Motor weekend Eifel
The first motorcycle adventure weekend on our own bikes! With fully packed Heavy Duties panniers we will ride a weekend through Germany and Belgium with ideal weather conditions. No wind and warm temperatures (tropical!).
In the evening before departure we are still busy working in our new home. Packing our luggage should take place in the early Thursday morning. This morning, Bertha makes delicious ‘sandwiches to go’ in the kitchen, while Erik is installing the Heavy Duties panniers. The panniers are hardly used but we find out that an important element is lacking; a pannier carry handle to carry the panniers to the hotel room for example. The carrying of the, sometimes heavy, panniers without handles is a great challenge. We quickly need to go back to the drawing board to sketch an idea and make the handles themselves.
After packing, the adventure could finally begin. We already had our first accident before departure! Bertha falls off her bike! We really have to get used to the extra weight of the panniers. First, both feet on the ground and only then possibly expand the jiffy stand. But do not panic, except for a small scratch on the left pannier no damage. Here we go!
Via the A2 and A12, we have crossed the border at Arnhem. During our previous trip to Maastricht at the Transalp and a rented Suzuki V-Strom, we avoided the highway almost the whole route. However, this time we opted for the quick route. Around 15:00 we arrived in Cologne at Karin, family of Bertha. At Karin’s place we have a private parking in the middle of the city center. And as we all expected, the table was already prepared! At Karin’s place good food is important, as well as enough wine! Just before arriving in Cologne we had a lovely lunch stop, and now we have to eat again! But politeness wins the full stomach and we start eating with a smile.
After this early dinner we enjoy the sun on the balcony, with the park noise in the background. But warm weather makes you thirsty, so soon we walk along with Karin, on an elderly pace, to the local beer house. Karin used to come here often with her husband, but after his death she occasionally visits this place with friends. However, she did not unlearn the ordering and as if she is the director, she instructs the staff that we need to order immediately. Kohl’s beer! It tastes excellent, and in the early evening sun we become a bit tipsy. At Karin’s flat again, we watch a German thriller. Good night.
The next morning we wake up early…. Karin yells out of the window why Hans is arriving so early?! That was not the deal! Hans is the husband of the cleaning lady and has been sent by her because she was busy. Karin could not just dismiss him, so while we were showering and dressing Hans was cleaning the house. After a delicious German breakfast it was time to leave for our next destination; Lindental Motor Hotel in Bad Bertrich. This time we avoid the highway, unfortunately without using the Garmin Zumo 550. The country maps are not fully loaded on the Garmin and there is only an arrow without roads visible on the screen. After a brief stop at the Burger King to abuse the Wifi we continue our way with navigation on our smartphone (Navigator Free). Good navigation, but it disrupted our communication lines. After two days of driving with an intercom system we noticed that communicating with each other is great fun but also very useful. You can give each other clues, or simply chitchat. The system was a perfect purchase, or actually the perfect birthday gift from Bertha!
The roads in the Eifel region are going up and down and do have lots of curves. Driving is not as “simple” as in the Netherlands, because in the Eifel we use more our brakes and gears. At a certain moment we stop waving to our colleagues, because there are so many motor riders here! From racing models to motorcycles with sidecars and trailers. It seems like half of Europe has gathered here on a motorcycle. The setting is lovely, lots of greenery and beautiful views. Also during our hourly stopping moments we enjoy the surroundings.
Around 16:00 we arrive, soaked with sweat, in Bad Bertrich. Erik drives ahead, stops at the first hotel he sees and points to it. Bertha nods, we find our hotel right away. After we parked the bikes under the shed behind the hotel and we had pulled off our jackets and motor pants, we walk to the reception. The owners introduce themselves and we feel very welcome. “Do you want a beer or do you first want to go to the room?” Asks the owner. We decide to first drop our stuff in the room and to take a quick shower. After that we can hang out the rest of the afternoon and evening, and hopefully no more sweating. The first beer tastes great! While we enjoy the beers and nuts, the owner tries to repair the GPS map. The map is visible on the SD card, but the device itself does not recognize it. Unfortunately the owner does not succeed either. We ask several fellow motorcycle travelers at the hotel, but they neither have a clue. However, we now understand that there are more people who have problems with navigation. Furthermore, we have learned that it is normal that you disable the navigation sound on the intercom so that it does not go through the communication line with your partner. The three-course dinner is equal for all 36 riders and tastes great. After dinner we share tips and tricks with other bikers. But at bedtime we know one thing for sure, one night at a motor hotel is enough for us. One evening talking about motorcycles is fun, but we would not like it for a whole weekend or a week, like most motorcycle travelers do who stay here.
On Saturday we wake up at 07:30. After a nice shower we enjoy our breakfast outside. Nice! At 09.30 we leave the hotel and are ready to go to Liège! The Navigator app today leads us once again through the beautiful Eifel region. Hairpins through forests and scenic roads across the heath. Because there is a road block in a small village, we need to drive hairpins off road. This is very exciting. Under the slogan ‘keep accelerating’ even Bertha came through unscathed.
Along the Spa circuit it is very busy. In the city center we stop for a delicious croque monsieur. An hour later we arrive in Liège. It took a while before we found the right hotel and a right spot to park our bikes. Finally we have them parked in front of the hotel on the pavement. After a cold shower in the cramped bleak hotel we make an effort to see some more of the city. However, all highlights are already closed and we decide to try out the full Belgian beer menu and to watch people from the terrace, to still ‘get some culture’. Eventually we ended up in a cozy beer garden.
After breakfast in town the next morning, we leave around 10:00. The first two hours, we still avoid the highways until Maastricht and further up northwards. When the landscape start to look very similar, we decide to continue our way home on the highway. Around 14:00 we arrive home safely. After we cleaned the bikes they were shining again. We cannot wait for the next bike trip!