Day 1 – Saturday 11 June
Today’s the day we’re off! It started sub-optimally as my young dog Poppy still wasn’t herself. I took her for a quick walk around the block and she seemed perkier – and we then left her with my in-laws for ten days whilst we swanned off on holiday!
The original plan was to get the ferry to Hoek van Holland and then drive to our start point, Spay near Koblenz. However the ferry was pretty expensive so we decided in the end that we would go by the channel tunnel which added about 150 miles’ driving but cost overall about £200 less.
So we left home at 8:30am this morning with a car full of bikes; a vehicle with 4 wheels on the exterior and 6 inside.
We had a good journey to the tunnel, ate our sandwiches whilst under the channel, then drove through France and Belgium:
Where we had a weird motorway-services-quality bowl of soup in Belgium which cost over 11 Euros for two, so motorway prices are a rip off in Belgium too.
We crossed into Germany at Aachen.
Once we were in Germany it was very familiar territory – Köln, Bonn, Bad Breisig, Koblenz… There were lots of fast BMW drivers in Germany of course (we passed signs to the Nürburgring which may have had something to do with it) and somehow the Autobahn felt less safe and comfortable than it had in Belgium. However we arrived without incident on one tank of fuel (unusual for my thirsty car) having done 430 miles.
We got to the hotel at 6pm, unpacked the bikes and checked all was well:
We did a quick quarter mile cycle ride to the railway station so we know where we’re going tomorrow morning, then locked the bikes away in the Fahrradgarage.
We and enjoyed a wonderful evening meal at the Alter Posthof Hotel (I had Wiener Schnitzel, James had Coq au Vin).
Tomorrow we have a lot of travelling on trains – four different trains, about seven hours in total – but it should be bearable and then we’re pedal power or car from then on.
Weather forecast is rain for Monday so I will get wet probably!