Friday 30 August 2019

Euro trip part 1

This years holiday was undecided until a few weeks before we left, we had the time booked off, we knew we wanted to end up at the Begonia Rally in Belgium but the decision was between a trip North to Norway, Sweden and Denmark  or South to France and Italy. The decision was always going to be weather related, the outward ferry booked from Hull to Rotterdam with P&O (ridiculous price but slightly less ridiculous than the robbers at DFDS) this year alas the jet stream didn't play ball and we in the more Northern climes had a lot of rain so the Decision was made to turn right when we got off the ferry and head South.The bikes were also decided later in the day, Fiona after doing a fair few miles on the Guzzi and Commando this year that she wanted a wee break and would take her trusty ER6, meanwhile I decided a holiday without the associated Norton stress (and the carrying of copius amounts of tools and spares) might be fun and purchased a very low mileage Triumph Bonneville Newchurch just before the trip.
We set off as usual under a bleak sky to Newcastle first for a night with Fi's Auntie Marion, the run through the bypass wasn't as bad as expected but still hellish busy, we stopped on the A697 to don waterproofs, so far 90 dry miles which was good, Cornhill for lunch at the nice cafe / post office / General store then fuel up at Coldstream, after the fuel up we both experienced some surging on the bikes, a week earlier we filled up at the same Shell station and both Nortons ran crap so I suspect there is water or something in the fuel tanks, note to self, don't stop here again. A late start on the Saturday due to a particularly heavy night partying and on the road at 12.30, A19 to Thirsk was pleasant but somehow I missed a turn and ended up on a very busy A1, we turned off for York, another mistake, York circular is roundabout city and on this particular Saturday busy as hell, we fueled up just before Hull and Fi said her chain was rattling, inspection showed some tight links, the chain has only done under 4000 miles but hadn't been used for the previous 3 years, that and the rain must have aged it, copious amounts of chain lube and it seemed better (It was lubed before we left and appeared ok) Waiting for the boat we were joined by a delegation from the mighty Panther Owners club, all en route to their rally in Finland, I felt their pain!
Sunday a quick chat with the Panther people, through passport and another lube of the chain then off, stopped on the Brussels side of Antwerp for Breakfast and petrol, then Luxembourg for Petrol and food before finishing up in Metz at the municipal camp site, 4 Countries in a day, only in Europe is this possible ! We got a bit of shabby treatment at the first place we tried to eat so found a place where they actually wanted the business, great meal and a few beers. It rained during the night but stopped around 7am which was perfect.
More to follow, some pics to enjoy!
Bikes clean and ready to go
Waterproofs on!
Party party
Panthers on tour
Back on the road, food is a sandwich from the garage shop
It got hotter
Municipal camping at Metz , next to the Mosel
another church
Road sign is funny
This was a surprise, no idea what its all about
Nice eatery
The Mosel runs through Metz
Yet another church.....