North Eifel August 2021

Friday lunch time and myself and Bryan met just south of Rotterdam and headed south towards the border with Germany at Roermond. The route basically took us into the North Eifel area of Germany. After some issues with closed roads we finally arrived at our Hotel in Steffelen, north Eifel around 1900. After dinner and a beer we retired in preparation for our North Eifel 300 km route on Saturday.

Weather for Saturday started a bit misty and the dew had covered our bikes. Sun came out and soon temperatures were around 25 degrees. The route took us south east towards Cochem and the Mosel. 

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We rode along the river to Reil where we stopped for our usual currywurst and then we continued south towards Haan airport. The roads were dry and empty so we were able to make good time. Retuning north part Spangdahlem US airbase and back home we returned at 1630. Perfect ride for the new Bike. Sunday we managed to dodge the rain back to the Boarder and then motorway back home.  A great weekend proving that with a little effort and time a full weekend ride in the Eifel area is possible!

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The Black Forest Tour 2021

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Day 1. The Hague to Koeprerich, Germany

As it was last year 3 intrepid riders met up at the MacDonald's in Barendrecht for breakfast at 0830. I had had a shower of rain already leaving The Hague but it soon dried up on the way to Rotterdam. Yves, Bryan and myself set off on the motorway heading for Leende which is where the tour began. After a coffee we headed south again following the similar route as before through the built up areas of the Ruhr then onto the more windy roads in the North Eifel and finally to our overnight stop at our usual Eifel Hotel Im Goldener Grund. Weather on the trip was perfect, around 24 degrees with a light breeze and full on sunshine.

Alain arrived around midnight on the Saturday having attended to a private matter on Saturday afternoon 

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Day 2. Koerprich to Natzwiller, France. 

Again this part of the route was the same as last year. Heading south along the Mosel crossing into Luxemburg and finally over into France. Sunday made it extra challenging in that a lot of the villages in France were barren without any place to to to eat. Finally after much searching and diverting we chanced upon a small village restaurant in the town of Faulquemont,  Le Veille Ville. This was absolutely spectacular. Here we stopped for a great French style Sunday lunch and then headed off south again towards Natzwiller. Roads were great winding and dry. Arrival in Natzwiller at the Auberge Metzger again in time for a quick refresh and a spectacular dinner in their 3 Michelin Rosette restaurant. Great rooms and a great night's sleep! 

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Day 3. Natzwiller to Todtmoos, Black Forest. 

Leaving the village of Natzwiller we headed south past the concentration camp and then into the Vosges. We had decided to adapt the route this trip to ensure we covered as much of the Vosges national forest as possible. Sidestepping the rain all the way the roads and views were stunning. We stopped at the top of the ski area for lunch and then descending into the valleys and down towards Basel, Switzerland. Again in Basel we were surrounded by huge thunderclouds, narrowly missed a nasty a accident as a large crane spilled hydraulic fluid all over the road and succeeded in arriving at our hotel just before the thunder arrived. Overnight stay was again at the Hotel Waldwinkel in Todtmoos. 

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Day 4. The Schwarzwald Tour 2021! 

The day of the tour started great and we headed north towards Titisee with sunshine but clouds were looming. We headed around Titisee and then missed the planned B500 road due to errors in our navigation system calculations. Not a great start. The navigation took us down some quite winding roads which were still wet from the rain the night before. Finally we arrived at the Swiss / German Rhine border. After a short break to decide the next move 2 riders decided to make it back to the Hotel whilst the other 2 decided to brave it out and ride the route. After about 10 mins the rain started. 

A quick stop under a bridge to get changed and we headed out. As the roads were wet we were unable to really got our pegs down but nevertheless it was an experience. Arriving back at the hotel wet and tired of course the sun decided to make an appearance. At least we were able to dry out all our clothes before our next day trip north into Germany. 

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Day 5. Schwarzwald to Oberottersbach. 

Grey skies greeted the morning although thankfully it was dry and remained so throughout the day with some very slight showers showers. Heading north from the Black Forest and into the lower Eifel region. Roads again were stunning and thankfully for most parts still dry. We had a few scares with thunder clouds but again managed to avoid these. The latter part of the trip took up up along the border of France, crossing over again before re-entering Germany to the Saar Region and our overnight stay at the Schoessl Hotel. This really was a stunning location with excellent food as well. Situated in the middle of a winery with its own wine cellar. Truly a gem worth returning for!

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Day 6. Obeottersback to Kronenburg, Eifel. 

Yet again grey skies for the morning start but the rain had already passed through the night before. Heading north again through the lower Eifel area and then towards the Mosel River. After a lunch break 2 decided to head directly to our overnight stop at the Villa Kronenburg in the village of Kronenburg near Dahlem, Vulkan Eifel. The remainder decide to finish the last 150 km anyway and what a final 150 km it was!

