Ardennes, Vosges and Morvan tour

2 wheel humvee
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Oct 22, 2002
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South Wales
Bear with me dear readers due to a punishing home life and holiday schedule a month has passed since this particular trip ended so I may be a little light on detail but hope to get the essence of the trip across to you and hopefully the pics will help fill in the gaps.........
The idea for the trip came mostly from these very pages, reading the travel section of this forum and the suggestions therein from Wapping and other regular contributors have stirred my interest to visit many of the places discussed in those sections. As with many small groups that travel together getting our available dates / our free time availability due to work/life/family commitments to align along with an agreement on a destination or direction isn't always easy, we came to an agreement for a relatively short duration for us (7 nights) and agreed dates so all that was left was to plan some routes and book some rooms, easy peasy :unsure:
Our little group of 4 comprised; Dave R1200GS Rallye, Oscar R1200GS Adventure, Me Ducati Multistrada V4S and Sean Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro
Day 1 Sunday; Wales-England-France-Belgium.
We were travelling out of the U.K. via the Eurotunnel, we had booked a 10.20am crossing so this meant an early start for Sean and I we left our Cardiff meeting point at 5.54am, Dave and Oscar each had a journey of around 2 hours so they had a lie in, although I'm not keen on this particular virtually all motorway journey we made good time and arrived before the others and were offered an earlier crossing, we accepted this, fortunately Dave and Oscar managed to get on the same crossing so we were on our way.

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On arrival in Calais we were on the road and ahead of schedule, we viewed today's route as a transit route, a means to an end to get us nearer to the area we wanted to be so we took fast main roads to cover the distance quickly, there were no picture stops just a splash and dash for fuel, the ambient temperatures were in the low 30's Our hotel for the night was the Golden Lakes Best Western situated to the North of Chimay, the hotel is situated on the shores of a lake, we checked in and were shown to our modern and well equipped air conditioned rooms, my total mileage for the day 375 miles, a cool shower followed by a couple of cold beers on the shore of the lake followed.
The Golden Lakes Best Western Hotel;

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We ate well that night and slept soundly.

Day 2 Monday; Belgium-Luxembourg-Germany.
Our Destination for today was Kaiserslautern some 250 miles off, we breakfasted, checked out and were rolling by around 09.30, Sean had already nicknamed this trip the "Hitler retreat tour" :oops::DD so I arranged a little detour about a half along the route, we stopped at Hitler's bunker Bunker as it was so close to our route, we took a short walk around the site and spoke to a well informed local guide, it was interesting but quite chilling.


Moving along......we passed through the Belgian Ardennes National Park and Eastwards towards Bastogne pausing briefly for a pic or 2


Our next stop was the impressive Hochmoselbrucke opened in 2019 with impressive views of the Mosel valley


After a quick coffee and snack pit stop we pressed on, negotiating the busy traffic in the heat of the afternoon sun we found our way one by one to our hotel for the night the Landgasthof Brememerhof which was the cheapest (best value) hotel of the trip, with comfortable rooms, good food and a great beer garden/outside dining space, we found out later that we could have parked the bikes a little more out of sight but as we arrived during the busiest early evening eating and dining time we parked wherever there was space, we found the bikes the next morning where we had left them and seemingly untouched so all was good.


Can we borrow these plates of salad for a pic so that our families think we are eating healthily? :ROFLMAO: No really they were our starters, Schnitzel with fries and more salad followed for main course (y)


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Day 3 Tuesday; Germany-France.
I haven't mentioned a "Garmin starburst" moment yet, this is where all riders have the same route and in this case the same navigation unit (Zumo XT) and set to the same preferences and parameters and yet at a randomly selected point all riders will emerge from a roundabout via a different exit whilst following the route on the XT, not yet.....but soon :LOL:
Once again we were breakfasted, checked out and loaded for today's journey, destination Eguisheim near Colmar France a journey of around 200 miles we were due to travel via the B500 or Schwarzwaldhochstrasse south, crossing the Rhein near Colmar and then on to our accommodation for the next 2 nights near Eguisheim.
We made our way from the hotel following the route to a petrol station (the V4 is partial to a drop of the hard stuff although seems to drink a little less on the 102 octane available over here) so we pull in, fill up and pay and agree to exit left, whereupon I saw the other 3 disappear right! Starburst moment ! I waited at temporary traffic signals for 10 mins then again at the end of the roadworks thinking we might re group then pressed on, I re joined 2 of the others some time later but Dave was M.I.A. a phone call established he was O.K. but some way off route and would rendezvous with us later.
Heading towards Freudenstadt we stopped for a coffee at Seebach

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We pressed on along some fantastic stretches of the finest twisting and turning asphalt to Wolfach where stopped in a shady spot to hide from the sun for a sandwich and a cold drink, we checked in with Dave who reported he was well and was now back on route and would meet us at the hotel having covered in excess of 100 miles more distance than us :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

We pressed on and in less than a couple of hours we were crossing the mighty Rhein at Breisach am Rhein


Heading towards our hotel for the next 2 nights the excellent Hotel SPA Husseren Collections near Eguisheim I pulled into a fuel station to top up in readiness for the next day, just as I was filling up Dave rode by and tooted :LOL:
The temperatures were in the low to mid 30's as we unloaded our luggage in the hotel car park and then checked in, a couple of us went downstairs and made use of the SPA and pool facilities before meeting up later for dinner, after a couple of cold appetisers Sean and I decided that the hotel restaurant had little on offer that we fancied so opted for bar snacks instead, I got a club sandwich and Sean got this errr salad :unsure:


There was a storm following us in, the view from my balcony, later on the rain was torrential.


For the next day a circular route in the Vosges National Park was on the cards, taking in lots of Cols and passes I was looking forward to it having ridden some of the route on previous tours over the years.
Day 4 Wednesday; Today's ride is a round robin route in the National park of around 200 miles, you'd think it would be hard to split up a small group of 4 on such small roads wouldn't you? Think again.....I knew we would be riding lots of great Cols today so already had it in mind to get a few pics of the Col signs along the way, it didn't tale long and my rear view mirrors were once again empty, I stopped and waited and did the pin drop thing in our WhatsApp group, as did the others but nonetheless it took a while before our paths were aligned, there is some excellent riding down here and the traffic is mercifully light save for the odd lumbering motorhome-which are easily dispatched.
The Col signs, just 600 metres to start with......

Getting a little higher

Looking the other way with Col de Bagenelles sign to my back

Col de la Sclucht at 1139 metres

A little higher at the Platzerwasel

We regrouped at the Col Du Ballon and enjoyed the roads and the views, the peaks are not as high or the scenery as dramatic as the say the Alps or Pyrenees or even the Picos but the riding is every bit as good (y)



Another Col another sign...

Our final stop of the day was at the small town of Masevaux,

Once again and at a similar time of day to yesterday the air became more humid and the sky grew darker, we'd best scoot back to the hotel sharpish, we had a few spots of rain on the way but nothing of concern, that would arrive later!

That evening after we had all showered and met at the bar the skies were lit up by lightning and the thunder claps seemed to get closer and closer, the rain was torrential and the rainwater ran like a small stream down the car park, and then the lights went out! We'd had a power cut, the staff were amazing and did their best to keep customers refreshed and fed, the emergency lighting lit the corridors and the bar and terrace were illuminated by battery powered LED garden lamps, the restaurant was closed but mercifully the beer pumps continued to function, club sandwiches and salads were once again on the menu for evening dinner, what a night :101
Day 5 Thursday; France.
Due to the power cut the previous evening we'd had to climb the stairs to the 5th floor to our rooms with our phones illuminating the way, power was restored by 7am in the morning which was too late for me as I had already decided I would take a cold shower :JB
Breakfast was served and we queued to check out, the staff and management had been fantastic the previous evening during the power cut and had gone above and beyond the call of duty, this continued at check out when we were told they had cancelled last night's room charge and our bar and food bills had gone in the bin, we would have accepted one or the other and their offer seemed too generous but most welcome and well received.
We were locked and loaded and on the road by 09.30 our journey to Sauvigny Les Blois near Avallon in the Morvan national park was around 230 miles, we saw this as something of a transit route to get from one national park to another but had allowed for a visit along the way and perhaps a few pics and a coffee stop.
Dave wanted to stop for a look around at Ronchamp Chapel


Thanks for the pics Dave, Sean and I elected to stay with the loaded bikes in the car park where we spotted this memorial.

