Sunday, 17 April 2011

To the German border and back

Mango at Bourtange
This video was made on Monday afternoon two weeks ago when I rode to the German border and back. I made the journey because we've a holiday customer coming in a couple of weeks who will take this route. I realized I had not ridden it for over a year, and it's important that we keep our routes so up to date as possible.

Bourtange is a star shaped fortress and village dating from the eighty years war between 1568 and 1648. At the time it was militarily important and guarded the only road between Germany and Groningen. Now it's a living museum.

Willow growing in a reserve
On the way to Bourtange I stopped a couple of times, to eat sandwiches, to take a look at some willow trees, to look at a deserted beach (Monday afternoons in April are not peak time for sun-bathing).

German cycle route signs. Those on the right point towards
the Netherlands, including Bourtange.
I didn't really need to carry on from Bourtange into Germany. It's not part of our route. However I thought it would be nice to have a German beer at the furthest point from home before turning around again. However, the owners of the cafe I stopped at had other ideas. It was shut. I've called past the same place a few times now, and never managed to get any refreshment at all. There are also cafes in Bourtanges itself and at other places along the route.
The pub with no beer. Again.
That was the furthest I had any reason to ride, so I turned around and headed home again. A 120 km afternoon bike ride, including a trip back in time and to visit a foreign country, a few stops for food and drink and to take photos, and I was back in time for dinner.

A very pleasant ride through lovely countryside.

Note the siren sounds in the video. If your holiday coincides with the first Monday of the month then you may well hear sirens at mid-day. It's nothing to be alarmed about, they're just tested once a month.