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Probably the most spectacular riding to date on the trip. Great meandering roads took us into the Eifel region passing the US air force base at Spangdahlem and onto our final destination. The roads were dry enough to really get some speed up and leaning right into the long open bends. A great way to end the tour.

Day 7 was altered at the last minute to take a trip to visit the Wunderlich factory which was close. All decided that after this it was ''hit the motorway'' and home. All in all another great trip despite the somwhat unkind weather.  But, hey, thats riding in Europe!

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The Black Forest Tour 2020

Day 1. The Hague to Koeprerich, Germany

Early start from The Hague southwards to Barendrecht and pick up point for 4th member of our party and then motorway to Eindhoven and on the A2 to Leende. This is where the route starts. From Leende a further 25 km on the A2 to the turnoff for Roermond and towards the German border. The first part of this route is a bit stop/ start with a lot of traffic as you pass through the industrial south West of Germany but once past Geilenkirchen it tends to lighten up and more so as you head into the Eifel National Park. The route tends to hug the border of Belgium as it heads south and the roads start to empty and become more winding the further south you go. Past Monschau which is well worth a stop if you have the time. Further south you get into the Vulkan Eifel region and for us our overnight stop at our usual Eifel Hotel Im Goldener Grund.

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Day 2. Koerperick to Natzwiller, Alsace, France

Casual start leaving at 0930 from Koerperich the route heads directly south following the Moselle river and border with Luxemburg. Along the way you pass into the wine country along the border famous for its sparkling wine or Cremant as it is called in the area. At Shengen you cross the border into France at the intersection of 3 borders – Germant, Luxemburg and France. After the border again southwards deeper into France and towards the Vosges region. Here again the roads become more windy as you ascend into the hills of the Vosges. Our overnight stop was in Natzwiller in the Alsace region where we stayed at the Auberge Metzger. Great location and hotel although not cheap compared to some of our stops was excellent. Food very traditional in an excellent restaurant.

Day 3. Natzwiller to Todtmoos, Schwarzwald, Germany

Leaving Natzwiller we stopped at the Struthof Concentration Camp just outside Natzwiller. Very moving to visit and well worth a stop if you have time. After spending a good few hours walking around the camp we set of in a south east direction continuing through France heading towards the German border. Temperatures along the route were reaching 37 degrees which in full bike gear is not that great. We realized that we needed to stop every hour simply to re-hydrate and try to cool down.

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At the Rhine we crossed by ferry at Rhinau and headed east towards the Black forest. Roads became windier as we ascended into the hills and despite having had a thunderstorm just after the border crossing were quite dry ready to enjoy. Hotel stop for the next two days was the Waldwinkel in Todtmoos. Excellent value for money with great traditional food in the hotel restaurant.

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Day 4. Schwarzwald 

Original route was 160 km but after reaching the Rhine just outside Basel we decided on a few adjustments to extend by another 100 km. Weather was great and roads even better. A real riding paradise. Be careful however, this time of year a fair bit of farm traffic out and about and also remember the tourist traffic. The B 500 was a great ride but west of Todtmoos back to the wine area was also a great experience. Try to stick to the B roads as some of the smaller ones are very narrow and the deck not always easy for hard riding.

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Vosges, France

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Day 5. Todtmoos to Bulligny, France

Early start leaving Todtmoos as we had over 300 km to our destination back in the Alsace area of France. Heading west from Todtmoos again great roads as you leave the Black Forest. Once out the terrain is a bit flatter but roads distinctly quiet so nice for building a bit of speed. Temperatures were OK as we headed back over the border and into the Vosges park. Through the Vosges, albeit the highest point with tremendous windy and wide roads thanks to it being a Ski area, a stop at the Lidl for some bread and lunch and onwards. Temperatures at the top of the ski area were a cool 15 degrees but back on the levels quickly back up to 30.

Our final destination was a small winery with rooms for B&B in Bulligny at the Maison Crochet. Wine was not great but we had dinner with the owners which was great.

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Day 6. Bulligny to Huy, Belgium 

Leaving Bulligny and heading north towards the Belgium border. The area of North East France and border with Belgium is all a bit run down. Roads not great and a bit boring riding however its on the way back home and after being spoiled with the time in the Black Forest all fades in comparison. Nevertheless onwards into Belgium and our final overnight stay just outside Huy. Huy itself is nothing special but our overnight stay in a beautiful farm / chateau was really spectacular. Hotel Chateau d'Áhin

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Day 7. Huy to The Hague

Final leg of our 7 days tour. Heading north further into Belgium. Roads a bit straight and not spectacular , headed across the border by Laakdaal back into NL. We decided to cut the route short just after the border and head back via the Motorway. Temperatures were still quite high and all were a bit tired.

Finally arrived back home mid afternoon. 

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