Friday, July 15, 2011

More Climbing, Descending, Happy Touring

Yeah, it's official. I love climbing through mountainous landscapes and descending into little towns between the trees on creeks that have yet to become rivers. This is bicycle touring at it's finest.

Our second of the proposed three big days was glorious.

We go up 

reach the top 

and go dooooow 


As you can see, it was also sunny. The Ardennes get two thumbs up from me, and I (Ramona) will never beg for flat touring again (we're going to cross the Alps into Italy on a future bike trip, so check with me then for an update on that attitude).

Some of the landscapes reminded us both of Switzerland, and some moments were reminiscent of Northern California coastal ridge lines.


All the towns are really nice, and people were quite friendly. Again we made it to our end of day shopping town (Bertrix) around lunchtime. Nope, we have not tallied up kilometers, and no, we have no idea how high we climbed. The maps were color coded for altitude, and we went from green to yellow to reddish-orange. And then we went back down again. By the end of the day we were back down to yellows, and the landscape returned to the fairly level farmland from a few days before. We camped in the woods again, in a lovely, hidden spot that was maybe a little close to the train tracks (loud!).

the view up

Having spoken to Thomas a little when we had some internet access, we decided that our successful and enjoyable time in the Ardennes was enough of a bicycle success and that we were ready to go to Switzerland. We have a little break planned, hanging out with friends in Zurich. Then we take a quick train/ferry trip (without bikes) to Greece for a week, and head back to Zurich to resume touring at the beginning of August. Bicycle over the Swiss Alps after ouzo and spanikopita? Why not.

We did another half day in the morning, after delicious breakfast that I had to take a picture of.

Then at a town just a 20 minutes train ride from Luxembourg we hopped on a train. In Luxembourg we caught a direct train all the way to Zurich, and arrived around 9:30pm to a warm, summery city, and warm, summery friends.

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