Thursday, 4 September 2014

A stolen day out on the bike

It can be difficult sometimes to justify taking a day off work in the middle of the week just to ride the motorbike in the sunshine, so my justification was..…I needed to see if my new bolt-on screen spoiler would reduce wind noise on motorways. And I needed to visit Durbuy, a town in Belgium that declares itself to be the smallest city in the world, using a route that also took in Reinhardstein castle and lots of wriggly roads. The real reason of course was that I was jealous of Sonja’s recent rides in the Black Forest; the Belgian Ardennes is the closest area to me that has similar winding roads. Plus the bike will have to go back to England soon as the dark mornings & evenings will soon be upon us.

...well I was on a Triumph!

some kind of art in a field
An early start saw me blast down the autoroute past Antwerp and Brussels in the early morning fog, by the time I reached Namur the sun was breaking through; I had a nice breakfast there and then with the satnav set to ‘winding roads’ proceeded to enjoy the picturesque drive across to the city of Durbuy.

Durbuy chateau
An internet search before I set off had shown the only vegetarian restaurant in the area was just outside the town, this turned-out to be in the grounds of a castle now used by the Hari Krishna group for retreats, with delicious vegan meals in a tranquil setting and very friendly people, so even though I wasn’t really hungry I sat down to a pleasant meal in the sunshine.

Hare Krishna castle
After an hours break I set off again on those twisty roads, in no time I was in yet another picturesque village where a coffee and frites were enjoyed in the sun, then following my pre-planned route I headed north to begin the trip home, although somehow the satnav took me south into Luxembourg – a bonus really as the roads are lovely there. Just outside Antwerp I re-joined the autoroute for the final blast home. I got home a tired but happy bunny – 2 tanks of petrol, 540 kms and about a million bends – bliss!
Medieval fortified farmhouse
Oh and the spoiler didn’t make the noise and buffeting any worse, but I can’t say it made it better.