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Luxembourg, Black Forest, Switzerland, Vosges tour.

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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 21:46 - 03 Jul 2017    Post subject: Luxembourg, Black Forest, Switzerland, Vosges tour. Reply with quote

(EDIT 11/7/17 Title got edited. Original title was: Folkestone to Baden-Baden)

Thinking about doing this in one day, including the chunnel crossing. Too much? If so, suggest a mid-way stop? Ta.
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Last edited by chickenstrip on 18:12 - 16 Jul 2017; edited 3 times in total
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Oldie
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PostPosted: 22:02 - 03 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could even go further if you wanted to, but what's the point? Touring should be about taking in your surroundings.

Have a stop at Monschau - lovely village with reasonable accommodation and a real "old Germany" feeling.
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arry
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PostPosted: 22:07 - 03 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that'd be pushing it looking at mileage / routes but subscribing to this thread, with interest Cool
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c_dug
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PostPosted: 22:09 - 03 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did it in a day and a half to baden baden, you could do it in much less, but I'm very glad I didn't, some of the best roads I came across were in the area around etch-sur-sure (our stopping point on night one).

I wrote it all up here: https://www.bikechatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=278369&highlight=b500
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 22:12 - 03 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Oldie. Reason I was thinking of heading fast to Baden-Baden is there are other places in my plan I want to spend more time, and the less stops getting to them, the further the money goes.

Monschau would still only be a one night stop if I did it. Still worth it?

Also, anyone stayed at Meiringen in Switzerland? Nice place for a few nights, as an exploring base? Seems close to the places and roads that interest me. Choice of eateries for evenings? Found a hotel with reasonable prices (looked at Interlaken, but heavily booked and more expensive).

P.S. Need answers quickly, as thinking of heading off on Friday Smile

P.P.S. Monschau expensive!

P.P.P.S. Not much in the way of hotels available on Booking.com in Esch-sur-Sure, but have bookmarked one possibility.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 23:47 - 03 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Booked one night near Esch-sur-Sure. Should have time to explore that town on the way, hotel is only a couple of miles away.
Booked one night in Baden-Baden, four nights in Meiringen.

On the road again on Friday Very Happy
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Alpineandy
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PostPosted: 00:25 - 04 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
Tha Not much in the way of hotels available on Booking.com in Esch-sur-Sure


If you're not planning to use the hotel 'facilities' and you'd need to check about secure parking but have you tried checking ; https://www.airbnb.co.uk/
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arry
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PostPosted: 14:03 - 06 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
Booked one night near Esch-sur-Sure. Should have time to explore that town on the way, hotel is only a couple of miles away.
Booked one night in Baden-Baden, four nights in Meiringen.

On the road again on Friday Very Happy


Just realised you're off again tomorrow. You lucky bugger.
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Tracer1234
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PostPosted: 15:27 - 06 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

arry wrote:
chickenstrip wrote:
Booked one night near Esch-sur-Sure. Should have time to explore that town on the way, hotel is only a couple of miles away.
Booked one night in Baden-Baden, four nights in Meiringen.

On the road again on Friday Very Happy


Just realised you're off again tomorrow. You lucky bugger.


Have fun Chickenstrip!
Look forward to progress pictures etc Thumbs Up
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 15:56 - 06 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

arry wrote:


Just realised you're off again tomorrow. You lucky bugger.


I can, cos I don't buy Porsches Razz Laughing

Nah, last trip I can afford, then I'll be at the bottom of the social financial status stakes for the foreseeable future.

Bike is fuelled, most of the stuff packed. Maps arrived today (proper maps are just.... Wub).
Getting quite hot over there again Neutral
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Enduro Numpty
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PostPosted: 20:03 - 06 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoy - I must have missed where you're going.

We very much look forward to hearing your reports. Have a great time Wink
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 20:08 - 06 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enduro Numpty wrote:
Enjoy - I must have missed where you're going.

We very much look forward to hearing your reports. Have a great time Wink


B-line for Switzerland really. Then, dunno. Italy most likely, lakes and Dolomites perhaps. Keep wanting to do them, but never quite make it Rolling Eyes

I'd dearly like to conquer Rome and the Amalfi coast, but I think it will be just too hot at the moment, so maybe one day in the future, if another chance comes along.
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Oldie
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PostPosted: 20:37 - 06 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a great trip and ride safe Thumbs Up
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Matt B
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PostPosted: 10:10 - 07 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoy!

