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Old 09-09-2009, 07:06 AM   #46
tonto
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Really looking forward to the next instalment, great report Gav.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:27 AM   #47
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great report!

Thanks for a fun read!
Looks like you guys are having a fantastic time on that gorgeous 950!
It sure makes me miss riding in europe...

Looking forward to seeing more!
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:05 PM   #48
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Thanks guys ! Update later on today
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #49
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Great report, perfect pictures
Thanks for sharing
Waiting more
Regards from east
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:31 AM   #50
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Thumb Update

Time to pack up and move on, I'm happy to say that the storm had well gone and the skies were a lovely blue again and the sun warmed our backs as we moved along. We decided to stay in the Black Forrest, but move just a few miles north having a steady day on the bike. We headed for Baden Baden and we stumbled across the Information Centre where we nipped into and asked where there was any campsites within the area. They were very helpfull and gave us a sheet with a number of campsites and she recommended one in particular which was in the heart of the Forrest in a place called Weisenbach. €10 for the pair of us for the night, it was basic, but it was clean and tidy.



We'd got the setting up and de-camping to a tee now we both had our jobs to do and we got on with it having a laugh most of the time in the process.





Once we pitched we went for the usual provisions, we carried all the BBQ gear with us so we decided to cook over the coals again tonight, no longer had we lit the BBQ it started to rain, but we were well equipped






We sat there listening to some tunes on my iphone as the rain got heavier. We spotted a caravan behind us with a large open awning and Jack suggested in jest that we should go and seek shelter under the awning. My eyes lit up and I started laughing and made my move, Jack shocked saying what if they come back? I told her that if anyone was holidaying in the caravan surely some chairs or a couple of push bikes would be present, but there wasn't any sign and we both hastily made a retreat. I've just got to say that the German sausages have got to be the best sausages we've ever tasted too!!





When the rain stopped I lit a fire to keep warm and tried drying my pants out



A few snaps of the sunset over the trees









While were in the Black Forrest we'd called in at a number of places to try a real portion of Black Forrest Gateaux, all was in vain, but before we left the area we were on a mission to find somewhere and try their wares. After many dead ends we were pointed in the right direction in the form of a pattiserie and restaurant/coffeeshop right in the centre of Baden Baden.













The holy grail





The Cathedral in the centre of Baden Baden





Then it was time to hit the road and get some miles put behind us, we looked at the map and headed north west. The landscape changed as we left the mountains behind us and the open roads we were now rolling on were flat and long, so long that the road in front of us disappeared into the horizon in one long straight line. After a food stop and a fuel stop we spotted a camping sign as we entered the French City of Metz. It was here we camped, right on the banks of the river.





We showered and changed and went for a wonder round the city. It was pretty big with plenty of old buildings of Gothic architecture with the Cathedral and the opera house.

The Cathedral





Opera House



We had another meal, seeing as we were in the Lorraine region in France Jack tried the Quiche Lorriane.



I had the usual mixed grill.



Then stopped at a bar with a great laid back atmosphere and sat out on the pavement with a couple of beers followed by some local wine, in the shadow of the Cathedral which was lit up wonderfully.



The Opera House.



Different shutter speed.



And part of the river on the way back to the campsite.



The morning view from the tent.



The following morning the navigator looking to see where we could head for.



We shared our fresh bread for breakfast with some locals.



Again we headed north west, we figured we'll put a good day in and then have a couple of days off the bike. We'd been going a good while and the satnav was taking us all the back roads and we passed many farms in the middle of nowhere on single track roads, many of these roads were covered in mud and cow crap which made for interesting riding!

I spotted a sign for an American Cemetary and decided to have a bit of a detour, then we came to this place in the Argonne Region.











This was a graveyard and memorial to the American soldiers who lost their lives in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. I didn't realise how big the cemetary was until I looked it up when I got home. There are 14246 American soldiers buried here and it's the largest American Cemetary in Europe. More information can be found here











It was unbelievable the many graves here and they were all immaculately kept. I had a quiet moment for the fallen soldiers.

Jack was ready to move on and she tried to copy my "star Jump"





We got geared up and put a good shift in, I had recently seen a film called In Brugge and recall all the cobbled streets and fancy shop windows and history, it was a long way off but we were going to have a couple of days off and it would just be a short ride to the ferry port of Zebrugge for the final leg of the trip. The ipod was hooked up, the fuel tanks were filled and the throttle was twisted, boring motorway was travelled on, but we soon rolled into the fairytale town of Brugge and we soon found a B & B.

