24 May 2019

Our Human is restless

Our BBF gets restless if he has to stay in one spot for long. Since birth and until we settled in Mönchgladbach he moved on average every two years. Sailing round the World didn’t help only made the restlessness more acute. Hanna fully realised this problem and so she always organised an adventure somewhere exotic every six months. Immediately after she died his first instinct was to “up sticks” and move on. He walked the first Camino instead and that changed much of his life. Since then we have walked two more Caminos and had a knee operation before going on a cycle pilgrimage to Trier! And then there were our fabulous trips to America and Canada!

This year, because he had promised his two daughters he would be there for their birthdays, followed shortly after by Christopher’s first communion he was stuck in one place for far longer than he liked. 

The answer he told us was to “get on my bike and bugger off”! So this is what he did, naturally taking us with him. 

There was no real plan just a general idea of cycling south via Aachen, on into Luxemburg and perhaps back via the Mosel river. Nothing was booked so we were free to cycle as we pleased and the mood took us.

We got to Aachen around lunchtime and our human had thought we would stay in the youth hostel. However, he decided to cycle on and chose a small town in Belgium to stop in.

We rang ahead having found a place with the “Bett und Bike” App and so this friendly place in Raeren is where we ended up the first night after a ride of some 72 Kms. 

This monument is to the fallen of the First World War, and though we are in Belgium it is all inscribed in the German language! 

The first day had started out grey and cold but in the morning of the second the sun shone and it lasted all day! 
Our BBF had selected Sankt Vith as our next destination but with a detour to Malmedy on the way. He has no paper maps or guide books only a number of Apps on his mobile phone. We used Komoot for the first two days! It generally worked well but we were never sure if it selected the best cycle route. To Malmedy it was up and down. Down at a rush of 50kmh is real fun, but the steady climb back up was hard work even with the motor. A thought always in the back of Alan‘s mind is will we get there with the power we have! 

After Malmedy we found ourselves on the Vennbahn. This is an old railway line turned into a cycle track and runs from Aachen to Troisverges some 125 kms with only a 2% gradient in parts! Had we known about it before hand we might have selected to travel all the way on it. 

This dam surprised us as it’s a Weser Dam! We had no idea Belgium had a Weser River too! 

Occasionally we would pass through a town and Alan stopped to look at this Cathedral! 

On the Vennbahn there are few places to stop and so we cycled on till we found our next place to stay in Sankt Vith which was the Youth Hostel! 

Fortunately we had the four bed room to ourselves though there were lots of junior school children in the hostel too! 

Another sunny start took us up hill and down dale again. 

An historic site with a hut to rest in. The boundary stone dates from the 17 century! 

Then we found ourselves back on the Vennbahn! 

But not for long as the railway tunnel on the route had been taken over by bats and was now closed to humans and bears! 

It was up hill into Luxemburg! 

The countryside is really beautiful and there is a constant smell of new mown hay in the air! 

A monument to an American pilot in the middle of nowhere.  

The route went through small villages and towns and had it been Spain then the odd little bar or cafe would have been open, but not so here! 

We had a fine view of Clervaux and an exhilarating ride down the hill to get into it. 

A well earned isotonic drink was called for with a wee bite to eat while our human scanned the Internet for a place to stay. As luck would have it, it was only 25 meters from where we were sitting! Now all we had to do was bridge the two hours until we could check in!

We did this by visiting the Battle of the Bulge museum in the castle.

The yellow building is our hotel.

The hotel has underground parking which includes a bike lockup with electric outlets! 

Alan showered and did his laundry! 

This is the view from our window! 
We wonder what our BBF has got planned for tomorrow?

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