Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 248 - Charleville-Mezieres - North East France

I bought my last maps today, to take me across Picardie and Brittany to Le Harve, and the ferry. I also visited my final two 'new' countries in the last week - Luxembourg and Belgium.

Luxembourg was a funny one - a tiny country, really only consisting of a city and some countryside. I went into the city, couldn't find anywhere to stay in/near the centre and ended up in 'The Worst Hotel in the World' (re-named by me), about a mile or so from anywhere . Not that that made much difference anyway - nothing happens in the centre, from what I could tell. Few restaurants, few bars, little life. It's nice - pretty, you know, cobbled streets, nice buildings and crap like that, but there wasn't really any life, any bite to it. Not that I saw, anyway.

Back in TWHITW, I sat on the bed looking at the dirty, thredbare carpet and the stained walls, my nostrils full of stale smoke and damp, the bed creaking and sagging underneath me, and I thought 'I'm getting sick of this shit'. The 65 euro price tag on the room didn't help. I've stayed in the centre if Vienna, in a nice place, for little more than that. And countless other places. If you want to go to a little country in Europe, go to Andorra, that's what I say. Or if you have to go to Luxembourg, don't stay in the Hotel Bristol.

So, after my 'I'm getting sick of this shit' moment, I changed my plan. I was going to head North into Belgium and touch Holland, but instead I decided to go West, through Belgium, back into France and head for the channel. Which is what I did. I was in Belgium for one night and am now looking at six days or so back to the channel.

The weather has been getting increasingly worse - I was riding in sleet the other day, snow yesterday, and temperatures rarely go over three degrees. Perhaps surprisingly, it doesn't really bother me that much. I've got clothes on, you know, and gloves, and dry clothes to wear afterwards in waterproof bags on the back of my bike, so it's just like another day at the office, so to speak.

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy my last days on the road in France, before my return to England makes this all seem so far away.


  • At 1:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't worry - we'll have a nice warm flat pint of British ale to warm your cockle when you return. And another 9 to attempt to stop you showing us your holiday snaps. :-)

    Roger (whose account has fallen over)

  • At 6:53 pm, Blogger Percy Herbert said…

    Holiday? HOLIDAY?!

    This is NOT a holiday, Mr Emery! Have you not been paying attention?! ;O)

    I'll take the pints though...


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