Following the Grapes


The wine route is proving to be very easy and excellent scenery. I came across a Lidl supermarket in the middle of nowhere. I stocked up on provisions I bought a ham and cheese sandwich which was extremely dry, a tin of casserole for my tea and some cereal bars, which I could have for breakfast with my coffee. I headed in the direction of Colmar which was a bit off my route but had amazing cycle paths. The majority of these cycle paths where on a meridian running along the main roads protected by trees. I found the road to Wettolsheim and got back on the Eurovelo 5 heading towards Equisheim, which turned out to be a tourist hotspot, there was a huge coach park full of vehicles and tourists were falling out of every building. All I could hear were American people chatting about how unusual the town was, Equisheim could easily have been one of the Epcot World Showcase attractions and most likely called Mediaeval Europe. I didn’t see any lederhosen but I would bet there was someone wearing it serving ice cream.


I cycle through Equisheim the wrong way on a cobbled street dodging tourists and saw the three châteaux high on a hill and ended up singing Rod Stewart songs in a vineyard to my GoPro, this video may or may not appear on YouTube. I pushed the bike up a very long steep hill heading to Husseren Les Chateau, I even stopped half way to eat my sandwich I had purchased earlier. When sat on the picnic bench you couldn’t see the spectacular views of miles and miles of vineyards, the mountain range, forests and the châteaux, just a bush on one side and a bin on the other. So I stood next to a tree at the entrance to the picnic site.

I continued to push uphill stopping occasionally to take photos of the vineyard, church and château’s, I also checked my map to discover that the wine route and the Eurovelo 5 go in different directions, the wine route went over the mountains, the Eurovelo 5 went around the mountains. I was on the wine route, not wanting to do a Hannibal I crossed over the road and free wheeled all the way back down, the views were worth the effort.


I got back on the Eurovelo 5 and continued to Rouffach where I saw a camping sign. It was a small municipal site opposite a football field and a school. A valley surrounded by hills and mountains, in the distance I could see typical Swiss architecture and some big church towers. The site was busy, mainly motorhomes but I managed to get a good spot, opposite me was a full row of motor homes with UK number plates. I got talking with a couple of guys who explained that they were all heading to Turkey. They were in Metz some three hours earlier were I was in Metz over a week ago.

During the night the wind picked up, I could hear the trees rustling which woke me up a few times. I was warm and comfy but didn’t sleep well because of the noise. I imagined if I left the tent to go to the shower block it would have blown away. I eventually  got up when I heard the sound of the church bells. It was overcast and still windy not the best weather for cycling. I freshened up and made a coffee, I was tempted to stay another night but would have no food, so I packed up slowly and hoped the weather changed.