LOST IN LUXEMBOURG OCTOBER 2013
(see also Denise's photos from Lost in Luxembourg)
As you are all aware, Pete, Mum, Dad and I have participated in the Lost in Luxembourg tour for a number of years and I thought it was about time that I wrote something for the magazine.
We left Dover the day before the St Judes Storm! Still pretty choppy but this did not deter Peter, Mum, Dad and I from having breakfast. The Restaurant was empty - don't know why ?.
Good trip down to Vianden and arrived in time for an aperitif - about 4'ish. Met up with the other entrants and friends, many of whom have been here before.
Evening meal followed by drinks and cards. I beat Hugh and then off to bed.
Weather inclement, although not cold. At 10 o'clock, Pete, Mum, Dad and I left on the run which took us through the local countryside. Plenty of climbs and drops, tricky in the wooded areas and extremely windy. Arrived at the coffee stop - Funfmadelhaus and we had two cups of hot chocolate each before Bill Mills came along. Then off we went on the route to Dasburg for lunch. Dasburg was closed this Monday, whether because of the weather or that they knew we were coming!. We found some other riders and Ruth was asking where we could have lunch. This sent us off route about 4 miles to a small shopping mall which had a bistro. In the end 10 of us had made lunch, some of the others not going out until later or not at all because of the bad weather. Long lunch as they did not serve too quickly, which pleased us, as we sat there watching the rain bounce off of the road. When it stopped we left and followed the route. Along the way Alan had described the route as dirty 'care to be taken' - but we never saw the dirt through the mass of leaves. Arrived back at Hotel Orianienberg - dry- this was a bonus. Time to rest or have a drink - then down for dinner and cards - I won again - sorry Hugh.
Alan had been contacted by an English chap who lived near Luxembourg and he had invited us all to a BBQ. The only instructions were that we had to arrive at a certain point by 12.30. So everyone left in plenty of time. Dryer today with lovely sweeping roads so the pace picked up. The coffee stop was at the back of a Petrol Station which had a wonderful view across a river. Fantastic selection of cakes and pastries which some indulged in - not us, too full from breakfast. We left and followed the route until we were supposed to turn right, where we found that the signs had been taken down and a Route Barree put in place. As the sign was missing we went further on and took a right then right again and we found ourselves back on the correct route. A few junctions further on and we met Martin our host with his Buell at the side of the road. Gradually the others arrived and he took us to his home. He is converting a barn and his garage was impressive to say the least. On chatting to him we found out that he was a chief technician in sending up commercial satellites but his passions were bikes and cars. He has several bikes in different countries so when he is working he can always ride. Both him and his wife were most hospitable and after an excellent lunch he took us for a ride along the Mosel and back to La Rochette where we picked up Alan's route again and back to the Hotel. I left Peter with the boys having a beer, discussing the day as they do and took the opportunity to relax in the bath before dinner. After dinner it was cards again - Hugh against 3 ladies - Hugh's turn to win, but only by a whisper.
Got up to see cloud and sun. Today's route was a run of equal parts - 33 miles to coffee, 33 miles to lunch and 33 miles back to the Hotel - or so we thought until we found the Route Barrees. The first one we attempted to go through, to no avail as the workman did not want us in their tarmac. So another detour, left then left again and back on route. The next one we had seen before on Monday and the workman were not amused then, so we thought we would go along the other side of the river and find a way across. This we did, tarmac road, then green lane, then muddy track until we reached a foot bridge. There was a slope our side so Pete rode on up followed closely by Dad. Unfortunately the other side had steep steps which led into a campsite. After a discussion where Dad thought he could be 'James Bond' and ride down the steps or carry the bike down, sense prevailed and we decided to turn around and find another way. Easier said than done - as mentioned it was a foot bridge and not wide enough to turn the bikes around , so they were pushed backwards down the slope. Our steps were retraced only to find that the Route Barree had been moved to the side, so we sneaked though and went on to coffee to find four other hardy souls who had done the same. After laughingly recounting our tale it was hot chocolate and off again. Neuerberg is not busy in October and not many of the restaurants were open so we went into a sit down takeaway place. Hot food with chips were okay for all of us. Only 33 miles to go, but early on we were confused and some walkers saw us several times, they even started taking photos. Eventually we found the sign we needed and road along some lovely German roads across the hills and back to Vianden. Don't ask how many extra miles we had done. Early finish so Peter and I went for a walk down to the town and did the tourist thing, taking pictures and walking along the river. We returned to the Hotel in time for drinks before dinner and found that Dad had 'come out' to the amusement of everyone as a cross dresser - You will have to ask him for details. Four of us played cards - Hugh won again.
We woke up to a very foggy day and did not rush our breakfast. Time to go, still in the fog, so took things carefully. Dad suddenly went past us and then stopped. We pulled up alongside to see that he had his glasses in his teeth. He could not see through them in the fog and did not want to stop to put them away. We took them off him and continued. Today was to live up to the title of the rally 'Lost in Luxembourg', mainly due to the Route Barrees. We came across one that even we could not get around. Basically a hole 10 foot down across the whole of the road and yes that was the way we wanted to go. We followed the wrong road for a while and then decided to get the map out to find our way. During this time we seemed to have picked up a few other riders who were in the same predicament. We used the map and about three junctions before coffee found ourselves back on route, much to my delight as I was the map reader. We arrived at the Hotel Rittesprung in Ouren, one of our favourite places and to our surprise there was no one else there. Round of hot chocolates again, then Malcolm's trio arrived. So off we went and soon realised that part of the route went through another Route Barree which we had used previously in the week. There was no other way but to wave to the unhappy workmen who were fed up with the mad English motorcyclists and proceed to the lunch stop. Well this is another favourite place of mine. Whilst Pete and Mum had soup, I ordered a pizza which they cook over an open fire and was it big. However, both Pete and Mum joined in and we soon finished it - they only joined in under pressure of course !. We then took a short run back to Vianden and the men loaded the bikes up ready for going home in the morning. Another convivial evening was had and yes Hugh won the cards again - so much to my good start of the week.
Friday morning, breakfast and off home. This had been another excellent week with friends riding around Luxembourg, getting lost in beautiful scenery and contryside and all thanks go to Alan Abrahams for the organisation.
Get well soon Alan, we need you for next year.
This was a joint effort from Denise and Pete.