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CGX2302 Sweepers Heaven

Sunday, September 3, 2023 | Axel Allgaier / Henning Sewöster | Europe

Looking down at the Rhine valley after some beautiful curves.

Day 1 - Bad Kreuznach to Nürburgring

With the extreme heat gone, the group of five Canadians, two Americans and one German (not counting the two tour guides...) is on the road to sample the backroads of Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Perfect conditions: dry roads, sunshine and happy people.

Reichsburg at Cochem. One of the countless castles on the route today
Nürburg(ring) - the view from the hotel room.

Day 2 - Nürburgring to Aachen

A bit of rain in the night and the roads are wet in the morning. No trouble for us, we adjust our pace and move towards the Ahr valley. Roadworks make it necessary to adjust the route but in the end we reach Ahrweiler for a well deserved coffee brake in the center of town. After more sweepers and some switchbacks on now dry roads we are stunned by the size of the telescope at Effelsberg. Some rain caught up with the group on the way. But experience tells us that there is no way to escape rain on the way to Aachen...

Looking out for some brave drivers tackling the "Nordschleife" in wet conditions.
Getting ready for the roads of the Eifel.
The valley of the Ahr at Dernau - one of the most famous wine regions of Germany. Still recovering from the flooding in 2021.
The telescope at Effelsberg.
A part of Aachen's town hall.

Day 3 - Aachen to Bouillon

Today we leave Germany and pay a short visit to the Netherlands before heading to the south of Belgium. The first challenge is to find the way out of Aachen, the city currently busy building new road infrastructure. Stop at the "Drielandenpunt", were one can be in three countries at the same time before cruising along backroads to the sights on Belgium: Barrage de la Gileppe, Spa-Francorchamps and the winding roads of the Semois valley.

Breakfast view over the city of Aachen.
The group at Drielandenpunt (three countries point). The place where the borders of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands meet at Vaalserberg close to Aachen. The picture is taken from Belgian soil, while the group is still in Germany...
Lac de la Gileppe, an artificial lake, created in 1878 to regulate flow for the textile industry, offer flood protection and to generate electricity. These days also a tourist attraction in eastern Belgium.
At the Barrage de la Gileppe.
At the race track of Spa-Farncorchamps - another famous name in the world of racers.
The racing museum in Stavelot is worth a visit.
"Hotel de la Poste" in Bouillon, our home for the night. Back in 1870, Napoleon III. did spend the night here after surrendering to the Prussian army in the battle of Sedan.

Day 4 - Bouillon to Differdange

Late breakfast today at 8:00. Unfortunately the castle at Sedan is closed for visitors today, so a change of plan: visit the northernmost fortification of the "Maginot-line" first, then head to the "Musee de la bière" and finally see the monastery of Orval, where the monks brew their famous beer.

Leaving the hotel in Bouillon for another day of riding.
Ouvrage la Ferté
David and James at one of the observation coupolas of the Ouvrage la Ferté - the northernmost part of the Maginot line.
Lots of concrete to protect those inside.
At he memorial for the 107 French soldiers who died in the fort in June 1940.
James feeling good on the GS
Nancy and Jason enjoying the ride.
Raymond and Joanne ready to go.

Day 5 - Rest day in Differdange/Luxembourg

The famous rest day. And the ever difficult question "how to sepend it?" The answer for Raymond and Jason was clear: find the local Harley-Davidson shop to get a souvenir. David, Carsten joined Axel on a morning trip to Esch-sur-Sure along some winding back roads, paying a vist to the castel at Vianden on the way. At Esch they caught up with Any and James who had decided to sleep in and take the short route. Back at the hotel just in time to beat the rain and after a quick change of clothes it was time to catch the bus and train into the town of Luxembourg. Because walking around town in the rain is not that much fun, it was decided by some to head back for dinner. Since public transport is free for everyone in Luxembourg, this was easily done.

David - wearing his 'signature helmet' -, Axel, Carsten and Vianden castle in the background.
James, Andy, David and Carsten marveling at the dam that holds the water of the river Sure close to Esch-sur-Sure. This time everybody kept their helmet on

Day 6 - Differdange to Nancy

Morning coffee break at the cafeteria
All lined up...
View over the cemetery and battlefields of Verdun.
Picknick by Henning today.
Joanne, David and Raymond.
Nancy, happy.
Butte de Montsec, an American monument built in 1932 to commemorate the fighting of U.S. troops in the area in 1918.
The view from Butte de Montsec.

Day 7 - Nancy to Rott

It's raining in the morning, but the forecast is for dry conditions in the afternoon. The first miles on the highway out of Nancy and into the Vosges pass quickly. And as the twisty roads start, the rain stops.

Group photo at Moyenmoutier
Old abbey of Moyenmoutier
First coffee stop in the morning
Concentration camp „Struthof“
Horses are waiting for their riders
Last picnic on our tour
Boat lift at the Rhine-Marne-Channel

Day 8 - Rott to Bad Kreuznach

Ooops, is it really the last riding day already? Heading north into the "Pfälzer Wald" there are a few roads to be ridden and a few sights to be seen before arriving at Bad Kreuznach. We start with some sweepers to "Chateau de Fleckenstein", but as it is early in the day we only look at it from the distance. Some kilometers away "Burg Gräfenstein" receives a visit. The view from the top is gorgeous.

Next stop coffee (and cake!) near "Johanniskreuz", a popular meeting place to motorcyclists. More sweepers on the way down to "Schloss Hambach" vor lunch with a view.(and tractors to be marvelled at...).

And then... yes, the final stretch to Bad Kreuznach where everyone arrived sooner or later in good health after an exciting week.

The sun rises for the last riding day...
Chateau de Fleckenstein - viewed from a safe distance. To early for a visit.
Burg Gräfenstein is open 24/7 and the climb to the top of the tower is worth the effort. James, Carsten and David (signature helmet!) enjoying the view.
Pfälzer Wald as seen from Burg Gräfenstein.
Gräfenstein from the outside.
Lunch with a view at Hambach.
It's a Deutz! Andy and Ray investigating some vintage machinery.
Andy and James - father and son trying some alternative means of transport.
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