4 Jul 2013

Day 12: Urberach to Antwerp

The Urberacher Hof was another highlight of the trip—Gisela and her mother Margarete were fantastic hosts. We were treated to a full classic German breakfast and then personally seen off when we left. Definitely worth a stay.

Milka muffins for breakfast.

A bit of memorabilia from a Canadian icon—in central Germany!

The weather was threatening to rain but fortunately never followed through and before long the clouds parted. I said it before, but Germany is made for motorbiking, the roads are excellent and the speed limits are realistic enough that you can have fun without risking your licence.

A mum-n-pops petrol station.


We soon headed off the main road onto a twisty, narrow route through the forested hills.

During the climb, a beautiful cathedral appeared.

We stopped in a tiny farming village for a quick rest. Maybe being used to dirty old London our standards are low but Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany were shockingly clean everywhere, no rubbish to be seen.

Old tudor style farmhouses, some in better condition than others.

Around 5pm we reached Würselen (near Aachen), the unassuming home of FC Moto—known for its excellent European mail order service selling all sorts of motorbiking gear. Indeed there was an overwhelming selection of everything from helmets to full body rigs.

Out front of FC Moto.

We slabbed it from Aachen across the bottom of the Netherlands, stopping briefly in Heerlen for chocolate sprinkles (a Dutch/Belgian thing) and on towards Antwerp.

We met up with our friend Dirkyan at a motorway exit just before Antwerp and followed him through some beautiful Belgian villages to his home where we met his wife and were treated to a delicious home cooked meal and local specialty beer. We stayed until late talking about our travels and life in general. It was a real pleasure and a great way to spend the evening—thank you Rango for inviting us to your home!

We rode the short distance to Antwerp where we stayed in our first chain hotel of the trip—the Scandic Hotel Antwerpen. Although the room had the personality of a wardrobe, the price was right and the night manager was kind enough to let me park underneath the hotel for security in the staff area. Even the chain hotels can be accommodating when you travel by bike.

Still not over my cold I didn't even unpack the panniers, it was straight to bed for the night.

Alps 2013 quick links

Day 1: London to Lille
Day 2: Lille to Hagondange
Day 3: Slow road to Ammerschwihr
Day 4: Ammerschwihr
Day 5: Ammerschwihr to Thônes
Day 6: Thônes to.... Thônes
Day 7: Thônes to Ruèras
Day 8: Ruèras to Flachau
Day 9: Flachau
Day 10: Flachau to Wemding
Day 11: Wemding to Urberach
Day 12: Urberach to Antwerp
Day 13: Antwerp to London

The gear and how it held up
The trip in hindsight