Moselle Valley Aug/Sept 2013
Yippee ... Myself & Hazel were no longer Eurotunnel Newbies.
Always on the ferries before, the tying down of the bike securely and the breakfast were the beginning of the holiday. I much prefer the Eurotunnel, ride on time for a chat and before you know it ride off into French sunshine and yes this time it was beautiful sunshine.
We were soon arriving in Bruges and found the Hotel Adornes, about half way into Bruges centre pretty quickly, thanks to Dave Smith taking the lead.
We unloaded the bikes and women, followed Paul Robinson off down the road for about 400 metres, left down side road and then turned right down a slope into a very large single storey underground car park. If I had not followed Paul I wouldn’t have even noticed it was there. Brilliant.
Once refreshed we wandered into Bruges centre with beautifully restored ornate buildings all around you as you walked along uneven cobbled streets.
It was a very warm sunny day so Ice creams and Waffles with Belgian chocolate poured over them were in order.
Hazel, as usual was on a mission to hunt out the best Belgian Chocolate shop for pressies to take home. It was nice just to wander around with no rush or care what the time was because “Were on holiday”.
We managed to find the canal tourist boats and queued up ready for a more easy way to see Bruges. The boat trip lasted about half an hour and was great, through plenty of bridges, down to the swans and all around with a good commentary.
By now we were all getting hungry so we found a nice little restaurant just around the corner from the canal boats and promptly ordered food and some beers....as you do when in Belgium..
After a good night sleep and Conti breakfast in the Adornes it was load up and back on the bikes to continue our journey to Klotten in the Moselle valley area of Germany.
Ian or was it Dave who led.... oh I can’t remember now, anyway what a fantastic route as we followed along parts of the Moselle river, Cochem and then next one along was Klotten.
The Hotel Zur Post in Klotten is owned by Chef Klaus Beren . The hotel is situated just laid back from the main Moselle road and next to a railway line. Our room was 3rd floor and front. The railway line we thought might be a little noisy, but we didn’t hear it at all and had a great nights sleep here, no problem.
The bikes were secure as rode them into a large room / hall on the right of hotel building. This gets used for parties, festivals and of course bike storage. As we drove our bikes into the hall, we were given a free beer as a “Welcome”... now that’s the sort of welcome I like....Hello Klotten.
With a good Conti breakfast inside us we were ready for the day’s adventures.
Over the road for the train to take us along a couple of stops to Moselkern and the forest path up to Castle Burg Eltz. This was a nice walk along the forest track as the sun was getting warm and the trees gave us some nice shade, as Hazel being a ginge doesn’t do the heat to good !! x. Across the small river and in front of us were the mighty wall of the castle, so onwards and upwards we climbed or so it seemed.
The Castle Burg Eltz was well worth the visit as it had some great stone work and interior restored rooms. We had a quick bite to eat in the garden area and then worked our way out of the castle and went opposite way from the forest walk to the car park hoping to get a bus back to the town where we got off the train.
Once in the car parks which there were a few of them, we made our way to the little hut and sign post at the end. This had the bus time tables on it, so we waited for our bus.... quite a few buses came and went, but not our one. Eventually it arrived and off I went to ask the driver if it was going to Moselkern
With much amusement to Dave, Carole and Hazel (as I do like to use sign language and my hands a lot) I got myself understood by the driver and the giggling local old boys who were on the bus already. We sat down and chatted away as the bus drove off. As we went through the villages I was watching the signs as you do and of course so was Dave and much to his and Hazels and Carole’s amusement we were heading away from Moselkern. “Were off on a mystery tour” and comments alike were bantered about with a lot of laughter aswell. Me thinking sh!t maybe the bus driver was on a wind up. Eventually I realised he was on a circular route and Moselkern did start to get closer....Of course I knew that all along.... no really I did.
Back at the hotel it was another fantastic meal of 5 courses, if I remember right, all cooked by the owner and our host Klaus Beren. I was very pleased as the food was plentiful and tasted superb. After food we wandered up onto the 2nd floor outside balcony area for a few aperitifs or beers to me and you.......
We wandered around Klotten the next morning and found some really nice metalwork on the houses and going up the main road in was a singular grape vine that went along one side of the road, crossed over on the main cable then up the other side, this probably covered about 10 houses.
Cochem seemed a good idea, so back down through Klotten to the Moselle and walk along to the jetty for the boat. It was a nice 20 minute boat trip down to Cochem. The old town is really pretty with lots of old shops and touristy shops (We found some cool T shirts for the grandkids) mixed together. The ladies found the Cake shop and in we went for a fuel stop, well be rude not to wouldn’t it?
Back at the Hotel it was another fantastic meal. That is the main thing about this hotel the food and the relaxed atmosphere and the biking. Recommend this hotel and Klaus Beren for a weekend away or a stop over point for further places.
After another good night sleep we loaded up the bikes and said our farewells and got ready for a little blast back to Ypres, another place we had not been to.
We found the Hotel Ariane reasonably easily. There is a lot of cobbled street around Ypres and riding on these a few time felt really strange especially at slow speed and turning. The hotel was very posh with a glass front and a modern looking reception / restaurant. Our room was 2nd floor right hand side.
Wow what a room! It was massive. Entrance area then into the enormous king size bed area with loads of windows a bathroom with bath which had a circular shower built at the end of it. Well done Mr. Paul Robinson, Hazel loved this room.
In the evening we wandered off to the Main Square for a drink and food then onto the Menin Gate for the evening ceremony, which I and Hazel were gobsmacked and totally numbed by, the amount of names and regiments carved into this Monument and the ceremony itself. All I can say is visit it as it really drives it home what happened here and is part of our history....NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN. X.
Mr. Paul Robinson, a really enjoyable few days in Bruges, Moselle Valley and Ypres. Thank you for your hard work in making this an enjoyable First IMTC Partitour.