DeeGee screwed with this post 09-11-2009 at 07:43 AM
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:41 AM   #51
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Thumb As I stated earlier...

DREAM RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks again for showing us these fantastic locations - keep 'em coming!


p.s. Thank you for sharing the Cemetary visit, especially on this day .
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:59 AM   #52
GB
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Fabulous ride, report and pics! Lucky to have Europe as your 2 wheeled playground!! Thanks for sharing your ride
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:29 PM   #53
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Thank you for an incredible report, superb photos and the respect shown for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

...and the photo on the stairs overlooking the reflection pond is an absolute classic and is FRONT PAGE MATERIAL.

Congratulations on milestone trip. Looking forward to the next installment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeGee





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Old 09-13-2009, 03:33 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticus
Thank you for an incredible report, superb photos and the respect shown for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

...and the photo on the stairs overlooking the reflection pond is an absolute classic and is FRONT PAGE MATERIAL.

Congratulations on milestone trip. Looking forward to the next installment.
Thanks again for the positive comments guys! I really appreciate it and I'm glad to share our two wheeled adventure with you.

As for the front page, it'd be a real honour, but I'm not sure how you get the picture selected??

Thankyou though!

Final leg to come soon.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:24 AM   #55
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Well I was going to nominate, but it appear Mr. Vicks did in 9/3...
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ion+front+page

Not sure of the selection process, but you're already there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeGee
Thanks again for the positive comments guys! I really appreciate it and I'm glad to share our two wheeled adventure with you.

As for the front page, it'd be a real honour, but I'm not sure how you get the picture selected??

Thankyou though!

Final leg to come soon.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:54 AM   #56
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:08 PM   #57
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Wow!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticus
Well I was going to nominate, but it appear Mr. Vicks did in 9/3...
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ion+front+page

Not sure of the selection process, but you're already there.
Gee!! Thanks Anticus and Mr. Vicks!

I'll try to get the last leg of the trip posted when I finish my nightshift tonight.
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:43 AM   #58
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top class report DG. Yes some great pictures taken and love the cakes....tooooo much

There are some wonderful buildings in many European cities and towns but never enough time to see them all.
Yeah Brugge is a great place....big variety of beers to try and they love their chips [frys] and sauces.

The cemeteries are immaculately kept and to visit, even one, is a very humbling experience when you read the ages of many of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and those who are unnamed , against the evil that threatened the world.

Good stuff DG
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:12 PM   #59
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Right folks pull on your helmet and gloves and here we go!

So we pulled into Brugge the traffic was horrendous, the temperature was hot as the bikes fan kicked in. Sirens wailed in the distance and I figured there had been an accident somewhere up ahead, then I noticed a sea of blue shirts streaming down the other side of the road. It turns out that the football team FC Brugge had a vital second leg of a Champions League Cup qualifier against a Polish team.

We made our way through and we stopped at the first hotel we came across, Jack made the usual hop off the bike to go and enquire about a room. She came back looking a tad disappointed €125 each per night :eek: Way out of our budget, so I punched hotel search into the satnav and it came up showing 45-50 hotels within 1 a mile radius, luckily the third hotel we tried had a vacant room. Basic, but en-suite and clean, just the ticket, €135 for the pair of us for two nights.
It was a short walk from the centre which we made after showering and a change of clothes. Cobbled streets we walked on and shop windows we peered through.





Now I'm a sucker for chocolate, but when you've got chocolate like this it's irresistable



One for the ladies



And inside one of the many chocolate shops, the smell was amazing.



The main square



The bell tower that featured in the film In Brugge







At night



Tonight we were FC Brugge supporters and we broke tradition and watched a bit of football, I'm happy to say that FC Brugge came out on top winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

We sampled a few of the Beers, which is another thing that Belguim is famous for.





So we just sat and watched the world go by, chatting about the crazy things we'd seen and done, the laughs we'd both had, the minor arguments and we'd only really had two! Pretty good going to say we'd been in each others pockets for almost three weeks.



