A week in Europe 2018


Having been at Colin’s talk to the Northumbria Advanced Motorcyclists the previous October, our friends Alan and Wendy decided to join us for a short week across the Channel. It was great fun, so we thought we’d write it up.

Monday 18th June 2018

We were due to catch the Eurotunnel that evening. As Alan and Wendy live up in Northumberland they decided to do the first part of the journey the previous day, so we arranged to meet them at Peterborough Services (we have a penchant for their burritos!) at lunch time. We made good time down to Folkstone, so were able to catch an earlier train than we had booked.

Once the other side of the Channel it was only a few minutes to the Ibis at Coquelles, where we spent the first night.

Tuesday 19th

First stop on the road east was at Vimy, to admire the WW1 Canadian memorial there and have a wander round the well-preserved trenches.

Then it was into Cambrai for something to eat. The other two seemed to settle into the concept of a French lunch rather well!

Lunch in Cambrai

Finally it was a nice cross-country ride to Bouillon, where we were to spend two nights at the Hotel de la Poste. We’ve stayed there several times, and Colin was flattered to be recognised by Madame as we came in. The hotel has great accommodation, but the dining, although very nice, has a price to match, so we ended up eating cheaply and cheerfully at La Grignotte.

Wednesday 20th

We decided to have a day off the bikes, so after breakfast we headed up the hill to have a walk round the castle. This is very well laid out, with an easy trail to follow, and made for a very pleasant morning. Emerging we saw a cafe just across the small square, so stopped for suitable refreshment.

Once back down to river level we thought we’d walk along the river bank round to the other side of the town. By which time we were ready to hit the hotel’s bar. There’s a small restaurant on the river bank beside the hotel, so that’s where we dined. Bouillon look just as pretty by night as it does by day.

Bouillon in the evening
Hotel de La Poste

Thursday 21st

Off to Germany. We’d planned a lunch stop at the very pretty Esch-sur-Sure, but our way there was marred a little by the Zumo throwing a temporary hissy fit. Colin suspects his careless plotting!

Esch, however, was worth the detour, and we had a nice lunch and a nice wander.

Coffee in Esch-sur-Sure

Then it was back on the bikes and more pretty scenery to enjoy before ending up in Nideggen in the Eifel Mountains. We were staying at the delightful Zur Ewigen Lampe, a marvelous old building full of ups and downs. We had time for a stroll round the town and huge ice cream sundaes before changing and heading out for dinner. This we had at the Ratskeller, where we’d stayed on a previous occasion. The hotel staff were pleased to be able to practice their English (about as good as our German!).

Friday 22nd

Off to Ijmuiden to catch the overnight ferry home. We didn’t have a long way to go, so we detoured via Amsterdam, which the others had never visited. Lots of road closures, which almost defeated the Zumo, but we were helped by the traffic policemen treating us as push-bikes rather than cars.

Onto the ferry, and a nice buffet dinner to finish off the holiday.

Saturday 23rd

Home – and a full English for Colin!