Firstly today’s statistics (which are all a bit affected by me pushing the bike from the campsite into the town, slowly….); Cycling time: 5 hrs 43 mins 20 secs
Distance: 105.36 kms
Average speed: 18.4 kms/hr
Maximum speed: error!!! It says 129.5 kms/hr which is clearly nonsense. Probably no more than 30 kms/hr as today was such a flat cycle. Eurovelo 5 total: 1,223.5 kms
From Marckolsheim to Colmar was relatively straight forward. A bit more road followed by another stretch of canal – the Canal de Colmar – before arriving in the town of the same name.
I didn’t spend too much time in Colmar itself. I just wandered around for a bit to admire the views and soak up the atmosphere (and two Leffe Blondes).
I was very suspicious of the Rough Guide description of the campsite in Colmar so decided to investigate my cousin Richard’s suggestion of the place he had stayed in Eguisheim. Arriving in towns has never been a problem; follow the ‘centre ville’ signs! Leaving is a little more problematic as if you don’t get on the right road, the further you cycle, the more out of your way you get if you have chosen the wrong road. Leaving a town, whether first thing in the morning or later in the day has so far proved to be the most consistently difficult part of each day. Today was no exception. If you are a car driver and follow the “toutes directions” signs, you may have to drive around three quarters of a town before you find your route ( although if you don’t know the town you are probably unaware that you are doing this). In a car, it’s a few minutes. On a bike it can be infuriating. To compound the problem, cycle lanes often deviate away from the roads and as such away from the signs which only leads to more confusion.
However, on the plus side, getting the direction wrong does have its benefits. Today, trying to make my way from Colmar to Eguisheim, I didn’t get the correct road and ended up wriggling my way through the suburbs. But what interesting suburbs! A fascinating mixture of 19th century ‘grand’ houses (in both the French and English senses of the word) and lots of very modern houses; modern and interesting in the architectural sense. Is there a famous school of architecture in Colmar?
To correct my error I then had to head through some deep and beautiful woodland; it was only the sun that reassured me that I was cycling in the correct direction.
So, although it was a hassle, it was a good ride and I wasn’t too disgruntled on arriving at my destination.
And so to Eguisheim… It reminds me of a place just north of Nice in the south of France called Tourettes. Tightly packed houses within a circular arrangement. Very claustrophobic and not the place to choose to live in if you have a record of not getting on with your neighbours. But undeniably pretty. Which makes up for the campsite which is just OK. It would have helped if the owner (or at least the woman who seemed to be in charge at the reception) had been on the course that involved learning how to smile. You would think it would be the first thing you’d do if you were in the tourist industry, no? And with it being the most expensive so far – a shocking 13,50€ – I would have expected her to throw in a few jokes for good measure!