I think I mentioned that my original plans to travel north to England was via the French coast with a visit to Normandy.. This wasn't going to work due to ridiculously bad weather, so I diverted to Switzerland.. good call!! Very happy I did!
My next overnight stop in France, however, still welded some serious American history that I didn't expect.. Mainly because I hadn't studied the details of the war(s) in this area.
Anyway, during my daily research, I came across an English couple who live and own a Bed and Breakfast in France. They so kindly invited to me to stay... free of charge!!
They've been here for 8 years, and told me I am their FIRST solo female rider to visit... YAY!! and secondly!! I am their FIRST, round the world rider from Australia to visit.. double YAY!!!!
They have only a tiny sign, but it's a whole different world inside..
Check out my very gorgeous, very comfortable room!! So happy to be here.. The house is large and lovely inside.
The place is called Two Wheel Moorings in Dun Sur Meuse France. http://twowheelmoorings.co.uk/default.aspx They only allow visitors here on 2 wheels.. mostly motorcycles, but if you ride a bicycle..you are welcome too! Keen riders themselves (hence the two wheel theme) they have ridden around so much and have the absolute best advice on roads, places and everything needed while here.
Indoor parking for the bikes too..
Right outside the B&amp;amp;B is a very important statue of a charging American Infantryman WW1 1914-18. The Americans crossed right here at this point on the bridge over the Meuse River for the first time during the war.
So many battles took place right around here.
Ian and Carol insist I must go and see the largest American Cemetery outside the United States, just down the road.. really, just here in countryside of France? Turns out there are over 14,000!!!!! soldiers buried here. They tell me there was actually over 50,000 soldiers .. can you believe?! But the difference is the amount of families who chose later to take their soldier home.
Really makes you see CLEARLY the effects of war, and think about how many DIE on behalf of their country. Not just Americans, but all countries. And how lucky I am to have been born into freedom and knocking on wood, have never had to live through the hardships and death war brings.
Just remembering some of my earlier posts... "Hiroshima in Japan", being on "high alert" with navy ships from North Korea as I was traveling through South Korea, the recent Yugoslav wars, still very visible in Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia... all the castles and fortresses I've been through in Europe..(they weren't just built for decoration and tourism!) In my life, the biggest things I have to fight for is a parking space, or corrections on a telephone service bill.
You know what I read in my iphone app "National Georgraphic World Atlas" the other day, that blew my mind.. : "The number of nations has soared form 65 in 1946 to 194 today - with 30 new independent countries added to the maps since 1990." That is incredible.. I had no idea THAT many!
Okay, I've gone off on a tangent..best get back to France.
After I visit this amazing place, I must keep riding north.. One thing I can say about France, is their countryside is really beautiful (I know I've already said this.. plus I like their food..ha!)
Views from the road...
And up to the 8,000th castle I've been to in Europe.. but they are all cool. I try to pretend I have permission to enter with my white horse (no disrespect to my black and orange horse).. ;-)
Once inside, it looks like this. People still live and work here. How cool would that be to say I live in "Montmedy Citadel!"
Now I am seriously on a marathon, time is running short. I make a mad dash from France into the tiny country of Luxembourg (just to say I've been there!) No photos, rainy, windy, yukky..
Then to Belgium, where my friends Sho and Pat have hooked me up with their friends Pascale and Gretel for a nights stay on my way north.
These two girls travel heaps by motorcycle as well, with tons a great stories from South America! Gives me inspiration and more countries to look forward to!! Besides hosting me for the night, they made a kickin' meal including Belgium Fries!! They tell me Belgium is really famous for the best "fries".. I did not know this, but the ones they made were truly awesome..! And not ever having "fried potatoes" in France, we question where the term "French Fries" comes from..
My mad dash to England has taken me off the lovely country roads and on to the big bad highway..blaaaaa...
So there you go.. a super quick drive through Belgium.. no famous Belgium beer, (some very good wine though..) only a taste of Belgium chocolate, happy enough with my Belgium Fries and I'm off to one last stop in Holland.. before I catch the England ferry.