Rhine Cycle Route – Day 8 – Waldshut to Bad Säckingen

With day dawning, we loaded our bikes and got off to an earlier start than usual. The early departure wasn’t because we were feeling any more sprightly than other days; it was because this hotel was the first we’d ended up in that didn’t serve breakfast. No matter. We found a convenience store in minutes and fueled ourselves.

Leaving Waldshut, the route followed the bank of the river for a short distance before crossing half of the Rhine onto a reservoir built on an island in the center of the Rhine’s flow. With a nuclear power plant visible on the Swiss side of the Rhine, I wondered if the reservoir was actually for the power plant’s boilers and not for the locals to drink.

The Rhine river with the cooling tower of a nuclear power plant visible in the distance.
A nuclear power plant outside the town of Leibstadt, Switzerland as photographed from just outside Dogern, Germany. This was the first of several that we would see on our journey.

With the trail still flat, we crossed another bridge back onto the German side of the Rhine and continued riding. Passing several small towns and riding through some small farm areas, the town of Laufenburg soon burst into view. Half German and half Swiss, Laufenburg became our first real stop of the day having ridden basically continuously since we set out from Waldshut.

The town of Laufenburg in Germany and Switzerland viewed from a distance with the Rhine river in the foreground. Cloudy skies above.
Laufenburg from a distance. Spanning the Rhine, half of this town is in Switzerland and the other half is in Germany. Full of colourful buildings and bakeries, it’s a perfect place to stop for a break. Laufenburg, Germany – May 11, 2104.

As it turned out, stopping in Laufenburg was an excellent decision. Not only was it incredibly picturesque (as so many towns on the Rhine are), it also turned out to be a great town to explore.

Crossing onto the Swiss side of Laufenburg, we stopped to take some pictures from the bridge and then began exploring the streets on the Swiss side as they slowly rise up a hill.

A row of colourful buildings at the edge of the Rhine river photographed from a bridge.
The colourful buildings on the Swiss side of Laufenburg as photographed from the bridge over the Rhine. Laufenburg, Switzerland – May 11, 2014.

Riding through Laufenburg, we caught the scent of a bakery and chased the smell through town to locate its source. Having ridden for over an hour, we pulled up for an early lunch at a local cafe and had some of the local pastries, cautiously eyeing the sky as we ate.

The clouds had been steadily filling in since we set off, but there hadn’t been any rain….yet. It made for perfect riding temperature, but with the threat of rain looming, we decided to push on, rather than linger and get soaked. Weather on the Rhine always seemed to be highly regional, so even on a bike, it seemed we were able to skirt around bad weather on occasion if we hastened or retarded our pace.

Crossing back to the German side of the Rhine, the route climb slightly and then descended back to the side of the river, passing through the town of Murg and then on through some farmland. The route was easy and generally flat. Paired with excellent signposting and the cooler temperature, we were making excellent time.

Pushing into the outskirts of Bad Säckingen, the long covered bridge between Bad Säckingen, Germany and Stein, Switzerland came into view.

A very long covered bridge spanning the Rhine river with a town in the background.
Holzbrücke Bad Säckingen photographed from a distance. Used only for pedestrians (and cyclists) this bridge is the longest roofed bridge in Europe and connects the towns of Bad Säckingen, Germany and Stein, Switzerland.

Minutes more and we were in the central town square, the skies above still trying to close in on us.

An attractive town square with tables set out for the local cafes. Colourful buildings are visible in the background.
The central town square in Bad Säckingen, Germany. As it was a cloudy day the streets weren’t as busy as they likely would be at other times. Had we lingered, this would’ve been an excellent place to stop for some lunch.

Bad Säckingen had a very charming town square and the St. Fridolins cathedral provided a great opportunity to take some pictures. Furthermore it would’ve made a great place to have some lunch as there were many cafes and shoppes. Given that it was Sunday though, many of them were closed. Next time.

Beyond the town square, the route crossed back into Switzerland through the long covered bridge. As it is fully covered, and only had small windows, we rode slowly through the bridge so as not to have a collision with the pedestrians within and take the time to admire the timbers within.

Emerging on the other side, we rode into Stein and located the train station. Here we boarded a train headed into the Swiss interior to visit some friends who lived in the area, planning to return the next day to Stein and finish riding the remainder of Switzerland into Basel.

It had been a short day, but full of highlights nonetheless.

Day’s Stats

Distance ridden: 33.47 km
Max speed: 47.8 km/h
Average speed: 15.2 km/h
Seat time: 2:11
Total distance: 528 km

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *