The Black Forest has been on the bucket list for several years and this year it was time to put a big fat tick on the box.
We started planning it around Christmas 2013 and were able to take up some early bird price offers by arranging everything so far in advance.
The obligatory loaded up and ready to go photo…
Maidstone service on the way to the chunnel
The bikes on the train and Myleene with her Kindle to pass the 35 minutes it takes to get to France
A few other riders on the same crossing
We stayed at the Ibis Budget hotel in Lille. It has good underground parking that is nice and safe for motorbikes.
Hotel room for the first night in Lille. Photo taken 10 minutes after arriving. Looks like a bomb has hit it
Quick shower, change and out for some food and ale. It turned out that there was a music festival in France so the place was packed.
The music festival is an annual event on June 22nd. We will try and get back for another one, one year
Being a home brewer, I do like to try out different beers.
Rather out of place; an Aussie Bar in the middle of Lille
More activity in Lille
DJ in the street
Waiting for the evening performance
What the well dressed stylish French men are wearing this year!
Lille old town. Nice building and cobbled streets.
At the creperie.
Dinner for the evening
Local XR spotted
Nice walk back to the hotel around midnight. Plenty of nightlife with a really nice vibe and good music
Next day heading to Givet on the Belgian border
Usual really busy roads…
Givet. A really pretty town but rather small
That big screen behind the white mini…
Is where the locals gathered a bit later to watch Belgium in the World Cup
A bit more of this…
The following day we rode down to Schenkenzell, via in the Black Forest, via Baden-Baden.
Arriving in Baden-Baden
Then heading to the hotel via Mummelsee via the famous B500 roads – one of the reasons why we wanted to come
Spectacular views around Mummelsee
This is a popular place to stop off
Schenkenzell where we were staying. We stayed at the Hotel Waldblik
The half board tariff was great value.
Local churchyard, beautifully maintained
We had a ride out the following day to Titisee and triberg. On the way we passed a cuckoo clock shop. Beside the shop was a, um, rather large cuckoo clock.
Seeing as it was “on the hour”, everything decided to kick off.
The shop also had some rather nice beer steins. I nearly fainted at the price of them (or rather I needed a drink!). Very expensive so maybe another time. I really would like to get one for drinking my home brew beer. I’ll start saving for next time.
And being a cuckoo clock shop, they had some….
Then it was on to Triberg and the waterfalls.
Apparently these are the highest waterfalls in Germany though I suspect this description is more for tourist attraction than truth.
View from the top
Back at the hotel in the evening and it was steak night. Absolutely gorgeous piece of steak with a great pepper sauce
Followed by some schnapps. This is a local schnapps known as Black Forest Devil.
Next day we went out for another run. This time to really get stuck into the B500
Myleene’s Street Triple – what a bloody good bike.
Stopped at Mummelsee again. This time for coffee and look at the lake. Got sidetracked by silliness but hey, thats what being on holiday is all about
Saw this whilst we were stopped. got talking to the owner who had had it for a whole two days and was loving it.
Another local bike. Must be great fun on the roads around here
The following day we had a day off the bikes and went to Offenburg on the train
Coffee and ice cream
Big sausages and currywurst
After four days in the Black Forest it was time to start heading home. With the weather turning bad we got out on to the peage. Not my favourite roads by a long shot but very efficient if going A to B.
Overnight in Reims where it absolutely pissed down. Glad we weren’t riding at the time
Following day up to Ypres in Belgium before heading over to Boulogne-sur-Mer. Myleene’s Street Triple getting a lot of interest!
Our final evening before heading home so it was only fitting to finish off with a nice couple of drinks. Myleene’s is on the left before anyone thinks I’ve gone a bit soft.
Then up to the Chunnel at Calais and home via the M20, M25 and M4.
One final photo of the bikes at Membury services near Swindon on the way home
It was a great trip and one that we shall do again. Rather than staying in one place for a few days, I think we will plan to move around the region a bit more.
With regard to the XR, I really went through a love/hate thing with it while we were away. I got fed up with the fuel tank range and also the weight of it. The Black Forest region has some brilliant technical roads and trying to muscle the XR around some of the tighter parts showed it up for the fat pig that it can be. Having said that, it did cope brilliantly and it was only on reflection that we realised at no stage had we been overtaken by other bikes but we had passed plenty of others. The XR was probably quicker and better handling than I gave it credit for at the time.
The lighter Street Triple was in its element and now that Myleene has gelled with the bike (owned it for 12 months) it quite frankly ran rings around the XR. The fuel range is excellent and it flicks from side to side around corners like its on rails. Its very impressive. The other thing that came up on the trip was that Myleene would have liked to ride pillion once we had arrived, so she could have a rest and a enjoy the scenery.
With these things in mind, I started looking at Speed Triples. We still had some trips planned for the summer and it is only in the last few weeks that I have sold the XR and bought a new Speedy.