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Riding the Rhine without a map | Day 6 – Strasbourg to Karlsruhe

Monday, August 6, 2012

Main square in Karlsruhe_7827164338_oAt last a relatively easy day.

I set off after lunch, preferring to make up my own route rather than following the designated Eurovelo 15 and headed over the Rhine to Kehl in Germany.

What I saw of Kehl was purely industrial, but I soon picked up a cycle route right alongside the Rhine, and started racing with a cargo barge a few hundred metres ahead. It took me over an hour to catch up and overtake, after which I headed ‘inland’ to a nearby town for my ice-cream stop.

The ice-cream stop is now a sacrosanct part of every day, and it was the main reason I decided to travel on the German side – everywhere in rural France is shut as I found out yesterday.

I’d been riding for over 2 hours and had already covered 50km for the distance to Karlsruhe. The final 30km was entirely ‘inland’ as I tracked (but manged to stay off) the highway headed north.

Karlsruhe is one of those places I instantly liked, it’s quite a big city (hard to tell when cycling around, but maybe the same size as Sheffield?) and has lots of bars and cafes. It just seemed to have a good atmosphere.

I finished the day with a grosse bier and schnitzel on one of the main squares before getting an early night ready to put in some more km’s tomorrow.


Distance, 80km

Time, 5hrs (4hrs 30mins ride time)

Total distance so far, 767kms


I needed an easy day and the hotel in Karlsruhe was one of the nicest of the trip.

Just €80 for a huge room in the 4-star Novotel and I spent the evening eating huge chicken schnitzels and large beers before getting a great nights sleep.

Continue reading …




Setting off for Switzerland

I think the first bit might be a bit hilly

Day 1 – Andermatt to Chur

Day 2 – Chur to Rorschach and lunching in Lichtenstein

Day 3 – Rorschach to Shaffhausen and the need for professional help

Day 4 – Schaffausen to Basel and the end of the Swiss section

Day 5 – Strasbourg or burst?

Day 6 – Strasbourg to Karlsruhe

Day 7 – Karlsruhe to Goddelau and more getting lost

Day 8 – Goddelau to Koblenz on a spoke and a prayer

Day 9 – Koblenz to Cologne, the day I hit the wall

Day 10 – moving North from Cologne

Day 11 – Nijmegen to Gorinchem, clogging it along the dijks

Day 12-13 Gronichem to Hoek van Holland and the end of the Rhine


Kit List




  1. Hi Mark

    I came across your blog as I’ve been planning a cycle trip along the Rhine and then along the Danube. Somewhere they will connect, I guess, or I can make a connecting ride.

    I’m doing it from Hook of Holland south down the Rhine. I see you did the traditional going north route. Any disadvantages to going south, that you know of ? Other than that all the guide books assume you are going south ! Things like prevailing winds etc.

    Next, how did you plan your night stops, meaning getting hotels, zimmer etc. Did you book ahead or did you find that you could find somewhere wherever you ended up ? I’ll be going in August, so maybe that will be a busy time and will need some planning. And, what’s best and most economical – small hotels, b & b, zimmer, whatever ! Years ago I would camp without a thought, but as I’ve got older and more affluent I like to indulge myself at the end of the day !

    Any other gems of wisdom you have will be appreciated, and I will take time to read your blog and your experiences cycling the Rhine in 2013.

    I’ll make a little donation to your latest trip.

    Thanks and all best,


    • Mark Mark

      Hi Chris,

      I don’t think there would be any major disadvantages going south, other than it being (ever so slightly) uphill. There was very little wind when I did it, and only on a couple of occasions was it was against me.

      I tend to be fairly flexible on accommodation (so I can vary the route), so this either means turning up and finding somewhere (occasionally this might be a problem) or (perhaps better) deciding where I am going to stop half way through the day, and using a service like to make a booking for that evening. I prefer stopping in big cities where this is less of a problem, but you’ll be passing through some quite rural areas where it might be.

      If you have a particularly tight timescale then it might be worth planning and booking ahead – it’s also worth remembering that many facilities (shops, restaurants) in France close for a few weeks in the summer when thinking about your route. A decent smartphone is a good idea for booking hotels, maps, local info, blogging etc.

      Its a beautiful route, and if you are doing it in the summer the weather (south of Holland) should be pretty reliable too. Hope you have a great time, and I will follow your trip if you decide to do a blog!



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