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My trip to Europe


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Last saturday afternoon we set off from Dover for the trip to Europe. Everything was weather dependant as is usually the case with touring on a bike. We were heading straight to Grenoble and into the Alps but the weather was rain for the first four days, so decided to go towards Rodez, in southern France.


Having kept off the motorways to prevent boredom, and because we didn't arrive until gone 4pm, local time we didn't make much progress. The route was great to ride just outside Calais but we only managed to get as far as Beauvais (10pm at the Formule F1). We did entertain the locals by eating our supper in the local supermarket car park! It rained for a bit on the way down on the first day too. And I spent a couple of hours cleaning the bloody bike that morning!


Sunday:-

The next day was so hot (36C) it was too much and by the time we made Clermont-Ferrand we were ready to pass out with the heat. Use the Ibis hotel if you head that way, very good value.


Monday:-

Left Clermont-Ferrand for Grenoble taking in the twisty bits, much fun and great views everywhere we went. Came upon a small town, which like most of France seemed to be deserted. Sat in the sun eating locally grown strawberries, and drinking bottled water. Very relaxing, but still bloody hot. Eventually made it to Grenoble and I think I picked the worst F1 hotel for it's location. No eating houses, or drinking houses nearby, so opted to go into Grenoble town centre on the bike for dinner. That was fine thanks to the satnav, but as it was still hot rode down in T-shirt and jeans. Found a restaurant and parked bike outside. You would have thought that the locals were being invaded by the looks we received. Food wasn't great and service was terrible. Avoid main tourist spots and find something away from the centre. Oh, and if you can speak fluent french I suspect that might help too.


Tuesday:-

Used the A430 to head into the Alps which is a great road in itself, and then played it by ear. Went to travel over the St Bernard pass, and when we arrived at the ski resort, La Rosiere, they had close the road! Only other way round was over 100 miles , so it was back along the way we had been, and onto Albertville. Found a very nice hotel in the middle of the town. Parked the bike underground, and within minutes the heavens opened, accompanied by thunder and lightening. Lucky us!

Again nice local restaurant, pleasant staff, and great food.


Wednesday:-

The weather was not in our favour for the remainder of the trip, especially as we had to allow at least 2 days to get back to Calais, so we took the decision to head north to Paris. To ensure we made it one day I took to the toll roads. Not cheap, but you can certainly kill some miles. Did 466 miles in under 8 hours!

Had dinner in the centre of Paris, and experienced the wonders of Parisians behind a wheel. Great fun. Ended up staying in a hotel 13 miles out of town as everything in our budget was booked.


Thursday:-

Quick blast back to Calais, and then left standing on the dock for over 2 hours as the ferry was delayed with engine trouble.


Home in time for tea.


Check the link to see the piccies.


http://s559.photobucket.com/albums/ss32 ... ?start=all


Things we will do different next time:


Use the motorway to get to a central point.

Stay in one hotel, guest house, and travel out from that point each day.

If moving around, use #1 and then take it easy for a couple of days locally before heading onto the next area.

We are already planning a trip to Germany. I'ver never been and Cathy has the touring bug!

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