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Bike Trip through the Ardennes mountains and south of Belgium

Travelling by bike is very exciting. You have all the freedom to decide where to go and which way. You are not dependent on the timetable as you drive yourself anytime. You can dwell in any city as long as you want. You can stay at a hotel or private apartment, but we recommend you stay in the open air or camping. In this way you will experience the magic of real adventure and a true connection with nature.

Days spent on the bike

Mileage

Number of visited Countries

Mileage of next route

It was already the end of May and the warm and sunny days have become commonplace. Travelling on a bicycle is not very pleasant if you cycle while high temperature burns the hot asphalt. It is therefore very important that you have a sufficient amount of water. We were lucky. The weather was perfect and just complete the atmosphere they create at our one of the oldest mountains in Europe – Ardennes.

Travelling north-east of France put our led all the way to a magical place, so to speak, an oasis of untouched nature – National park Ardennes.

National Park Ardennes

Ardennes are mountains that are parts of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. Ardenne are not high mountains, the highest peak is 652 m high. They are mostly covered by dense forests that give the landscape a special beauty. Through this forests flows the river Moselle, which flows towards the Rhine. This area is mostly uninhabited which gave an excellent basis for the creation of a national park. Ages of these mountains gave them a lot of mineral resources. They were built Variscan orogeny in the ancient Paleozoic. A number of geomorphological processes have created areas of immense beauty that is reasonably placed under state protection.

The journey through the Ardennes was a unique experience. Landscapes, mild climate and the May sunshine are just some of the reasons why we will certainly come back to this beautiful mountain.

Leaving the Ardennes region, we left France and continued this journey through Belgium, and our first stop in Belgium was the charming city of Charleroi.

Charleroi is a city located in the southwest province of Hainaut in Belgium. Through the city flows the river Sambre and gives the city very beautiful landscapes. Administratively the city is divided into fifteen municipalities and is known for its iron industry, steel, glass, chemical and electrical industries. It is interesting to know that this city was inhabited in prehistoric times. This is witnessed by numerous archaeological sites and localities.

The history of this city begins from 1666, when the Governor Francisco Castel Rodrigo bought the land from the lords and raised a castle near the river. After the Belgian revolution in 1830, the city experienced prosperity thanks to the industry of iron and glass. Today, the city of Charleroi, the fourth largest in Belgium, certainly has something to offer every visitor. There are beautiful parks and buildings, museums and theaters and the river that gives it a special beauty.

We left Charleroi full of impressions and belief that we will come again.

Cycling From Brussels to the West coast of France

Brussels is a city that will impress you with its variety of architectural styles, medieval and modern buildings, Gothic cathedrals and churches, which stand next to each other. This is a city of contrasts, a city which owns the long list of what you should see and visit. This beautiful city is a center of Belgian fashion, art and culture.

Introduction to Brussels start from the central square Grand Place (Grote Markt). When you find yourself in this ancient city, you will find the “face to face” with a rich history of Brussels. You’ll arrive at one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, where a dominant characteristic styles from the period of Gothic, Baroque and French style of Louis XIV take place.

If you want to see what it looks like the symbol of Brussels – come to the corner of Rue de l’Etuves and Rue des Grands Carmes, where stands the fountain of Manneken Pis. That is pride of the Atomium in Brussels; 103 m high structure built with the World’s Fair in 1958. This steel-aluminum construction represents nine atoms of one alpha-iron crystals.

What Brussels does not lack are museums. There there are about 90 of them, and only some of them are: Museum of cocoa and chocolate Brussels Sampling Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of the City of Brussels, the Musical Instrument Museum, the Museum of Modern architecture, the comic museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences, Museum of modern art.

These are just some of the attractions of Brussels. We liked Belgian chocolate and riding along the beautiful bike paths which are almost all over the city.

Western Coast of the Atlantic Ocean

Returning to France in the coming months, we traveled along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean. I will not be wrong if I say that this was the best part of the road. The year has already started and journey alongside the ocean was a real refreshment.

West coast of France to the English Channel waters engulfing parts of France and England, where is one of the most beautiful coastal towns such as Boulogne-sur-Mer, Dieppe, Yport that we use for camping in early July. Further on the south are the cities of Le Havre, Cherbourg Octeville and many others.

Islands give beauty to the west coast. The most famous are the Guernsey and Jersey. These are mainly fishing islands which have very picturesque landscape on which the famous writer Victor Hugo wrote in his works.

