From Riquewihr it’s into the mountains again
Over the Col de la Schlucht
It was to be an eventful trip
Partly by truck
But all life is a learning
I take the by roads rather than the motorways
It has its risks but many rewards
Such as the entrance to the old city in Parthaney
The picturesque Vouvant
Or the amazing boulders at le Rocher Blanant
And onto the little coastal harbours of Brittany
But not a drop to drink
So it was set camp
And taste the fine wine and unique blend of French and Bavarian cuisine.
In the wonderful medieval charm of Riquewihr, in the Alsace
At La Grappe D’or
What is it about Switzerland that takes my breath away
The amazing vistas across the lakes
Amazing mountain passes like the old San Gotthard pass with its cobblestone surface
And party atmosphere at the top
Or village of Gletch where the Furka, Grimsel and Nufenen passes all converge
Maybe it’s the white Glacier topped mountains
Or is is the amazing biker culture that see riders of all types out enjoying the Alps
The goulash soup at the resturaunt at the top of Nufenen pass comes close
But maybe it’s the subtle heartfelt welcome that is so Swiss that makes one say ahhh
A hot run across the Spanish border
Roads lined this plane trees in the Midi Pyrenees
And on to Carcassonne
Relic of the Cathar Dream
Survivor of the Cathar Wars.
Bastion of the past
Standing on the hill
Survivor of centuries
Weathered wall the keepers of secrets through the ages
The ancient citadel on the hill
The citadel dressed up for the Tour d’ France
It well hold its secrets to the sun sets over it for the last time.
Now it’s the Altos Pireneos
On the Spanish side
Green high fields
Bringing back memories of the North West of Spain
The quaint villages
And the friendly Spanish people
Camp where ever like and come and register when your ready.
Following the race route
Up and down
Round and round
Towns and villages
Snakes the Tour d’ France course
Through little villages where the French traditional food culture thrives
In the village of Arreau Christmas tree cake
Rich almond batter
Still baked in the traditional way
Over the open fire
Pretty little villages
Full of life and joie de vivre
Pouring sidr in Cangas de Onis
Yes the culture of Spain but the north west is a little different
Maybe it’s the Comino de Santiago
Or the hydrangeas that are every where
The pipes being played at the cathedral in Santiago de Compestela
Or could it be the thermal pools in Ourense, free for the public to use
But I think it’s the vast greenness and amazing Lakes and rivers.
Looking to the Picos de Europa from Potes
The Picos epitomise the mountains of North West Spain.
Views of the Picos de Europa
And for the bike rider. The toads to get there.
And camping camping in the lush green of North West Spain
It’s late June 2018
World cup fever grips Europe
Do you follow football? I ask my Spanish companion.
Si, was his reply.
I started to commiserate about Spain’s poor performance.
Quickly he responsponed. I don’t support Spain. I’m Basque.
In time I learn how different north west Spain is.
Ready to alight the ferry in Bilbao
Bilbao of course is a little different
There is the Guggenheim
With its amazing installations
To add to the old city
The beaches and harbours
But then there is the green.
The thing that is different about north west Spain is its the green Spain.
Dartmoor National Park neighbours Cornwall
Famous for the Dartmoor ponies
Beautiful patches of forest
Such as Lydford Gorge
And of course beautiful riding across the moors with a stop for a pint along the way.