Thann (France) to Strasbourg to Weingarten (Germany)
Route des Crêtes

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FRIDAY, Oct. 6th

A nice breakfast in the hotel in Thann, then retraced our path up to the Route des Crêtes. A gorgeous ride this day, along the top of the ridges. Sun in and out behind the clouds; temperature very cool in the low 50's but we were bundled up and didn't feel anything.

Went past the "Col des Schlucts," then down eastward from the top toward Munster.

Then back up to "Le Linge," where we spent the better part of two hours. This was the scene of a 3-year ongoing conflict between the French and Germans in World War One. The trenches are still there, along with barbed wire. I had visited this 35 years ago, in 1965, and the memory was still strong. I wanted Eric to see it as well (see photos).

Strasbourg

A ride on to Strasbourg; went through Kaserberg, then Ribeauville, then the autoroute north to Strasbourg. After many stops to ask directions we found the parking lot under the Place Kleber, where we met up with Louise Wicht, a good friend of a colleague from North Shore Country Day School, Jackie Melissas. Louise lived near Karlsruhe, an hour away in Germany, but often came into Strasbourg with her kids, Gregory (11) and Victoria (15). Louise and Greg found us and walked us around the pedestrian-only part of Strasbourg -- the Cathedral, the "Petite France" area, then we went out to dinner at an Alsatian restaurant, run by students, and had different varieties of "flam" - a very thin base of pastry, square, covered with all kinds of cheese and other ingredients (you had to be there).

Fluffy, their little white poodle, was there as well, and went around the restaurant begging for food. We also called Jackie during the meal and had a great conversation as she momentarily interrupted her 6th-grade art students (1:00 pm in Chicago).

Then followed a motorcycle ride trying to keep up with Louise's car for an hour up to Karlsruhe in Germany, then over to Weingarten, a small town a few miles away. The ride was OK, but not really something I'd want to do at night. Part of it was on the Autobahn and drivers were very fast. Not nearly as scary as the first night in Bologna (I even passed a few trucks). We knew if we lost sight of Louise's car, though, we'd be in trouble. Plus the low-gas signal went on on my bike; at night, I hadn't seen it before at night; it's a bright orange and when it first came on, I thought, "What the hell is that?" On this bike, though, the signal comes on when there are five liters of gas left, enough for about 50 miles. I wasn't too worried, just a little bit.

Got to the house, put the bikes in the garage, and told Louise, "We need a drink!" Eric's first taste of schnapps (I think).

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