Friday, May 7, 2010

Lucky to find Laufenburg - or how we were saved by the internet - and found a great place

The day started normally enough, Paul and I on a 35km ride from Mulhouse in France to Basel (Bale) in Switzerland and Serge going ahead in the van- and then the fun started. As soon as we entered Switzerland our French cel phones no longer worked (contrary of course to what the French phone company had told us) and we had no way of reaching Serge, who had gone ahead in the van to look for the maps of the Swiss and German part of the trip, which we couldn't find in France. So, we had no maps, no Serge, and no idea of where we were going. To make the whole situation almost comical when Serge managed to get through to me momentarily (maybe a stray French cel signal) as Paul and I were standing outside the very grand and luxurious Les Trois Rois hotel I had just enough time to say - "Serge, we are in Basel, just outside" - and the phone went dead - just like in the movies.

So, I sent Serge an email using my Blackberry, hoping he would check his email on his Ipod or computer (he doesn't have a blackberry), telling him that Paul and I were going to ride eastward on the shore of the Rhine. Happily, Serge found a wireless internet connection while parking the van on the street, checked his email, and after a stop in Rheinfelden just east of Basel, we picked a new meeting place, a town on the Rhine we had never heard of, named Laufenburg. It was simply at the right place (roughly 100km from our starting point for the day) at the right time.

Little did we realize how lovely it is. It is a small town perched on the Rhine, dating back 1000 years, and dominated by a stone tower which was part of a fortress built 1000 years ago by the original Laufenburg. I hope you enjoy these pictures of the old city, to walk through its gate is to walk back in time.

Today illustrates both the randomness and the beauty of life in a microcosm: because our cel phones didn't work, because we couldn't meet Serge in Basel to get maps, because we randomly picked a meeting place, and because this pearl of a town was by chance in the right place at the right time, we have gotten to know and enjoy Laufenburg, and we are richer for it.

That says a lot about what life can be.

1 comment:

  1. "Chance" is a wonderful thing sometimes - what an adventure!