If you get lonely, you know where we will be Thumbs Up
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 21:07 - 08 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't do much last night, as Photofucket was playing up.
Got to my B&B at Folkestone, and got straight into tourist mode, with a ride out to Dover castle:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9891_zpsbkakup2m.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9904_zpszy5rnhlr.jpg

I went with my folks once many years ago, but didn't have a camera, so I've been meaning to go back for some time. One day, I'll go back again and do the proper tour.
Then zapped along to Deal Castle:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9922_zpst72padjs.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9930_zps7vwzals7.jpg

Also did Walmer a while back, so didn't bother this time.
A short walk above Dover ferry port:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9937_zpsoyqilmfj.jpg

Moonrise and sunset, looking out over the port:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9953_zpsvvm19dif.jpg

Chunnel train this morning, then a boring but fairly quick ride down to my hotel near Esch-sur-Sure. Bastogne again:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9956_zpswq6vczlx.jpg

Some sort of classic car event going on, loads of old jalopies around the town:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9968_zpslgb7ka2x.jpg

And some on display in the town square:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9960_zpsi8txxsn2.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9965_zpsl811weuw.jpg

A castle at Esch-sur-Sure:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9975_zps53ptwlxw.jpg

Got to the hotel, unloaded the kit and then straight out to explore a little. Did a loop; Ettelbruck->Diekirch->Echternach->Larochette->and back to the hotel. Didn't see a great deal of note until passing through Larochette (some great bits of road through the woods and around the forested hillsides). In Larochette, was just passing a side road, glanced up it, and spotted something interesting, my attention caught by a quick glimpse of a schloss on the hillside. So parked up. Found a pathway up the hillside in the town:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9996_zpsdtgw9euj.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN9992_zpsxq1xa9bb.jpg

Local art sculpture by the path:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0009_zpsuuywinql.jpg

I was trying to think of where it was that there was a King Tiger tank on a village green somewhere in the area, but it wouldn't come to me. But on the way back to the hotel, I came across a memorial to General George S. Patton in Ettelbruck, who's 3rd Army liberated this town in 1944:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0010_zpsywbyndxb.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0015_zpsfcofl0yl.jpg

"Nope, I can't see what's wrong with you from here son" *slap, slap!* (for those who know their WW2 history Smile ) :

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0021_zpsx4c7yg57.jpg

Baden-Baden at the start of the...mythical? B500 tomorrow.
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Tracer1234
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PostPosted: 22:43 - 08 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you have had a good first couple of days. Seems like a better start with the weather this time. Are you planning on meeting up with the others at any point?
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 19:00 - 09 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, a pretty boring, largely motorway ride to get to Baden-Baden (actually in a small town nearby), but got here early, so I had time for an extensive ride around the northern part of the Black Forest. Coming back to the hotel, I did do part of the B500, but only as the road I wanted to take was closed. Well, it was very good, but I can tell you there are many equally as good roads throughout this area. Hardly stopped for photos, as was having too much fun Twisted Evil

Stopped in one little town typical of the region, Loffenau; old style, but looks brand new:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0025_zps1v1op96c.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0026_zpsmjzerpy7.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0027_zpsb2vgeegj.jpg

Maybe it got hammered in the war and was rebuilt or something.
Climbed out of the town, a quick look back down on it:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0029_zpsovhi03fk.jpg

Stopped by a kiosk selling coffee, snacks and tourist knick-knacks by this dam, which had me thinking I was back in Wales for a minute:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0030_zps1wrrbigt.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0031_zpsmzow9pnu.jpg

Pretty much 5 hours of full-on hooning, with just a couple of coffee stops and a late lunch break. Bikes everywhere, dozens of 'em.
Shortly before I got back to the hotel, I felt a sting on my neck, which was very persistent. Found a swelling there when I got in, applied some cream and some kind of bug came out. Hope it wasn't carrying an infection, as it's still pretty sore now, so if you don't hear from me again... Laughing

B500 proper tomorrow, destination Meiringen, Switzerland.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 19:45 - 09 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tracer1234 wrote:
Glad you have had a good first couple of days. Seems like a better start with the weather this time. Are you planning on meeting up with the others at any point?


Sorry Tracer, forgot to reply!
No, no plans to meet up, bit too tricky really with not knowing each other's itineraries very well, and I think everyone would rather just concentrate on their own trips. Enduro Numpty and I crossed paths without fuss in Spain, so that was easier to sort just for a quick spin. Watching Matt B's thread with interest though.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 19:56 - 10 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too many Weissbiers last night meant I didn't get away till just before ten this morning, but, wonder of wonders, no hangover! Very Happy
Just as well as the B500 needed all my concentration, especially as I started out in pissing rain and it was immediately twisty, and climbed high into patchy fog. Didn't rain the whole time, and even when it was, it was still fun as the surfaces were grippy and smooth.

I didn't actually stick to the B500 for it's whole length but took a couple of smaller roads here and there, but they were equally as good, if not better. This is certainly an area I would recommend to anyone to explore further, not so much for the scenery (how many trees do you need to see? Laughing ), but almost any road you take has you whooping for the sheer joy of riding.

Not many photos again, partly because views were sensed more than seen, but also because, vroooommmm!

