Lionheart, Paris, Luxembourg and Heidelberg

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Off the channel ferry‎ after a chat with the other Beemer rider. 
Glad I set the alarm last night. It woke me up in time to pack and get on the bike. Otherwise no chat. Last off the boat. hmmmm

We rode out on a sunny Thursday morning.
Bit of a delay as we all went through Customs. 
Then out on the roads of France 🙂

I avoid toll-highways, so ran into a village and found a ham sandwich. They had a pain-aux-raisin, but no coffee. 

Scenic ride to Chateau Galliard. This was built by Richard the Lionheart, and is regarded as “genesis” in castle design.
The castle was clearly visible from across the river. Up the winding road and paused at what I thought was the coach-park. Scan’d the site and rode down to the lower car-park. That meant a long walk to visit the castle, so I rode around and parked at the upper park. Took this photo……

Enjoyed the view. Then rode towards Paris.
Searching for a man-purse. Had seen one when Andrew and I were in town. 
Found a hotel with nearby parking and rode in.
Quick unpack and walk down. 
Bag not a ‘Goldilocks’ 🙁
So sat down to think of a plan B…..

Went back and had a conversation in French about the leather bag. Turns out another company makes the bags. So modifications are not possible. 

Walked around to my “local” bar, next to the previous hotel. 
Reminded me of the price difference between sitting at a table and being served, versus getting your own drinks at the bar. ” Servis compris”.

Sushi supper.

Then bed.

Up on a cloudy, but sunny, Saturday norning
TLC for the bike.
Ride out.

Was a nice ride till Belgium. 
Do they have the wettest climate? Or what!
Just filled  up and ridden maybe 800m when the rain started. Unexpectedly. 
Dressed and rode on.
Temperature dropped to 8degC for a while.

Soon arrived in Luxembourg
Checked in.
Parked the bike, as instructed, in the patio area.

Then out for a traditional sausage soup.
Found, this art along the way……

but no room at the inn serving soup 🙁
Wandered around the old town till I found this nice vegetable soup….

Then a bit more walkabout, and back to the hotel. 
When I mentioned that the city seemed quiet, the receptionist commented that it was early. Les Jeunnes only go out at midnight!

And happily, I went to bed.
Memories of Luxembourg? Will be nice when it is finished. There is construction everywhere!

Sunday morning look damp.
TaiChi exercises, to loosen my stiff shoulder. 

Met Pam from Biloxi. who started in Sofia, and is due in NYC in 2 days time, to go to the Met. Also a fan of ‘Red Green‘. hahahaha
We spoke so long that I ended up with 50mins to check the bike, pack, dress, and checkout of the hotel. 
Done 🙂

Took the eco-route option, which was basically due east. 
TomTom only led me astray once. Into some fields. I kid you not.

Some 60km west of Heidelberg was outstanding scenery. Hills and river valleys. With castles. 

Rode into home.
As I opened the gate, a white van pulled up. The driver,‎ Stefan, “complaining” that I had passed him. Which triggered a memory of an on-ramp with a white-van towing a trailer a few kilometers back. 
It’s nice to be home.

After sinking a bottle of mineral water. 

Then George (ex-Detroit-immigration officer) and I went for schnitzel at Dufke. 
Then back for chat with tall-John (ex-police chief from Hawaii) and his wife.
As two programmers and a welder joined the conversation, I headed for an early night. 

Nice to be home.

Monday morning up to a nice day. 
Gave the bike some TLC, including a good wash. 

Lunch at my favourite kebab shop.
Picked up some cash and fruit. 
And seeing as I have my panto tickets…..
“What fruit?”
“Well you don’t have to be so familiar”

Ran through a list of chores, including checking out FirstGear dealer stores. 
They suggest I pop in and try a jacket before they ship me a warranty replacement. They have nothing in Europe. One dealer in Canada, located in Montreal. And whereas I’d assumed there would be a dealer in Buffalo (lots of biker gear there), nearest is Detroit. 7hrs round trip. Yikes! Am trying for plan C. Glad they didn’t try plan B, giving me a voucher code!!!

Started organizing my gear.
Put in the laundry. 
An early night. 

Up to a grey Tuesday morning, with a Scottish mist.
Then all I need to do is pack.
Confirm my bike will get it’s oil change.
And wait for my ride to the airport. 

Yup. Canada bound 🙂