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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 00:45 - 14 Feb 2016    Post subject: Belgium and more - Loads More Piccies! Reply with quote

I've been trying to organise with -Matt- a trip to take in the sites of the WW2 campaign known as the Battle of the Bulge. The area of interest to me is bounded roughly by Spa in the north, Bastogne in the south, the Meuse river in the west, and the German border running approx. from Monschau to Echternach. Turns out Matt was thinking more of the French Ardennes, a misunderstanding largely caused by me! Embarassed

Anyway, the leaving date is to be 27th May, going via the tunnel, and riding direct to the region. Anyone is welcome to join. So far we haven't agreed on the duration of stay in this region, something in the order of 4-6 days I would think. After this, I would be spending a couple of days in Luxembourg, and then heading for the B500 and the Alps, with a friend from the Fazer Owners Club (we had planned to do this trip 2 years ago). A few days exploring various passes and one or two things I want to particularly see, and then, if I'm not fed up, I'm thinking Italy.

So, if you are interested, your thoughts and ideas are welcome so we can thrash out this thing in a bit more detail. I get the impression that some would do just the initial Belgium bit, but others might like to come along for more of the trip?

Matt has kindly been offering to help with sorting bookings, as he has much more experience of this sort of thing than I have, hopefully I'll learn from him Laughing
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Last edited by chickenstrip on 15:21 - 14 Jun 2016; edited 1 time in total
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Matt B
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PostPosted: 11:29 - 14 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have been up for the Belgium part but I'm off to Holland that weekend Sad

Sounds like a great trip, enjoy Thumbs Up
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Aff
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PostPosted: 11:56 - 14 Feb 2016    Post subject: Re: Belgium and more Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
hopefully I'll learn from him


HA!

I would have been doing this but Matt very selfishly booked dates when I'm away.

I may pop down and meet you on the way back in France somewhere, I will wait and see what your route looks like.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:01 - 14 Feb 2016    Post subject: Re: Belgium and more Reply with quote

Aff wrote:
chickenstrip wrote:
hopefully I'll learn from him


HA!

I would have been doing this but Matt very selfishly booked dates when I'm away.

I may pop down and meet you on the way back in France somewhere, I will wait and see what your route looks like.


The dates aren't really Matt's fault. Matt showed an interest in this after I had been talking to another friend about it, and the dates chosen are the best compromise so that both can do it. Sorry you can't make it.
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 13:07 - 14 Feb 2016    Post subject: Re: Belgium and more Reply with quote

Aff wrote:
I may pop down and meet you on the way back in France somewhere, I will wait and see what your route looks like.
The area/s we're looking at are only 3-4 hours away from Calais so it wouldn't be too much of a slog to get down to the area on your own a bit late if its still an option Thumbs Up.
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barrkel
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PostPosted: 17:17 - 14 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you're in Luxembourg, do try the N25 between Wiltz and Kautenbach. Luxembourg is very small - it's hard not to end up in Belgium or Germany by accident just riding around - and I think that's probably the best stretch of road wholly contained in the country. In one direction (heading west iirc), the turns need precision and are a bit technical - they tend to tighten up - but in the other direction the bends open out as you go through. It's quite short though, about 10 minutes long.
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Pigeon
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PostPosted: 20:32 - 25 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to pop along to France + Belgium if that's ok (Matt gave me the heads-up) if the plan involves the places mentioned in Band of Brothers (Bastogne, Ardennes).

You are of course rolling your eyes at this point. Yes, I know I just said I know some of the most significant historical events of the 20th century and the most incredibly fierce battles and examples of human sacrifice (as they would say, just doing the job and looking out for their mates) not from my knowledge of WW2, but from a television series.

But I would like very much like go if you are.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 20:50 - 25 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pigeon wrote:
I would like to pop along to France + Belgium if that's ok (Matt gave me the heads-up) if the plan involves the places mentioned in Band of Brothers (Bastogne, Ardennes).