Glimpsed through the trees:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0038_zpswxgx1ync.jpg

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0042_zpskfkgdxie.jpg

Look how smooth that tarmac is....I want to stroke it:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0043_zps5mxpsqop.jpg

1 minute before more rain:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0045_zpsocodervp.jpg

Wolfach, a town I'm not sure you'd see if you stuck rigidly to the B500, although not far from it:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0050_zpslam10o4i.jpg

Probably illegally parked again Rolling Eyes :

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0053_zpsyyu8xruv.jpg

Stopped for coffee and, well, you gotta do it if you're here; a humongous slice of Black Forest Gateau Drooling

BCF BBQ, I challenge you to sign post the site:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0055_zpsse3b2elc.jpg

Laughing

Now thus far, I have found Switzerland to be a funny old place. Firstly, no one seems to like to drive much above about 50mph Sleeping
Secondly, it may have been to do with my route in, avoiding the need for vignettes and all that nonsense, but there seemed hardly to be more than a couple of miles of open road before you were in another speed-limited town or village, right until I got to my hotel which is actually on Grimselstrasse (so well placed for the Grimsel/Susten/Furka loop Mr. Green ).
Probably didn't help that I got down here at rush hour, and was directed by the twat nav through a city centre (still no idea which city it was* Rolling Eyes ), which was gridlocked. Passed several very large lakes, and also don't know what ones they were. Fecking twat navs Mad
Just as I got within a couple of miles of the hotel, and the road now climbing up high and getting very twisty, it pissed down again, thunder and lightning, the works. But now on the beers, so all is good Very Happy

Just one photo in Switzerland so far; somewhere en route:

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b550/nicknicklxs/DSCN0056_zpsvkqenxwv.jpg

*think it must have been Luzern; seemed like it would have been worth a day to stroll around.
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Last edited by chickenstrip on 08:35 - 11 Jul 2017; edited 1 time in total
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Oldie
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PostPosted: 20:26 - 10 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoying this.

Be careful with your speed in Switzerland as the penalties are bad (although you probably already knew that). The cops are good at hiding too.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 20:48 - 10 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, Oldie, I didn't know they were particularly harsh, so thanks for the warning Thumbs Up Do they tend to patrol the mountain roads much, or is it more in towns and cities?

Also, I only saw one cop car lurking on the B500, despite recent talk of them being more zealous of late, but I got plenty of warning from cars coming the other way flashing their headlamps.
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Oldie
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PostPosted: 06:41 - 11 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a recent story from another forum........

"I've recently come back from a weeks tour around Europe with a couple of friends travelling through - Belgium / Luxembourg / Germany / Switzerland / France.

All in all great week especially around the Black Forest which was superb.

However Switzerland was a very expensive place to visit!

We knew speeding was frowned upon so we all rode extremely carefully and with a great deal of attention to keeping to speed limits.

After a few very hot hours on a Sunday afternoon, the guy on point saw a moment to get past 3/4 vehicles on a quiet open stretch.

He did this quickly and efficiently and without any fuss. A police radar trap was just out of site and they clocked him at 25kph over the limit and as he pulled in he just clipped a solid white line.

End result was 2250 Swiss franc fine - which they wanted in cash. About 40% for speeding and 60% for crossing the white line.

The police were very polite but insistent that he needed to pay there and then or his bike was going to be taken. In the end they reluctantly accepted a credit card payment.

This was after being taken to the local ATM to try and get the money that way.
We were by the roadside for 2 hours while they filled out forms about his financial status, his mortgage payments, his utility payments, his wife earnings etc.

The next guy who was caught was a local bloke on an old Suzuki bandit - caught at 35kph over the limit. He copped a 4500 swiss franc (£3500) fine and immediate loss of licence for 3 months. He lived in the next town only a couple of miles away and had to call a friend to come and ride his bike home.

As I mentioned just across the border riding around the Black Forest area was fantastic, we didnít see any police for two days - there were hundreds of bikes, great roads, and lots of sensible but quick riding.

In Switzerland we were very careful indeed - my mate just dropped his guard for a few seconds - bloody expensive mistake so if you heading that way don't speed - anywhere!
"
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arry
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PostPosted: 08:11 - 11 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

*swipes left* on Switzerland.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 08:30 - 11 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I just hope the scenery is going to be worth it! (cos I've already confirmed how bloody expensive everything here is).
Yesterday, I have never been so saddle sore in my life, and still not particularly comfortable sitting down today. Can't waste the day though, but I don't think I'll be going far. Having a lazy morning with coffee and maps first. Weather looks much better thankfully.
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Kris
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PostPosted: 08:59 - 11 Jul 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following with interest. Thumbs Up

Probably going to smash the Vosges at the end of the month on a solo mini-hoon. Can't wait.

[edit - also you're always welcome to pop in for a coffee on the way back through Kent]
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