After our successful general rehearsal of a multi-day tour with Elli and Emma to Moselle and Ardennes, we are now ready for our first longer tour. The weather forecast promises nice weather for a whole week at the end of September and we have picked our destination: The Alsace.
This is also the first bigger mission for the recently acquired satnav system, a Garmin Zumo 345LM. I experiment with different types of tour planning, using kurviger.de with subsequent data import into the Garmin vs. using Garmin’s own software BaseCamp, which is appallingly slow and crashes quite a lot. I decide to go for the first alternative.
Later tours I planned with BaseCamp. I am still undecided what alternative is better, still experimenting and finding pros and cons for each.
As it turns out, we will not exactly follow the planned route anyway.
1st day: Eifel to Haguenau
Despite the forecast, our tour starts in somewhat hazy weather. The first section is part of our home stretch through the valley of the river Ahr to Adenau.
Near Daun the satnav starts to act up and first sends us into Daun itself, then on the motorway, which it was explicitly told to avoid, and eventually in a big arc back to the planned route.
Amazingly enough, this will not be the last time it does that. On a later tour in this exact same area the satnav will act weird again – so maybe it is Daun’s malicious aura?
We reach the Moselle valley at Kröv and after Bernkastel-Kues we switch from one low mountain range to another: from Eifel to Hunsrück.
We ride through the Hunsrück with its unambiguously suggestive offers on the road side up to a rest in Birkenfeld. There, the procurement of cash turns out to be unexpectedly difficult, but is managed eventually.
Soon after Birkenfeld – to cite Silencer – stretches, on an area the size of the Saarland, the Saarland.
France welcomes us with its Parc Naturel Régional des Vosges du Nord and we stear Elli und Emma through the Pays de Bitche with citadel, barracks and military training areas.
We had planned Windstein to be our destination for the day, but we didn’t book since we wanted to remain flexible. Well – who would have thought – this hotel-restaurant in the middle of nowhere is fully booked this day in post season. So we move on to plan B and to Haguenau.
Once we have arrived in Haguenau, we search the satnav for POI Rooms. Our quest for a place to stay has started with dusk setting in.
A maze of one-way streets makes us drop our first attempt and we enter a new destination. The satnav manages to lead us to the Hôtel-Restaurant à l’Etoile without additional problems. Using our excellent French language skills, we mangle the language to the point where the waitress understands that our intention is to stay for the night. Quarante-sept Euro for a double room sounds refreshingly reasonable, so we agree. Dinner is served in the well-attended restaurant – the Alsatians eat out on Saturdays.
The room might be cheap, but it is also abysmal: The mattress is saggy, the bathroom is hardly functional and close to nauseating, while the cleaning crew celebrates loud table and chair turning until well after 2:30 am – why, oh why!?!
The next morning, unrested and miserable, we stand in front of closed doors to the restaurant. Half an hour after the appointed time the door finally opens an we get our coffee, baguette and jam as our breakfast for 14 Euro. So, in sum, the stay has cost us 61 Euro, in one of the worst lodgings we have ever stayed at.
|Daily leg:||208 miles – 👍🏼 – Eifel – Moselle – Hunsrück – Saarland – Pays de Bitch – what’s not to like?|
|Accomodation:||Hôtel-Restaurant à l’Etoile – 61,00 Euro double room with breakfast. Abysmal.|
|Accomodation for the bikes:|
First we park our bikes at the back of the hotel. A gentleman – possibly the proprietor – asks us if we are staying for the night. Once we affirm, he points us to a sort of barn, where we find a sheltered parking space for the bikes. ⭐️⭐️⭐️