Monday, August 23, 2010

Pre Alps Tour - time in Germany and Luxembourg

Landed back in town very late Saturday night after a great experience of cycling through the French Alps. It was great to cycle the same roads as the Tour de France riders have traversed over the years. The scenery, roads, and climbs were amazing. I was happy to have set my bike up with a compact crank and a 11/28 as it was perfect. Before heading to the Tour de Alps 6 day stage race, I cycled with Steve and Jason in Germany and Luxembourg. The area of Germany, near Trier, is very scenic. Here is a picture of Jason and Steve at dinner in a small restaurant near where we were staying.

Steve's brother lives on a hill, so before every ride start we would descend down and after every ride we would climb up to the house. On one of the days we stopped at a book store that a German man operated out of an old bunker. His English was very good and he told us stories about how Hilter's troops occupied these same bunkers, during the time when he was trying to conquer Luxembourg. There is only a river that separates the Germany and Luxembourg border.

Luxembourg is amazing. If you ever get a chance to cycle in Luxembourg, go for it. It is a clean and wealthy country, and of course is the home of Andy Schleck.

One of our rides was to the Vianden Castle which was an absolutely beautiful ride. This 145 km ride was amazing and included lots of climbs and rolling terrain. We had great weather and very little traffic to contend with. In the picture above is the town that we had lunch in. I love the bakeries and cafes in Germany and Luxembourg. This is typical road signage of directions to various towns.

Here are some pictures of the Vianden Castle. It is a really big climb to the castle. You can also cycle a further 5km up which I did because I lost sight of where Jason and Steve had gone. The extra climb allowed me to snap these pictures.

One of the coolest things in Germany is how you indicate the time of when you will be returning once you have parked your vehicle. I thought this was totally cool.

We were driving back from Trier one day and took an alternate road. It was crazy. Here is a picture of how narrow the road was - it is for traffice going both directions!

On one of the days we cycled into France to see another castle. It was a shorter ride as we were really bagged from the previous day of cycling. I am certain the keg of beer we drank while sitting outside on the deck of Steve's brothers place did not help our hydration and re=fueling efforts! However, we did have a good time!

Here is a picture of Jason on a tandem bike we saw perched on a fence.

Here are some pictures of the castle in France.

Stay tuned for pictures and write-up on the Tour de Alps 6 day stage race.

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