Cycling Through the Northeast of France

It is not difficult to travel by bike even if that seems quite complicated at first sight. You just have to love your two-wheeler and you have to be at least a little bit adventurous. Perhaps your environment considered a bit strange, and some will even protest and present reasons which should not indulge in such a journey. However, all this can only be a motivation to go and prove otherwise.

Remiremont

Since from the first of May we decided to camp on a farm. It was an unforgettable experience. Dan was very nice and warm. It was the real spring day as we wished. The sun has warmed all day and a gentle breeze was giving freshness to this day. The very nature of this place is charming and perfect for a stay under the open sky. This resort has a very rich history long almost fourteen centuries. In addition to beautiful nature, here you can see a number of historical sights.

Strasbourg

Our next destination is Strasbourg. Strasburg has one of the largest cycling network in Europe and it is no wonder why our path led to this city in the French region of Alsace on the river Rhine. Salzburg is a city with a large number of sights and it is definitely worth of visiting. The city center is under the protection of UNESCO as an area of great historical significance. We visited many places such as the neighborhood “Little France”, the Mother of God Cathedral of the twelfth century, the Place Gutenberg with statues of Gutenberg and carousel and many other places. What left on us a special impression are parks in Salzburg. The city is one of the best in France with a large number of green areas and the most famous and the most beautiful park de l’Orangerie in the city center.

Strasbourg is a city with a rich history. In the place of today’s modern city there was a Celtic settlement, and the first Roman city founded in the 12th century BC. During the Middle Ages it became an important trading seats, and this status is maintained until today. Today Strasburg is also known that there is located an international Court of Human Rights. Strasbourg is also a very important political seat of France.

We were sorry when we had to leave this beautiful city.

Verdun

May the 25th and we stopped in the vicinity of Verdun and made the plan for another camping. Verdun is a small town in northeast France. Although small, this town has a very rich history. It was founded by Gauls in the fourth century. The nature of the town is beautiful and it has led us to nearby camp.

Verdun is best known for the battle that took place near the town in 1792 between the French revolutionaries and Prussia. In the city you can see numerous monuments to French and German soldiers from the First and Second World War. All this testifies to the turbulent history of this small town.

Through Auxerre, Besancon and Belfort On the Bike

We have planned this trip for a long time. Day by day createing and figuring out which route to go. It was not difficult to decide. A long time ago we already wanted to visit the Atlantic coast, Belgium and Portugal. We knew that these places will not leave us indifferent. We planned to start in March, to meet the spring. This meant that preparations should immediately begin. The bike is the beautiful transportation that via two wheels carrys you wherever you want to go. On the first thought, bike is kids, but actually a bicycle can be a very useful for going around the world.
best beginner mountain bikes for women
Two things we need to travel by bike, and that is time, the bike and the will. We have held everything in abundance. When the saddlebags were finally ready we went. The first thing that we should do was detailed bike service that we have done in the nearby town of Nevers. Here we were finally make sure that we were ready for this long journey ahead of us. We lubricated chains, serviced brakes and transmission, supplied the spare tire and the tools and were ready to move on.

Auxerre

After several days of traveling, meeting with some of the dear friends and relaxing rest near Loire, we arrived in Auxerre. This city in the French region of Burgundy, delighted us with his charm and warmth. In Auxerre you will find excellent places for shopping as well as fine wines, especially the variety Chablis which is the hallmark of this city. In addition to fine wines and good football is played in Auxerre – this is a city which is called “the city of art and history”. Today it is a commercial and industrial city, and many call it the typical French city.

Besancon

After over a month traveling to the city of Besancon achieved. This town belongs to the department of Frans Kote on the river Du. It did not take a lot to convince why it is considered the greenest city of France. Rows of trees along streets and boulevards are the main attractions of this city. History has left in this city multitude of attractions and the most famous is certainly the Vauban citadel. Path our stated and St. Jean Cathedral and the Art Museum contains exhibits from 1694. From here you must travel by train for some time. Our next stop was Belfort.

Through Spain and Portugal on Bike

Much is often thought of a bike trip to the sea or even a trip around the world. Those who have tried it say that this is their one of the most beautiful experiences, but the good news is you do not have to be a top athlete realize this idea.

We began our journey in France, headed north to Brussels, to the Atlantic coast and back through France to the south along the coast. Furthermore, breaking away from the Atlantic coast, the road led us over the Pyrenees to Spain, then to Portugal. I can say that this trip was the most exciting experience of my life.

Due to its cosmopolitan spirit, beautiful buildings, wide streets, beautiful vegetation and pleasant climate, soon from all over Europe began to arrive and artists, courtesans, adventurers, and many others who were eager for excitement.

