Having finally managed to overcome the insidious control of Google on anything you want to do on a computer I thought I'd post a few photos of our trip to Europe last week. Izzie tells me that Google are a great company and the employee benefits are amazing. That's because they run our bloody lives, tell us what we can and cant do and have a turnover bigger that the GDP of Sweden.
Anyway back to the issue in hand. After the untimely demise of the Public Relations Secretary from this jaunt the gallant twosome of the Grand Mahout and the The Cool DL decided not to weep and cancel the trip but to forge ahead manfully and try not to fall out along the way.
The trip involved five countries in four days and we got as far east as Germany (well 2 miles inside the border).
An initial stop was made on Passendale at Varlet Farm where we are becoming regulars. The warm welcome, apple pie and beer stocked fridge are a thing of legend and, if you haven't been, you need to!
The following day saw a tootle through Belgium across to Luxembourg. A bit of poor routefinding (GPS programming) saw far too much motorway but once past Bastogne and Wiltz the roads certainly made up for it. Wiltz to Vianden is 34 kilometres and there isn't a straight of more than 100 metres in all 34 kms. We crossed into Germany and checked into out hotel in Korperich despite there being a total language barrier.
Back to Vianden for tea we food a great pizza restaurant called the Ancient Cinema which was notable both for having an English menu and having the tallest waitress in history. The Cool DL pondered where to buy some step ladders at such a late time. On the extended ride back to the hotel along some more stunning roads, the Grand Mahouts bike decided to shed it rear light lens which was subsequently found in a million pieces which were picked up because litter seemed just rude in this Sound of Music style landscape. Once back at the hotel we fashioned a new taillight out of a red plastic bag and some gaffer tape.
It seems that the European smoking ban doesn't apply in Deuchland and the bar was like a chinese opium den. We had to forego beer and find another bar but just to prove it wasn't a one-off every bugger was smoking in there too!! I think we managed a hearty 4 beers before giving up to consider our upcoming passive smoking lung cancer futures.
The following day dawned bright and sunny despite the forecast of rain and showers. The trip back across Luxembourg was equally entertaining especially as it seems no-one gets out of bed on a Saturday morning. We found a more scenic route back towards France and stopped for lunch in the picturesque town of Givet.
O leaving we took a bit of a detour and went through a tiny village called Doige. After marvelling at a stunning Ford Mustang parked up at the side of the road a sideways glimpse into a shabby old bike shop sparked some light bulb in the GM's brain. Was that a Scott Squirrel in the window. After a U turn and a dodgy parking manoeuvre the Aladdin's cave was discovered. There was almost as much exotica and racing royalty in the shop as there was at the whole Classic Bike Show a few weeks previous. See what you can identify from the following pictures (sorry for the quality but the windows hadn't been cleaned since WW2).
Our continuing trip through Belgium and France went nicely until the vagaries of the Sat Nav pushed us onto the A25 Toll Motorway for 93 kms. Given the gale force westerly that had developed we felt like we had done 10 rounds with Tyson Fury by the time we had to pay our 4.10 euros toll.
That night we stayed in a B&B in Le Wast near Calais owned by a chap with a BMW R1200RT. We didn't hold that against him and they made us very welcome. The only restaurant in town was in a posh Chateau Hotel and we dined on Oysters of Chicken in Re Wine, Roast Rabbit and masses of cheese! Luckily the beer wasn't too expensive but overall the Cool DL reckoned it was the most expensive meal he had ever bought!!
The following day saw us on the Channel Tunnel and the usual drag up the M"/M25/M11/A1 only broken by a visit to an OK Diner for a curly fries lunch!
We had a great time and, with a bit better GPS skills, we could have avoided some of the French/Belgian motorways which seem to eat tyres for breakfast.
Anyone for camping at Applecross in September?