Itinerary, part 1: Laufenburg – Stein AG – Wallbach – Rheinfelden power plant
Distance: 27,7 km, by bicycle
Time: 2 hours (plus 10 minutes for the stops)
Vertical distance: 50 m uphill, 80 m downhill
Part 2: Rheinfelden power plant – Kaiseraugst (Augst-Wyhlen power plant) boundary on the Rhine below customs post Grenzach
Distance: 16,5 km, by kayak, including some 400 m portage
Time: 1 hour 50 minutes (plus 15 minutes for the stops)
Vertical distance: 10 m downhill
A nice sunny day, with clouds building up later in the afternoon. I left Laufenburg – which has a most interesting history – at 9.15 on the bicycle. Quite some up and down short flights of steps on the footpath close to the river. After the Laufenburg power station, this turned into a level path and later a good cycle track. There were one or two cyclists and one large group of walkers. At Bad Säckingen there is the longest covered wooden bridge in Europe (we were told yesterday), about 200 m long, see photos. After Wallbach, there were good forest roads in woodland. I finally reached the Rheinfelden power station where Sally was waiting for me. I switched to the kayak; the bicycle went on the car.
A pleasant ride down the river to Kaiseraugst, where there is a lock for larger boats but nothing for small ones. I had to land at the campsite/swimming pool, where Sally met me and we had a snack. Then a longish portage (on a tarred road, with wheels on the kayak) and into the river again. The last section was less pleasant – strong headwind, almost no current, and many industrial buildings and wharfs on the Swiss side (coal being unloaded, for example) and chemical smells. I reached the frontier at Grenzach, landed at the Basle Rowing Club jetty (deserted) and hauled the kayak up to the main road. Then I had an hour to wait – Sally had taken a wrong turning somewhere and then got caught in queues of cross-frontier commuters.
We drove back again to a small hotel on the German side of Laufenburg where we had decided to spend a second night. Good Chinese food in an almost empty restaurant.
1. and 2. The covered bridge between Stein AG and Bad Säckingen (Germany)
3. Leaving Rheinfelden power station
4. Storks at Kaiseraugst