It is also a city of picturesque fountains and fountains – there are about 70 of them, many of the art works of famous sculptors.

Valladolid is located about three hundred kilometers away from Madrid. The main features of this city are beauty, openness, extraordinary spirit, interesting history.

Pamplona

Our first contact with Spain was the city of Pamplona. Pamplona is the first major town which we encountered in northern Spain. It is the administrative center of the Spanish province of Navarra, and has more than 300 000 inhabitants. The city has a new part and the old one in which there is a fortress from the 16th century.

After visiting this city, our way led us further to the south, through the picturesque landscapes of central Spain. It was a difficult part of this trip, but certainly we had no intention to give up. Towards the south we crossed the river Ebro, and to the west to Valladolid.

Valladolid

Once the capital of Spain, this is the city of rulers and courtesan, art and wine, beautiful buildings, wide streets and beautiful vegetation. Cervantes in Valladolid write a second part of “Don Quixote”.

When the Spanish King Philip the Third in 1604 decided that the palace and the capital would be moved from Madrid to Valladolid, the city, the metropolis area of Castile and Leon, located “in the heart” of northern Spain, abruptly began to spread new inhabitants, most of whom were of noble families, merchants, civil servants and soldiers.

Mountain biking

Bicycling is one of the most famous sports and recreational way to develop health and body. When we ride the bike our body is activated, our cardio system is working hard and healing itself, various muscle groups are training as well, so we can clearly say that bicycling contributes to our health and psychophysical development. No matter if you ride your bike just for hobby or you are professional bike rider, you will have multiplied benefits for your general healt through this activity.

There are many types of bicycling, but one of the most demanding, and also most attractive, is mountain bike riding, shortly MTB. MTB is one of the favourite summer activity for all those that like to spend time on the mountain and make it unforgetable. Unlike road bicycling, where you can meet many dangerous situations, mostly caused by negligent car drivers, MTB offers you the touch of pure nature road – only you and your bicycle against natural trammels. When you drive on the road, you can be frightened by some fast car driver, or you can even get hit, because, unfortunatelly many car drivers doesn’t pay enough attention to bicycle riders. Riding on mountain or forest paths, safety is on much more level, all you need is to take care that you don’t lose control, which mostly happen because cyclers misjudge their own bicycling skills. Anyway, most of the charm of MTB is nature itself. MTB provides unforgetable adventures and lets you to experience the exciting wonders of nature. If you don’t have a mountain bike, you should definitely buy it. But choosing a right mountain bike is not an easy task, here are some buying guides from Jimmy – MountainBikesGuide.com:

  1. There are several mountain bike manufacturers on the market and he have gathered some of the best mountain bike brands for you to compare in one place.
  2. Now that you are aware of the best mountain bike brands, let’s take a look at some of the best mountain bike specific to the budget:

 


When we speak about MTB, most of you will think about fast downhill that you have seen on youtube videos, and that is what most of people imagine when MTB is mentioned. But, there are far more things to know about MTB before you go downhill from the top of the mountain.
Mountain climbing is, of course, first thing that awaitens you. You won’t believe, but most of people surrender and quit the enjoyment of MTB just because they think that it is impossible to cycle uphill without many effort. Well, it is not easy, but still, there are some techniques that you may find handy when you decide to try out MTB. When cycling uphill, main thing is to balance your body. Most of people never sit on the bicycle seat when riding uphill, but it is advised to do so, but with small hint – sit on the front part of the seat. Put your elbows close to the body. Of course, you will anyway need strength and condition to overcome the uphill, beside technique. When you climb on the top, you will be proud to see that your body has stood the stress, and you will forget uphill riding when the sight opens in front of your eyes.
Mountain climbing is, of course, first thing that awaitens you. You won’t believe, but most of people surrender and quit the enjoyment of MTB just because they think that it is impossible to cycle uphill without many effort. Well, it is not easy, but still, there are some techniques that you may find handy when you decide to try out MTB. When cycling uphill, main thing is to balance your body. Most of people never sit on the bicycle seat when riding uphill, but it is advised to do so, but with small hint – sit on the front part of the seat. Put your elbows close to the body. Of course, you will anyway need strength and condition to overcome the uphill, beside technique. When you climb on the top, you will be proud to see that your body has stood the stress, and you will forget uphill riding when the sight opens in front of your eyes.
So, remmember, MTB is all about control and knowing your bike. When you become one with your bicycle, you may say that you are ready to do extreme MTB routes. Firstly, stick to the well known routes, with less extreme challenges and after you gain some experience, head for more difficult paths and roads.