-Rohne channel, (in the background Grand Canal D `Alsace)

26. July von Obersaasheim to Kehl (level of Strasbourg) 89.00 = total. 558.92 Km

6 days cloudless weather and temperatures between 27 and 35 degrees. For the first time this morning no sun, however, pleasant 24 degrees. In the afternoon the sun comes out again.

Via Canal de Neuf Brisach (connection between Rhine Rhone channel and the Rhine) we arrive at Marckolsheim. Somewhat outside we see a "Super Marché". In front of the shopping center we meet two cyclist with bikes (also brother and sister) from Amsterdam. They cycle in the opposite direction. There are many stories to exchange.

30 km. dead-straight along the Rhine-Rohne channel to Strasbourg. Then the way leads over the European bridge to the other side of the Rhine. On both sides are many gravel-pits whereby small seas arise. Very clear water, inviting, for a swim. We put up our tent on the campground in Kehl.

Canal Rhone au Rhine on the level of Strasbourg, a 30 km. dead-straight distance

Small port at the channel

One of the many gravel lakes

One hase to operate the sluice by one self

European bridge. Connection Strasbourg - Kehl

27. Juli von Kehl to Lauterbourg 85.69 km. = total. 644.61 km.

At the campground we encounter the 4 cyclist we met in Switzerland. They had decided to cycle on the German side of the Rhine and came into a heavy thunderstorm. They waited two hours at a station. When rain the didn't stop, they took the train. On the French side we have seen dark clouds, to the east, but luckily no rain. We say good-bye with the remark "no further cheating".

In Kehl we cross the footbridge to Strasbourg and look for the cycle track going north. We cycle through villages such as Gamsheim. Herrlisheim, Drüsenheim, Sessenheim and some other villages with "heim" at the end. For a change we like to cycle through these beautiful Elssace villages, particularly because there is no traffic on the streets.

Last stop for today is Lauterbourg; the campground is at a gravel lake.

Today is washing day.

Campground in Lauterbourg at a gravel lake


Wild endive (cichorium intibus) accompany us to Holland

28. July von Lauterburg to Speyer. 73.24 km. = total. 717.85 km

Today we leave France definitely. We follow the cycle path, past Karlsruhe to the port of Wörth, and are astonished how many containers there are, which say how important freight traffic is for the Rhine.

We continue our way through pastureland with many forest and lakes, and arrive early at Speyer, enough time to visit the "Keiserdom " and to make a city-stroll. The cathedral is described, "art-historically" as the largest Roman church of the world (construction period 1030 - 1124). The renovation and maintenance cost DAILY 6300 Euro, An unbelievable sum.

At the pastureland north of Speyer I count 11 campgrounds on our leader "bikeline". I think we are in a popular recreation area.

National port in Wörth shows the importance for freight traffic on the Rhine

Half timbered houses in Speyer

"Keiserdom" in Speyer

Marks for the pilgrim route to Santiago

29. Juli from Speyer to Lampertheim (Worms) 61.91 km. = total. 779.76 km

For the first time last night we had rain. I didn't notice however the tent was wet. After a few hours the clouds disappear and we find a good place to dry everything.

We cycle on excellent cycle tracks, either on or beside the dyke. Into Ludwigshafen the path comes across an enormous industrial estate from the company BASF. Luckily it is Saturday and we get through without difficulty.

In Worms we cross over the "Nibelungen" bridge to get to Lampertsheim, our destination for today

Keiserdom in Worms

Nibelungen bridge

Oldest brewerey

30. Juli von Lampertheim to Oppenheim 46.81 km. = total. 826.57 km

We spent Sunday morning in Worms for a city-stroll on our bikes, have coffee and cake in the centre of the city and around 11.00h we get into the cathedral,

In the afternoon we cycle further via Hamm to Oppenheim. The campground is accessible only for continuous guests. But next on the bath area we can set up our tent without permission. Fortunately there is a restaurant on the area which is open until 10 p.m.

You can do it that way.

Break on the Rhine bank.

Get all your belongings?

31. Juli from Oppenheim to Wiesbaden 39.23 km. = total. 865.80 km.

It is luck to get to a baker's shop with restaurant in the early morning. You can choos your breakfast yourself. I like the large coffee cups we get at breakfast in France and here in Germany too.

Nierstein, Nackenheim and Mainz were the next stopover. Over the "Teodor Heuss" bridge we come into Kastel to the right Rhine bank. Via Amöneburg we cycle to the station in Wiesbaden.

I call our sister Joke who has lived here for many years. She explains which way is the best to get to the "Sonnenberg", her home. With a map of the city, which is available at the tourist information, it's child's play. It's very steep to get to the Sonnenberg, and the first thing we have to do is take a shower.

Left along the canal is

the tarmac cycle path

Many opportunities for a swim

A crane of old times.

01 August from Wiesbaden to Bingen 43.60 km. = total. 909.40 km

In the early morning we go into the city Wiesbaden. There is much to see, "Kurhaus (health resort), "Kochbrunnen" a well with hot water to drink, the famous "Wilhelmstrasse" with many expensive shops and a very beautiful park.

In the afternoon we get ready to continue our tour. We cycle down into the city, along the station and towards the bridge in Schierstein to get to the left side of the Rhine. In the evening it looks like rain but the sun comes out again and up in the sky is a double rainbow.

The landscape change, the Rhine wind itself through the mountains on both side of the Rhine.




02. August from Bingen to Koblenz 73.75 km. = total 983.15 km.

This part, Bingen to Koblenz is certainly one of the most beautiful sections of our route. We see many castles, very beautiful villages like Bacharach with castle "Stahleck", the Loreley right side of the Rhine, St.Goar with castle "Rheinfels, Boppard with castle "Stolzenfels". The overnight accommodation is in the youth hostel of Koblenz. It is on the fortress "Ehrenbreitstein", opposite of the "Deutsches Eck".

