top of page

Alps - Day 19 : The haunted house

In the morning it was still raining. Packing our gear in the rain wasn't fun, as it took a long time, and everything would get wet and heavy. Because we always arrived after dark, it was also hard to dry anything. Again bread with chocolate spread for breakfast, then paying for the campsite. It turned out we couldn't pay by card after all. We scraped together all our cash and barely reached the required 14 dollars.

We went to the supermarket in Freudenstadt. We couldn't pay by card, which was very unusual. A lady in the row behind us offered us the required 10 euros. I asked where the nearest ATM was and cycled there. I was planning to pay the lady back, but she had already left. Apparently, we already looked bad enough that people started offering us money.


From Freudenstadt, we needed to travel to Baiersbronn and then cross the Black Forest. Only 10 km past Baiersbronn did I figure out we had taken a wrong turn. We couldn't go back. That turned out great as we discovered a road that gradually went downhill along a river. It didn't even rain there, which was another first.

Just before Rastatt, it started to rain, then even harder, then even harder, then it just got crazy. It continued for half an hour. Nonetheless, getting drenched for half an hour and then sunshine is better than a bit of drizzle for the entire day.

In Rastatt, it took a while to find the right road. Instead of crossing the Rhine using an indicated bridge, we cycled 15 kilometers north to take a ferry, which would be shorter. There were a lot of people and fences. When the ferry came our way, some people were on it performing measurements. I asked if we could get on, but we were denied. I was trying to understand why all the people were there if the ferry was closed. Rather than cycling back, we decided to continue north and take a ferry 25 km further. After 500 meters, there was a sign 'watch out, at the end of this road you will drive into the Rhine'. The road indeed went straight into the river. Luckily we found another bicycle path toward Au, which was in the right direction. It passed over gravel roads on dikes. As it had rained, there were many puddles, and our bikes got really messy.

It took more than an hour to reach the second ferry, which fortunately was operational. We had crossed this one twice during our Black Forest vacation. There was another man on a bike who had also ridden through the mud. Only he didn't have fenders and had been wearing a white t-shirt. Now it was brown.


Our standard for what passed as the food was getting lower and lower throughout the vacation. Initially, we sometimes would see an Aldi but continue cycling because they didn't sell nice food. The Lidl was better, except for bread. Near the beginning we would also search for a bench to eat at. Now we were eating on the ground next to the Aldi shopping cards.


We continued on the west side of the Rhine valley. It was nearly flat. During the return journey of the Black Forest trip we had been cycling until 23:30 through the rain over a large road. This time it was getting dark when we reached Neustadt, where the large road started. We decided to camp at the first available spot. Everything was better than cycling over that large road in the dark.

Just like during our previous vacation it started to drizzle. Outside the town a trail ran up the mountain. We decided to follow it hoping we would find a place to camp. Everything was wet and there was not enough space for our tents. Nonetheless, we decided to see where the trail led to. It ran behind some houses and at the end of the road a dog started barking. We turned around. A while earlier, we had passed an old factory, it must have been a 100 years old and unused for 20 years. It was built over a river and looked pretty spooky. All windows were thrown in, the stairs were rusted, and everything was overgrown with plants. Recently a new dam was built in the river, the cement was still white. There also was a small building with a security camera looking out over the dam. All considered, there were better places to spend the night. Maybe there were people living there.

alpen 203.jpg

The overgrown factory, in the bottom right the building that belong to the dam is visible

sleeping in a haunted house

The white chimney completed the haunted house look

alpen 205.jpg

All windows were broken and part of the building had collapsed

cyclin haunted hause

'Haunted house deluxe', according to Bram

We didn't really had another choice, it was too dark to continue over the large road. I went to pee somewhere in the bushes. Bram told me not to wander too far, in case someone was there. I found some pebbles which I threw down the hill. I watched Bram looking startled, confused about where the sound had came from. That night we both didn't sleep well.

Distance cycled : 186 km

bottom of page