Le Massif Central

gepostet am 31. August 2014, 22:35 von Ralf

From Clermont-Ferrand we followed the old National Route 9 for two and a half days, which brought us into the Massif Central and up to about 1100 m.a.s.l.. In the following we had a lot of ups and downs at high altitude – Yesterday we did roughly 1400 metres of altitude within 80 kilometres. Today we reached the highest point of our crossing of the Massif Central, which was at 1130 m.a.s.l.. Then we had a nice descent down to about 700 m.a.s.l. and followed the Lot valley for a while. Another ascent brought us back to roughly 1000 metres and the afternoon break was at the “Point Sublime” where we had an awesome view on the gorgeous canyon of the Tarn River, which is more than 500 metres deep at some points. Only a few kilometres later we had a first view on the Pyrenees far far away before we enjoyed a steep descent with several hairpin curves down into the canyon. In the evening we arrived in Millau. After a nice dinner I had a nightly view on the illuminated Viaduc de Millau, Europe’s highest motorway bridge, crossing the Tarn valley more then 200 metres above the river. After 1917 kilometres from Kiel it’s only 130 km left to the Mediterranean now, so there is a good chance to see the sea the day after tomorrow. Days are finally getting sunnier and even the evenings are warm enough to enjoy being outside – a clear indicator that we arrived in Southern Europe :-)

Kategorien: English entries, Fahrräder / bicycles, Urlaub / holidays | Kommentare

Bienvenue en France

gepostet am 28. August 2014, 10:19 von Ralf

Finally the weather gets better! The headwinds left us a few days ago and it’s about 25 degrees Celsius, while I’m sitting in the sun in front of a fountain in the historical city centre of Clermont-Ferrand right next to the Cathedral and writing this post. We have crossed the rainy Ardennes and the endless wheat fields of the Champagne region. Unfortunately we did not hit the regions where they grow the famous Champagne wine, but we saw some grapes around Chablis in the Bourgogne region. The north of France was surprisingly rural in some regions – sometimes we had problems to find a supermarket for more than 40 kilometres. Yesterday then finally the first serious mountains became visible. It was awesome to rush through the flat area south of Vichy on a sunny and warm afternoon heading towards the volcanoes of the Auvergne region for the last 60 kilometres and seeing the Puy de Dome becoming bigger and bigger. Now we are right at it’s base taking a day break. Susie needs her rear wheel repaired – after a spoke broke in Lower Saxony it got a little bit out of shape and therefore needs a wheel trueing stand this afternoon. Hopefully there is enough time for an evening climb up to the peak of the Puy de Dome afterwards :-)

Kategorien: English entries, Fahrräder / bicycles, Urlaub / holidays | Kommentare

gepostet am 15. August 2014, 12:17 von Ralf

Weather obviously turns bad in the North now, so it was a good idea to get away from Kiel towards warmer and drier regions. Our first days were dominated by moderate headwinds and occasional rain showers. After crossing the Elbe River at Glückstadt we headed southward via Stade to Achim, then we turned right and went on eastward via Lechbruch am Dümmer, Bramsche and Rheine to Gronau where we crossed the border to the Netherlands for the first time. The Netherlands gave us a friendly welcome. A family allowed us to camp on the small piece of grass land they had next to their house in Haaksbergen. After we just had finished setting up our tents they even brought us a basket with coffee, cheese and apples from their own garden. After a short visit back to Germany and crossing the Rhine in Emmerich we are now in Gennep, close to Nijmegen. The first 560 km are done and we are quiet optimistic to make it to the Belgian border today – at least if this rain will end soon.

Kategorien: English entries, Fahrräder / bicycles, Urlaub / holidays | Kommentare