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Thread: Easter Wander 2014 - Vianden - 17-21 April

  1. #1
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    Easter Wander 2014 - Vianden - 17-21 April

    Unlike last year when it was remarkably early (and bloody cold) Easter 2014 is within one week of the latest date it can ever be, which is good news. On that basis, it’s time to think about what is becoming a traditional Easter Wander.

    I have contacted the good folk at the Petry hotel in Vianden to see if they can accommodate us for again. In my mail, I have requested:

    Four single rooms (one gone)

    One double room

    Bed and breakfast basis.

    http://www.hotel-petry.com/english/

    I am waiting for their response. If it’s a no, I will look at alternatives, for sure.

    OUTLINE PLAN:

    (a) It’s a reasonable schlep to Vianden from Calais, though by no means impossible with a decent start. Similarly, it’s decent journey back, via a different route.

    (b) THURSDAY 17 April, take a train over to France at about 19:30, staying most probably at the Ibis in St Omer. Anyone wishing to go earlier is not a problem. This brings us late’ish into St Omer but we have generally found somewhere to eat. Failing that, find a sandwich.

    (c) FRIDAY 18 April, ride from St Omer to Vianden down a reasonable mixture of roads. Over the past four or more years we have near enough found the ‘best’ way. It will need an early’ish start, wheels rolling at 09:00 (or maybe a bit earlier) if possible.

    (d) SATURDAY 19 and SUNDAY 20 April, I have several alternative routes for a decent day’s ride on both days.

    (e) MONDAY 21 April, again an early start (08:30 last time) for a train back at about 19:20. We can with luck make an earlier train, I have just pencilled in a train after seven PM to give us a bit of leeway.

    NOTE:

    (a) The weather may well be ‘mixed’. I will go if it is sunny, cold, raining, warm, windy and / or tropical. I will NOT go if there is a very real prospect of SERIOUS snow or a real risk of SERIOUS ice. On previous early or late season jaunts we have all been sensible and it’s turned out fine; the aim is to do the same in 2014.

    (b) Given that we have a decent distance to go, we will need to keep an eye on the time (leaving early helps) and keep our progress up. That being said, it needn’t be a race. Nobody need fall behind or get lost.

    (c) Suitable for? Anyone who can ride a motorcycle. We have had a big mixture of Wanderers in the past, ranging from hardy souls….. right through to my friend Paula on her ER6 (on just her second trip abroad) at -3C!

    (d) I have reserved rooms based on previous take-up’s of the trip, anticipating much the same for 2014. It is Easter, so hotels do get booked. That being said, if I know there is a definite demand for places, I am happy to talk to the Petry to see if more rooms might be possible. I appreciate it’s some way off but the Dutch and Germans do pour into the Ardennes en-masse at Easter, so we need to get our claim in early.

    (e) The anticipated booking is for four singles and one double, so that’s maybe six bikes and six bods. I am, subject to room availability, happy to take eight bikes and say a maximum of 10 bods. That way we can hopeful keep the journey time down.

    Ping up definite reservations here, please.

    Richard

    PS Vianden is here: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=via...gl=uk&t=m&z=12

  2. #2
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    Sounds interesting Richard

    Put me down for a single

    I'll do my best to keep the locals happy this time

    Neil

  3. #3
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    Two singles gone.

    If for whatever reason Vianden is not a goer, I'll think of something else....

  4. #4
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    Richard,
    Can you put Pauline and I down please
    ( Hopefully will not be on-call ! Plenty of time for me to work on that issue)

    Thanks
    dxtans
    David is...
    Going Down on a Signal 15 !

  5. #5
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    Hoorah, double gone.

    I will book you room 01, David

  6. #6
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    Single gone to Ianjnk, via a circuitous route.

    Wapping
    NeilDD
    Ianjnk
    Detains (double)

    One single to go......

    -------------------------------

    As I said, I am happy to book more rooms if the demand and availability is there.

    I am half tempted to make it a bigger affair (it is Easter after all) IF I can get the rooms. It will make the fuel stops longer but IF if we can all get our act together and IF I can book us in somewhere for lunch on the way out, why not....

    Outside of the rooms, the only thing that nags in my mind is the schlep back, with a big group. Lunch is not so easy on a Monday in rural France, but I guess we can turn something up, even if it's McD's in Peronne. I can also bet that a couple of bikes might want to go back by a more direct route, which slims it down a bit perhaps?