You are of course rolling your eyes at this point. Yes, I know I just said I know some of the most significant historical events of the 20th century and the most incredibly fierce battles and examples of human sacrifice (as they would say, just doing the job and looking out for their mates) not from my knowledge of WW2, but from a television series.

But I would like very much like go if you are.


You're definitely welcome to come along. Bastogne, with it's new war museum, is definitely on the list, and hoping we have time to see the area the 101st Airborne defended in the Bois Jacques, and maybe a quick look at the towns they assaulted following that defence (Foy, Noville, Rachamps). I am hoping also to follow the route of Kampfgruppe Peiper as the spearhead of the 6 SS Panzer Div. drive for the Meuse - Losheim gap to approx Stoumont. Anything else will be time dependant, but I know Matt is interested in a couple of places over the French border in connection with WW1 too. At the moment, it's looking like accommodation will be the F1 at Charleville-Meziere, but yet to be confirmed - the Belgian Ardennes itself seems a bit pricey on this front!
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Pigeon
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PostPosted: 21:33 - 25 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, thanks!

I will now be getting updates to this thread, so will keep an eye out.
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Fladdem
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PostPosted: 11:53 - 28 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, no. Sad

I checked the work's holiday rota yesterday and with two of our team of five moving to JLR and another chap having booked the Friday off, and then the other one booked the week after, looks like I can't have the days. I would have still tried to come but left on the 28th instead and met you somewhere but I'm a bit scared to go to a foreign country on my own when I can't even navigate this one without getting lost or getting on the wrong ferry. Laughing
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arry
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PostPosted: 12:19 - 28 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would I be welcome? I've not done a tour abroad and have been looking into it for this year
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Silver_Fox
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PostPosted: 13:21 - 28 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea on approximate costs for the whole trip? I've not left UK soil yet on 2 wheels
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:30 - 28 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone welcome Smile

Not really considered costs yet, but hopefully we'll keep to the cheaper hotels. The Belgium bit at least shouldn't be too expensive - we're currently looking at an F1 hotel just outside the region of interest to limit that a bit. Dates as they stand for that bit are 27th to 31st May.

Fladdem, should be really easy to get there, I don't think there's anything complex about the route down. They do have signposts on the Continent Smile Just look at maps to get yourself an idea of the general geography on the way, route nos. and major towns to head for en route etc. If we exchange mobile nos. then might be able to meet you nearer the hotel and bring you in.
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arry
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PostPosted: 19:46 - 28 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
Anyone welcome Smile


Thanks fella. Hopefully by May I'll have overcome my bi-polar split personality disorder and all of this murdering folk will be behind me. If not, should be fine as long as I remember the pills.

I'll check the diary but I don't think there's anything in late May at the moment. I'd only be able to do 3-4 days, so I'd do the first leg and scoot back after that, I reckon Thumbs Up
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 21:30 - 28 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

arry wrote:
chickenstrip wrote:
Anyone welcome Smile


Thanks fella. Hopefully by May I'll have overcome my bi-polar split personality disorder and all of this murdering folk will be behind me. If not, should be fine as long as I remember the pills.



Did I mention, you have to like goats? Smile
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 05:57 - 29 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fladdem wrote:
I would have still tried to come but left on the 28th instead and met you somewhere but I'm a bit scared to go to a foreign country on my own when I can't even navigate this one without getting lost or getting on the wrong ferry. Laughing
Its a fairly straight forward route down there from Calais to be honest, shouldn't be too hard with a map. Can your phone run any of the sat-nav app's? That would make it dead simple to get down there if you could have that running for a couple of hours in a tankbag or something.
arry wrote:
Would I be welcome? I've not done a tour abroad and have been looking into it for this year
Thumbs Up
arry wrote:
I'd only be able to do 3-4 days, so I'd do the first leg and scoot back after that
Fairly likely i'm in the same boat with that so there should be at least two of us riding back up to Calais after the few days.
Silver_Fox wrote:
Any idea on approximate costs for the whole trip? I've not left UK soil yet on 2 wheels
Shouldn't be too much. About 25 a night tops for the hotel, half that if you're willing to room share (i'm still looking for someone to share with, not sure about anyone else). Tunnel will be about 50-60. Then whatever on fuel/food over the few days, won't be doing mega-miles though and will be going to supermarkets if you want to do it on the cheap.
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arry
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PostPosted: 13:22 - 29 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Managed to book time off work but I would absolutely definitely need to be back on Blighty by Tuesday evening - so I have my 4 days but half of one of them will need to be blasting back to Calais Mr. Green