Then we hear this classical music being played, I looked over and this young guy was playing what I thought was a mandolin, Jack thought it was a piccolo! :eek: I laughed and told her a piccolo was a type of flute! I asked the young man what it was and it turns out it was a balalaika. It only had three strings and boy he could make it sing like nothing else!



We made our way back to the B & B and I couldn't resist a snap of our trusty steed.



The next day we had another wonder round the city and did a spot of shopping, we stumbled across a large water feature in the city centre.





I grabbed a handfull



The other side of the bell tower



Some of the shops were amazing, being a chef by trade I loved the smells coming from shops like these.





We called for another beer and rested our feet, now this was the opposite end of the scale to the Czech Republic, where if you remember for a large and a small beer was a measly €1.46. Well I asked for a large Leffe and a small Leffe, don't get wrong the large was LARGE.





Now this was the pricey sum of €16.30

The view was ok though.









We had a small site seeing boat trip to take the weight off our feet then went back to the B & B to freshen up and we went to a local bar a couple of streets away. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming.



I was hungry so I ordered a dish of Hors' deuves.



On the way back Jack tried a Monkey bike on for size.



The next day our ferry wasn't until 17.00 so while we ate our breakfast I looked at some flyers advertising local attractions and we decided to visit the Atlantic Wall Museum on the coast. Here's just a couple of pictures.











Not sure if we should have done this but......... Well we did



I never realised that this wall was constructed and used in the first world war.

This is a picture of a picture taken maybe 70 years ago??



And the same spot the present day.



There was an amazing array of man made warrens including bunkers, stores, gun turrets, sleeping quarters many still in the original brickwork too.



Then it was time to move on to the docks. We got there early as we had to collect our boarding tickets from the office, we did this and got in line.



We chatted to a German couple who were on a Ducati Sport, they were on their way to the Manx GP on the Isle of Man, it was their 16th year visit to the races. It's at times like this that I wish I had taken a picture of them, it's true a picture speaks a 1000 words, they were a great couple and we got along really well and we had a few beers with them in the bar later that night.

I sincerely hope that they had a great time at the Manx GP and got back home safe and sound.



Once we embarked on the huge boat we had to tie our bike down with some ropes! :eek:





Once we were showered and changed we went to check on the bike. Glad to report all was well.





That was it! The boat set sail as it turned around in the water and we were off!







Bye bye Holland



The sunset was stunning



I suppose sailing could be akin to biking especially if you're out on the ocean alone, the wind filling the sails as you tear along the waves, a solitary thing I guess, just like when you're on the open road with just your thoughts inside your helmet?



We went back inside for a couple of beers and then went for a buffet meal and made pigs of ourselves, then hit the sack, when we woke in the morning we would be in English waters.

We had our breakfast and no sooner had we washed it down with a couple of cappucinos we were told over the tannoy to return to our vehicles. We untied the rope shackles of the mighty KTM and stowed tham away above our heads. We disembarked under a dark mean looking grey clouds, I hoped it wouldn't rain. Out we rolled, the first time on British roads, for the first time in almost three weeks. I kept saying to myself; left, left, left, we drive on the left, left, left!!

I hooked the ipod up after we went through the passport control, again left, left, left I repeated to myself as Bruce Springsteen song played on the ipod. As we put the miles in the clouds started to break and gave way to clear blue skies, the sun started to shine and I started to smile. I felt a little emotional as I find myself doing more so nowadays, maybe because I'm a little older? I don't know really? I feel it now as I write this

It was nearly over, the trip we'd planned months ago, the saving, the readying of the bike, the counting down the days. It all seemed so long ago. I said to Jack that I hoped the kids would be at home when we arrived, in response Jack texted our 20 year old daughter to see if they were up (it was 10am on a Sunday morning so I wasn't holding my breath). After a short while she said that she'd had no reply. If I'm honest here I was a bit saddened, I was hoping that at least our two remaining children who were still living at home would be up to welcome us back.
We soon came off the motorway and made our way round the ring road getting closer to home minute by minute, we headed into our village and went the long way round to get to our street, we turned the corner and this is what we saw



I had no idea! But they were there. Once again I was a little choked, but very, very happy



My cake & Champagne




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Old 09-15-2009, 02:59 PM   #60
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Great report and pics.I really like the blackforest part (live 30 km south to Baden-Baden). And the chocolate shop pics...
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