    Faint heart never won fat lady.... The wheels are turning.... Let me see what I can do by way of rooms first.

    Richard

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    Well we got their in the end... "Circuitous"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianjnk View Post
    Well we got their in the end... "Circuitous"
    I meant to find your way onto this Wander

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wapping View Post
    Hoorah, double gone.

    I will book you room 01, David
    O'h no, now I'm getting confused, is that 10 or 01 ?

    dxtans
    David is...
    Going Down on a Signal 15 !

  10. #10
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    Good news!

    The hotel Petry has confirmed our reservation and looks forward to seeing us all again next year.

    That means we definitely have the four single rooms and one double room, for sure.

    There is therefore still ONE single room spare.

    I will make us a parallel booking at the Ibis, too.

    ====

    Making it a bigger group……

    I have asked the hotel to let me know the current room vacancy position for next Easter. Thinking about it, it would be great to have a larger group, providing we keep half an eye on the logistics (and time) of moving from A to C via B .I am quite happy for bods to ride their own routes or ride separately outside of the main bunch and / or do their own thing once we get to Vianden. The only thing I would ask is that Wanderers booked in by me commit to the full four nights away as having different numbers for different nights makes it hard to keep track of.

    That being said:

    (a) If anyone wants to join us for just the Vianden part, possibly because they live on the continent and don’t want to go to St Omer, I am happy. Richie, who lived in Belgium, did this on one or two Wanders to France.

    (b) If someone really cannot commit to the full four nights, I am equally happen to have them along.

    All that I would request is that you make your own reservations with the hotel(s), so that you at least know what is going on. The owner (and the Ibis) speaks very good English and is usually very quick with his replies.

    ====

    For anyone who is thinking about it and hasn’t been to Vianden (or on a Wander) here’s the score:

    It’s a reasonably attractive village. A bit touristy but that means its set up for bods like us.

    The hotel is good. The rooms are comfortable, everything works and the food OK. The owner and staff are all friendly. We are booked on a bed-and-breakfast basis, with separate billing for each room, so punters are free to eat whatever, whenever and wherever they like.

    It’s a good full day’s ride from Calais, down a good cross-section of roads, a few a bit demanding but no (deliberate) goat tracks.

    There are quicker (and some much longer) optional ways of getting there and back, too.

    The Luxembourg Ardennes are attractive (even at -3 C) and offer some good riding, right on the doorstep.

    Germany is just a short hop across the river (one of my suggested days out is almost exclusively in Germany) whilst Belgium is not far away. On a longish day you could make it down to Verdun and back, it being about 100 miles away direct. Spa racetrack is a scenic morning’s ride.

    For anyone who just wants a day off when we get there, there are things to see in Vianden itself and / or the Battle of the Bulge sites are not miles away. For instance, we will ride the through Bastogne on the way down and it’s in easy striking distance. There are other attractions locally, too. A Google search will turn them up.

    There are long(er) ride-outs available for the days we are there and / or I am happy to suggest shorter alternatives that will work.

    I try to run the Wanders on the basis that everyone, whether rider or pillion, newbie to going abroad (we all started somewhere at some time) or grizzly adventurer gets something out of the jaunt. They are meant to be a holiday (of sorts). They are not guided trips (albeit I do create suggested routes) and do require a degree of self-reliance. That being said, we have always had a lot of mutual support within the groups, whether it be for punctures, bods getting lost, wanting to do their own thing on some days, not feeling well, right up to……. ‘Lend me your GPS, as mine has demonic possession’. We usualy run a simple whip for coffees and the like.

    Any questions, let me know. I have heard most of them before and the most obscure ones do give me a good laugh.

    Richard

  11. #11
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    Nasher, as I missed last year due to f#^%ing cold weather and BMW battery failure I will talk the last single please. Fothers

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    Auto speel - take...

  13. #13
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    Sold to RTosser (the Hero of Croatia)

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    Wonderful...

    List of happy (Easter Bunny) Wanders is:

    Wapping
    NeilDD
    Ianjnk
    RTosser
    dxtans (double)

    I will sort out the St Omer overnight stop for the way out.

    I have spoken to the hotel and can have ONE more single room if there are any more takers.

  15. #15
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    Ah go on, I'll take that room off your hands (please)

  16. #16
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    Sold to Al (alleycam) Welcome back.

    Full house!

    Wapping
    NeilDD
    Ianjnk
    RTosser
    Alleycam
    dxtans (double)

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