Eastern France Masquerades as Hades: 1 – 3 July 2015: Montbéliard – Baumes Les Dames – Fraisans – Dijon

Wednesday 1 July 2015: Montbéliard to Baumes Les Dames  My Warm Showers host feeds me a fantastic French breakfast featuring rich, beautiful, unhomogenised milk they buy from a local farmer several times a week. Elisabeth then rides with me to the edge of Montbéliard and sees me off with a cheery au revoir.  The heat quickly rises to the …

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, …

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 …

The Ligurian Coast – Hot, Hilly, Beautiful (Day 14 – 7 June)

The Ligurian Coast – Hot, Hilly, Beautiful (Day 14 – 7 June)

Wednesday 10 June: I catch up, then I fall behind, I catch up, then I fall behind. I’m struggling to find the right balance of riding, seeing the places I’m visiting, writing about them/organising my photographs of them and sharing stuff. I’m here to ride and to see but the writing consolidates the experience and if …

Genoa: No expectations, thoroughly delighted (5th – 6th June, Days 11 – 12)

“The Most Serene Republic of Genoa ruled the Mediterranean waves during the 12th to the 13th centuries, before deferring to the superior power of Piedmont. Its crusading noblemen once established colonies in the Middle East and North Africa, and its emblematic flag, the red cross of St George, was greedily hijacked by the English.” Lonely …

On Italian Roads: from Pavia to Tortona to Genova (4/5 June – Days 11 &  12)

On Italian Roads: from Pavia to Tortona to Genova (4/5 June – Days 11 &  12)

4 June – Pavia to Tortona I didn’t pedal away until 11:00 – so much for an early start. It was easily 40* on the road today making the 51 kilometres, well, hot. I left Pavia by riding over the covered bridge – which was cool – then I was back into the outer suburbs …