A double rainbow

Click to read

Grape vines in red earth.

Fortress "Ehrenbreitstein". Build for 170 years, on Roman foundation.The youth hostel is in the wing right down

Schloss Stolzenfels


The Loreley

To read, please click into the picture. Photo right is taken from the fortress "Ehrenbreitstein"

03. August from Koblenz to Bonn 76.89 km. = total. 1060.04 km.

Our journey began two weeks ago today, with the source of the Rhine in Switzerland, and we've cycled 1000 Km. We escaped rain, except one night in Lampertheim. That isn't a bad result up to now.

From the German youth hostel in Koblenz we have to go over the "Pfaffendorfer" bridge to the left side. Then another bridge, in the same city, over the Mosel and we are again on the cycle path along the Rhine. We come through well-known villages such as, Remagen and Bad-Godesberg into the former Federal Capital Bonn.

The tourist information show us the way to the youth hostel. It is on the top of one of the last hills along the Rhine.

Bridges in all variations

We see many groups of cyclists

Active traffic on the Rhine

04. August from Bonn to Uedesheim 75.67 km. = total. 1135.71 km.

It is only 34 kilometers from Bonn to Cologne, always on cycle tracks along the Rhine. Even through the large city Cologne we remain at the Rhine bank.

In front of the cathedral of Cologne is a copy of the statue of David from Florence. Its body is Pink and its hair gold-coloured. (on his head and further down) I can't imagine why it is there, but I regard it as a joke!

The weather is too uncertain for camping, we prefer the youth hostel in Uedesheim.

Blackberries are ripe

David before of the cathedral of Cologne.

The speed and energy consumption of container ships; down to the valley, average speed is 20 km / h, We cycled abount the same speed. Up the river; 10 km / h. Fuel consumption; for 800 km from Basel to Rotterdam 3 liters of diesel per 1000 kg weight. River up, 7 litre. With the equivalent amount of energy the rail manages half as much. With a truck a fifth.

05. August from Uedesheim to Xanten (Xantener North Sea) 101.59 km. = total. 1237.30 km

I let my cycle computer drop on the stairs. It didn't survive. I have to buy a new one. We cycle into the city Duesseldorf. After adjuststing the new one we continue via the Oberkasseler bridge to the left Rhine bank.

In the small, however beautiful, Orsoy a break was due. In the evening we were in Xanten with its medieval town centre and Romance-gothic St. Victor cathedral. The youth hostel was occupied so we cycled to the campground at the Xanter North Sea.

Picnic area in Orsoy.

Statue of St.Nickolas

Click to read.

06. August from Xanten to Arnhem 65.57 km. = total. 1302.87 km

We follow the cycle track to Kalkar. On the market place with view of the beautiful gothic city hall we have breakfast. The market place, on this Sunday morning is nearly empty. The large lime tree (court lime tree, allegedly of the Jahr1545) shows its fullest advantage.

Between Kalkar and Kleve is the castle Moyland, which is worth seeing. In Kleve, it was time for a coffee break. Opposite the restaurant a jolly good plastic shows a swan who tries to pull a man into the water. The cycle track leads past the "Schwanenburg" (swan castle). "A legend tells; a strange white-swan-carriage came along. In its center a knight with name "Lohengrin" on it. Well-known from the opera "Lohengrin" from Richard Wagner.

In Keeken we leave Germany and begin in Millingen a.d.Rijn with the Dutch section of our Rhine journey. There are more cyclists wanting to cross the river then the ferry can load. We leave the broad river Rhine in Millingen which name changes to Waal and follow the tributary "Neder Rijn" as itinerary to Arnhem.

On this path we meet a couple who cycle in the opposite direction. It turned out that they come from Noordwijk, where we both grew up. The woman has been in the same school grade as our youngest sister. So small the world can be.

Kalkar on a Sunday Morning.

Swan city Kleve.

Castle Moyland

Queue to the ferry on Sunday

Keeken last village in Germany

07. August from Arnhem to Utrecht 82.15 km. = total. 1385.02 km.

We follow the Neder Rijn until Wijk bij Duurstede, which name change to "Lek" and follow the next tributary called "Kromme Rijn" to Utrecht. At the station we buy train tickets for the return journey in 7 days from Amsterdam to Zürich.


Wijk bij Duurstede

Kromme Rijn, the Rhine is much smaller but for many people a place to live on.

Wrong parking space, it could have been a disaster.

The whole street goes up.

Beginning of the "Kromme Rijn"

08. August from Utrecht to Katwijk aan zee 71.45 km. = total. 1456.47 km.

From Utrecht we could not miss the way to Katwijk. We have to follow the "Oude Rijn" and from the city "Leiden" on (burthplace of the painter Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Steen) it is for us a well-known area.

Oude Rijn

For leisure and goods traffic.

Last Ferry

In Katwijk aan zee the "Oude Rijn" flows into the North Sea

Thistle in the dune

Depot for bikes at the station in Leiden

Those bikes are very popular in Holland

In Noordwijk, our place of birth, we stay for another holiday week (it is 5 km to the north of Katwijk). To the central Station in Amsterdam (45 km.) we have rain for the first time on our journey during the day. It's pouring down and it looks like the rain will make up for the three weeks without.

Over the motorway the airplanes of Schiphol roll to the runway. It looks a little strange to see such a big machine over the motorway

The departure is at 8 p.m. (sleeper berth) in Amsterdam and the next morning alert in Switzerland at 8. a.m. We're back home