So that's me confirmed! Looking forward to it already. Let me know if you need anything from me, or a hand in booking stuff, researching routes etc - happy to help out Thumbs Up

Thanks for having me along
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Fizzer Thou
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PostPosted: 21:43 - 29 Feb 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend suggested this place in Belgium as an ideal place to stay.Looks good on the website

http://www.grd.be/bikersloft/eng/default.htm

Mrs.Fizzer and I will be riding around France,Italy,Austria and Germany at the end of May/first two weeks in June this year,so looking forward to good times on two wheels Dance! Sun Cool
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 00:15 - 01 Mar 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fizzer Thou wrote:
A friend suggested this place in Belgium as an ideal place to stay.Looks good on the website



Way too far north unfortunately.
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Fladdem
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PostPosted: 00:26 - 01 Mar 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

-Matt- wrote:
Fladdem wrote:
I would have still tried to come but left on the 28th instead and met you somewhere but I'm a bit scared to go to a foreign country on my own when I can't even navigate this one without getting lost or getting on the wrong ferry. Laughing
Its a fairly straight forward route down there from Calais to be honest, shouldn't be too hard with a map. Can your phone run any of the sat-nav app's? That would make it dead simple to get down there if you could have that running for a couple of hours in a tankbag or something.


My phone can google maps, but not very well. If I do make it, it would have to be Saturday bomb it there, stop there Saturday and Sunday night and bomb it back on Monday for work on Tuesday. Which means I won't have much getting lost time factored into the journey. Laughing

I could maybe split it up a bit if I went on Friday evening, stopped somewhere on the way down or something, then left again first thing Saturday morning, I don't know. Just scared cos only time I've been abroad was to the French alps with the school five years ago and I never had to organise anything.
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 06:41 - 01 Mar 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

arry wrote:
Managed to book time off work but I would absolutely definitely need to be back on Blighty by Tuesday evening - so I have my 4 days but half of one of them will need to be blasting back to Calais Mr. Green

So that's me confirmed! Looking forward to it already. Let me know if you need anything from me, or a hand in booking stuff, researching routes etc - happy to help out Thumbs Up

Thanks for having me along
SmileThumbs Up

In terms of the tunnel crossing's, do you have an earliest departure/latest return time you would want to try and stick to?

I'm about 3 hours away from Folkestone myself; could be there for maybe 8-9am on the way out and coming back as long as we're back in the UK by about 10pm it would be fine. I don't mind shuffling times if other people have further to travel or want to get back a bit earlier etc though, whatevers easiest for everyone else really.

I'll PM you some more details tomorrow when i'm off work Thumbs Up.
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arry
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PostPosted: 09:17 - 01 Mar 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah I'm pretty flexible mate. I'm just off the Dartford Crossing on the Essex side so about an hour and a half to the tunnel really.

As long as I'm back in my own bed on the Tuesday night it's fine
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Silver_Fox
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PostPosted: 13:06 - 01 Mar 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

This trip sounds pretty excitibobs
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:20 - 01 Mar 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silver_Fox wrote:
This trip sounds pretty excitibobs


Was it the mention of goats? Laughing
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arry
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PostPosted: 13:58 - 01 Mar 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hotel is goating to be rammed
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