We've left the Alps... :-(
We packed up this morning, we are quite proficient at it now and both have
our little jobs to do to get us underway. Even the car has a packing plan and
we know where everything is and the best way to get to it but then I suppose
we have had a little bit of practive at it now :-) It was kind of sad to
leave the Alps as both of us really, really like it there!
We set of and headed North through Switzerland and then back into France
after we'd passed by Basel. It was a longish trip - 270miles or so - but it
passed by without problem and we saw some entertaining things on the way.
At one point we passed a Buzzard on the side of the motorway just sitting
looking sorry for itself on the hard shoulder - it wasn't trying to fly away
from the cars and trucks passing within a couple of feet of it so I can only
assume it had "given up" on life, had already had a clout from a vehicle or
there was some other reason that it was just sat there looking sorry for
itself. Anyway, there was no where to stop and find out so on we went :-(
A little futher on we were driving along a section of road with fields on
either side when a Red Kite caught my eye heading into a ploughed field on
our left, it stooped as if it was going to catch something and then at the
last minute rose back into the air while another bird that had already made a
kill hopped around looking angry at being harrassed when it was trying to eat
:-) all good stuff but over far too quickly and no chance to stop and carry
While we were travelling the Swiss motorways (which you have to pay €30 for
the priviledge of using - no road tolls though and the €30 lasts a whole
year!) we saw both ends of the spectrum of cars, I can probably sum that up
best by saying we passed a remarkably good condition Anglia and were passed
by a Buggati Veyron.......... very, very cool - and the Veyron wasn't bad
either :-) No, seriously the Veyron looks better in the flesh than it does in
the magazines or on TV - beautiful car (maybe we should go back to Monte
Carlo and bet the house in the Casino?
By the time we'd done travelling we landed at a place in the Alsace region
(NE France), not too far from Strasbourg in the Vosges national park (the
town is Saint Die du Vosges) - there is really excellent walking and cycling
here (if you were wondering why we'd headed here). The area is well known for
it's dry white wines and the number of immaculately pruned Vines is just
amazing....... much neater than the Loire Vines.....
We've been to see the best (by a long way) castle we have ever seen - the
Chateau de Koenigsburg - it's a fortress that has been restored and it is
very, very well done. It's also enormous (you should be able to see it on one
of the photo albums). I was ruined by fire but then restored before the last
world war to it's present glory, and what a glory it is...... I could write
a lot about it but I'll leave you to look at the photographs!
Because it is so high above the valley floor I got my bike out of the car and
raced Claire to the bottom (she was driving) of course I won because I
managed to pass some slower cars on one of the hairpin bends and that held
her up - otherwise she would definitely have won! The 5.15 miles only took 11
minutes though :-) I know thats only a 26 mph average (there were some flat
bits :-) but I did top 40mph on the way down - would have been faster on my
road bike...... next time :-)
The bridleways here would be a great place to come and tour on the mountain
bikes though - the tracks are good and there an abundance of good XC riding
(not much downhill - full bouncy stuff though).
Thats all for now, (hope everyones still enjoying reading this!
Dale and Claire