Hot Days on the Riverside: From Flaach to Basel to Montbéliard

Sunday 28 June 2015: Flaasch to Basel My heart is thumping GOOD MORNING as I climb out of Flaach to the clamber and clang of church bells. It’s 9:45 am and sweat rivulets down my face and back. I pass fields of corn, wheat, beetroot, sunflowers, capsicum, cows and sheep. Kirchen, a sign on the side …

The Rhine Delta and Konstanz to Flaach- 26th & 27th June 2015 (Days 33 &34)

The Rhine Delta and Konstanz to Flaach- 26th & 27th June 2015 (Days 33 &34)

Friday 26 June 2015: The Rhine Delta to Konstanz The day is stunning and summery as I ride along the Rhine Delta toward Lake Constance (or the Bodensee as it’s called locally). I turn onto a small road marked by a sign promising Erdbeere and soon find myself resting on a bench, a diminishing punnet …

The Rhine and Lake Constance … I’ve heard of those – 25 June (Day 32)

The Rhine and Lake Constance … I’ve heard of those – 25 June (Day 32)

Aldi is called Hoffer in Austria and before leaving Bludenz I get an Austrian SIM card here for less that EUR 2. Sarah and Tobi had helped me research my options – to keep using my Italian SIM is too pricey – and the Hoffer card looks a good deal. Now if I can just make …

I’ve Ridden Over an Alpine Pass – Now what? Indecision in Austria (Day 30 – 23 June)

I’ve Ridden Over an Alpine Pass – Now what? Indecision in Austria (Day 30 – 23 June)

My first morning in Austria hasn’t begun well. It’s rained overnight and I wake to find a fairly significant puddle between the floor of my tent and the footprint (groundcloth) and some water has gotten into the tent as well. I think it’s a combination of a poorly chosen site and signs that this tent …

Visiting the Missing – The Merano Jewish Museum & Synagogue (Day 25 – 18 June 2015)

Visiting the Missing – The Merano Jewish Museum & Synagogue (Day 25 – 18 June 2015)

Thursday 18 June My tourist map shows a Jewish Museum. One of my goals for this trip is to explore my Jewishness and look our European history more squarely in the eye than I have been previously keen to. I haven’t done anything about that yet – if there were museums or old synagogues in Milan, …

On the Divide: The Cities of Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol (Bolzano/Bozen & Merano/Meran)

On the Divide: The Cities of Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol (Bolzano/Bozen & Merano/Meran)

Days 22 – 24  (15 – 17 June 2015) Monday 15 June – From Rovereto to Bolzano I wake to the sound of the nearby church bells striking seven and pedal away at 8:15 only to stop at the first café I see. I take my cappuccino and Germanic pastry (apples, nuts, some sort of cheese) …

Along the Adige River Toward Old Austria (Days 20 & 21 – 13 & 14 June 2015)

Along the Adige River Toward Old Austria (Days 20 & 21 – 13 & 14 June 2015)

Saturday 13 June – Firenze to Verona I could take the train from Firenze to Verona with changes in Prato and Bologna, but manoeuvring the bicycle and the bags on and off trains and through stations is a pain best avoided when possible. I haven’t ridden in days. I’m keen to get back on the …

The Warm Embrace of Friendship Renewed – Firenze (Days 17 – 19; 10 – 12 June)

The Warm Embrace of Friendship Renewed – Firenze (Days 17 – 19; 10 – 12 June)

10 June 2015 – Wednesday It rains while I am on the train to Florence. A pelting rain slanting into the Tuscan landscape of green hills, fields of crops and towns whose names escape me. The station in Florence, Santa Maria Novella, is a huge building from the fascist era – modern and art deco-ish. The main …

Into the Mass Tourism Beast I Go – Cinque Terre and Pisa (Days 15 & 16 – 8 & 9 June)

Into the Mass Tourism Beast I Go – Cinque Terre and Pisa (Days 15 & 16 – 8 & 9 June)

Travelling solo, and not being inclined to wear obviously branded clothing, I think people are a little confused by me. It’s a thing I notice on the train to Cinque Terre. The few words I speak to the conductor are in Italian. The many English-speaking travellers around me don’t know if I can understand them …