Monday, June 12, 2017

Au revoir Luxembourg, Hallo Deutschland!

After a reasonably good night's sleep, we got up fairly early this morning and so got off to a good start this morning around 9:15. Thankfully, jet lag hasn't been much of a factor on this trip (three cheers for melatonin!). Good thing, too, because it would turn out that we'd need all our energy today!

We knew from the outset that the day would start out with a climb, from the valley floor up to the PC4 bike route. But, according to Google maps, the trip was to be mostly downhill after that. Turns out that Google maps' elevation charts can be deceiving. While the day's ride was an overall elevation drop of over 100 metres, there were several pretty taxing climbs along the way (along with some very thrilling and brake-eroding descents!). I'm speaking for myself, of course. Sonia managed the climbs like a trooper. 

Cycling in Luxembourg
Despite these literal ups and downs, I have to admit that the Luxembourg countryside is idyllic. Gorgeous rolling hills, planted with wheat, barley, corn, and some other foodstuff I couldn't identify. All of this is dotted with charming towns nestled in crooks and valleys, unfailingly punctuated with a church steeple. I could see myself spending a week just riding around Luxembourg. There are many well-marked cycle routes that seem very tempting. But for today, we were just passing through. 

The last major descent of the day took us into the Moselle valley, and we were both very moved to finally see it. My mother cycled along this river as a teenager, so it's kind of fun, for both my mother and me, to witness the scene of her youthful follies 60-odd years ago. 
The Moselle at last!

We took a ferry across to Germany at Wasserbilling, right where the Sûre flows into the Moselle, marking the eastern boarder of Luxembourg with Germany. And with that, after little more than 24 hours, we bid farewell to Luxembourg, a lovely little land. 
Au Revoir, Luxembourg. 

For the next 200 km of our trip, the terrain should be pretty flat--with an emphasis on "pretty." I quipped to Sonia as we were riding that if it's as beautiful as this the whole way, we'll start to take it for granted. 

I could get used to this. 
After picnicking in Germany, we set off on the final 14km of the day, riding to Trier, Germany's oldest city and a former Roman capital. We are staying in a youth-hostel style hotel, and they're booked full tomorrow night, so I think we'll push on tomorrow after all. We got here fairly early, so we had a chance to do some laundry and see most of the main sights, which include the Porta Nigra, the 1800-year-old city gates (and to think Montreal's Champlain Bridge is falling down after only 50...), a Roman amphitheatre, and a several beautiful old churches. 
Porta Nigra, Trier

But as we both found on our last trip, while it's fun to explore each new town, it is the cycling that really pleases us the most. So on we go.

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