Tag Archives: Rhine

Smack dab in the middle

A little to the south of Breisach and some 40 km north of the Swiss border two trees grow, one either side of the towpath that runs along the right bank of the old Rhine channel. These two trees form my portal between northern and southern Europe. This gateway is where the cool north and the warm south meet, the midpoint between machair and maquis. Continue reading


Collecting stereotypes

Like the grizzly Manxman on the Pequod I was born ‘in the little rocky Isle of Man’. I confess that neither have I his ‘preternatural powers of discernment’ nor was I ‘taught….by the old witch in Copenhagen’. But I can spot a salmon or a stereotype on a good day at 20 paces. Continue reading

Thinking outside the box

This week my trusty but not rusty Marin took me for a ride to celebrate its 14th birthday, and we had a ‘smashing’ time. Continue reading


Rhine salmon


In 2012 two Atlantic salmon, the first for over 50 years, managed to swim their way  up the Rhine to Switzerland. The Upper Rhine is still blocked by French EDF dams  and these fish had to sneak through the locks beneath the barges heading upstream to Basel. Continue reading



With the first frosts of winter I have explored the forest of Baden-Württemberg and Alsace either side of the southern Rhine. More precisely I have scratched around the dead ground, for that is the ground that the spiky blackthorn loves best.  Continue reading


Insufficient self-sufficiency

In my daftest musings I imagine I could get by quite well on a Scottish west coast ‘desert island’. Truth is I might survive on summer low tide beach foraging but the long cold dark wet winter and a diet of limpets, perish the thought and me. Continue reading


Beware of all enterprises that require Lycra

Having recently spouted (blogged) about the new cake scale I thought it high time to put words into action and earn a 100 mile cake. The return ride from Breisach to Basle in Switzerland is roughly 130km and to earn a cake I would have to supplement my ‘Rhine right bank upstream’ route with some further meanderings. Continue reading