I feel a bit like I have a cold, good that I don’t have to bike too much today. I have breakfast in my room and then I bike over to the station.
There is almost storm outside. The station does not have any elevators or escalators, so stairs both up and down to reach my platform. The train is already there but it’s locked, after a short while they power the train up and open the doors. It’s a new nice train with no lifting required to board.
The train is very dirty, not at all like the clean Renfe trains in Andalucia. After crossing the Pyrenees through tunnels we ride along the coastline for a long while, it’s really windy outside.
The 4 hours to Avion pass quickly, once off the train I ask a SNCF employee which my next platform is and he checks on the radio. The elevators are to small so the stairs down and the escalator up.
The train to Orange is an old TER train, it requires lifting the bike 3 steep steps trough a narrow door. It’s hard work to lift the bike up and then down.
I cross the street and check in to the hotel. I ask if there is a laundromat nearby and there is, I grab my dirty clothes and start walking. After some asking around I find it. Not as nice as Sagunt but it gets the job done.
I find dinner at small restaurant that server homemade burgers cooked to order, very nice and cheap.
I slept well, grab some breakfast and cross the street back to the station. It’s the same type of train, the train is very long and I have to sprint to make it to the back of the train where the bike door is.
The train is full of cyclists, 2 south africans on MTB’s, 4 Americans on small foldable bikes, 1 French on a Surly Long Haul Trucker with FFF. The Frenchman is going to Iceland via Denmark and he is going to spend 6 weeks there.
I get off in Lyon and so does all the other bikers, I see lots of bikers on all platforms, seems to be a popular place to bike. The station has great ramps and big elevators, so no lifting required. Train number two is a new TER train with simple roll-on no lifting required.
There has been clouds and some rain all day, when I exit the station in Burg-en-Bresse the sky is black and there are some drops of rain. I quickly decide to just check in at the expensive hotel next to station and think happy thoughts about Germany instead. Just across the street I find a great place for lunch and dinner, pasta and pizza, but cooked from scratch by the chef.
I find an overview map of Germany and spend some time thinking about how I want to bike in Germany. I will probably follow Eurovelo 6 at least to Ingolstadt, from there I can either continue east or go north, I will decide later.
Slept very well, the best hotel this year, also the most expensive this year (71 Euro). Weather forecast says 4 C in the morning and 17 C in the afternoon, yack! What is wrong with this place, it’s summer now.
The train to Belfort is the new kind of TER so easy boarding. It’s diesel powered and it feels very nice to go through the French countryside and look at the rain through the windows. I am alone in my carriage most of the time.
When we pass Clerval I have a vague feeling that I have been there before, many years ago. The train continues along the Doubs river and it looks like a very nice route to bike. I have late lunch in Belfort, crazy expensive. I decided to try and find accommodation outside Belfort so I started to bike towards Mulhouse and Basel.
After a while I found a big enough town and asked some people if there was a hotel there somewhere, and yes it was in the center. So I kept biking around looking for the hotel, I found a tourist information instead, they also said there was hotels there but not in this town. They had some maps and I got the description to one hotel that was good. I biked there and found the place closed.
By now it rained so much I had to stop and put my new rain clothes on. I bought them in Sweden and it’s the type of high florescent rain clothes that road maintenance workers use. The top is bright yellow and it’s like a coat, it goes like 10 cm below my knees. I guess I look like a crossover between a chicken and a stormtrooper, but it was very nice to bike in.
I kept biking and looking for accommodation in the little book/brochure I got, the next place was also closed. There was an old man outside, he spoke some language that sounded like German or French or Klingon. He understood when I spoke German to him. The place had been closed for years, just no-one bothered removing the signs and delisting it at the tourist office.
Next on my list was an expensive hotel, once I got there they had a sign stating it was closed on 30′th of April and 1′st of May. Today is the 29′th but it was closed anyways. I almost biked all the way to Mulhouse before I found a small expensive hotel. Expensive food and I had to park my bike outdoors in the rain.
I checked in after 19, must be a record for me. French people are normally very friendly and helpful, but France is an evil hostile system that makes life miserable.
30 km to Germany……..