Visit over we pushed on for the most part along fast but featureless roads and made reasonably good time, nearing our destination we dropped to a smaller road the followed the Canal De Bourgogne so we stopped for some pics;



This old thing pointing the way to a pizza restaurant gave us false hope, alas it was closed :(

We arrived at our hotel for the next 2 nights the Logis Hotel Relais Fleuri at Sauvigny Les Blois, we checked in and got a nice 2 bed chalet each at a reasonable 80 euro per night but room only, after unpacking and showering we met for pre dinner drinks, at 7 Euro a glass of beer we felt that maybe the tone was set, we had booked into the hotel restaurant at 8pm what fate would await us and more importantly could we afford it ? :ROFLMAO:


Dinner was very good, we felt it slightly odd that although they had bilingual table waiting staff we were appointed a French speaker, the experience was good and we got by and received what we thought we had ordered, a good experience then? Yes until it came time to settle the bill which we insisted should not be charged to the rooms, the bills had become "mixed up" and it seems a table of 8 people had left having paid our bill and we were expected to pay theirs, how we laughed :ROFLMAO: There followed a scene like an episode of Fawlty Towers as various members of staff were brought forward to clarify the situation, eventually after 45 minutes the matter was resolved and we paid the correct amount, we were waiting for Manuel to appear it was farcical :rolleyes:
Day 6 Friday : France.
Following last night's pantomime at dinner we elected to cross the road and try out breakfast at the neighbouring Campanile hotel's restaurant and very good it was too and at 8 euro per head great value, as Arnie said "I'll be back"
Today's route is a round robin, a loop from the hotel back to the hotel clockwise around the Morvan national park, as far as I can tell there are no dramatic climbs or peaks and the peaks that there are more akin to hills than mountains, that said the road surfaces are generally good, the roads pleasingly twisty and seemingly devoid of any traffic, worth a vist then? Definitely if you're passing but as a special trip or sole destination? Perhaps not.
Col signs let's have some Col signs.......721 metres not too shabby

a little higher.....

Things to look at? Tick ✅ Porte D'Arroux

Saint Pere


This brought us to within striking distance of the Fawlty Towers, overall another great day's riding, we decided to give Basil & Cybil a miss and take our chances at the Campanile for dinner, true the food was much simpler but it was also much cheaper and the service a lot better, we were among the last table to leave and left a good tip as a token of our appreciation, perhaps we'll take another look at the Campanile chain the next time we are in France.
Day 7 Saturday;
Check out was almost another comedy sketch with 3 attempts to get the invoice to align with the room rate on my booking dot com reservation we were so glad we insisted on paying for the first night's meal when we did or we would still be there now haggling over it :ROFLMAO:
After packing the bikes we head once more to the Campanile for breakfast before splitting up and heading for our respective Channel crossings, Dave, Sean and I are getting an overnight ferry from Caen to Portsmouth whilst Oscar is heading to Calais for the Eurotunnel, we have similar distances to cover at around 320 miles, we have plenty of time on our side as we have a late evening crossing so we plan to fill the time near the port or along the coast.
By mid afternoon we arrive at Arromanches for a look around we've been here before but not together and there is always something new to see, we have a wander near the 360 cinema, the perforated metal figures are very life like and the simple inscriptions on the stone plinths are very thought provoking 😢



This one read "I was just a Bricklayer" another plinth nearby read "It was either him or me"

Remnants of the mulberry harbour are still visible, when you see the size of the cove they are in it makes you realise the size and scale of the operation to move all the pontoons
bridging pieces and men and machinery across the channel, staggering.

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Not much left now but to check in to Brittany ferries and go and find some refreshments whilst waiting for our ship to arrive, leaving the bikes within the port we walked out and struck gold at Norman's Brasserie a stone's throw away 👍


Thanks for your company lads here's to the next one 🤪IMG_7338.jpeg
Oscar not in this pic, at this point he’s presumably somewhere beneath the sea in the English Channel.

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Nice trip and write up.
How did you get on with the panniers? On a Scottish trip last year I found mine lacking more form then function.
Today's route is a round robin, a loop from the hotel back to the hotel clockwise around the Morvan national park, as far as I can tell there are no dramatic climbs or peaks and the peaks that there are more akin to hills than mountains, that said the road surfaces are generally good, the roads pleasingly twisty and seemingly devoid of any traffic, worth a vist then? Definitely if you're passing but as a special trip or sole destination? Perhaps not.

I am not sure where you went but, if you head into the interior, you’ll find more. As an area overall, good for a two day stay, assuming you go riding on both days. Buy hey, bar the disaster of the hotel, you had a good time. That’s the main thing.

Good one.
Most enjoyable 👍
Thanks for posting Steve, another great trip in the bag :thumby:
Thanks Dave 👍
Enjoyed that thanks. (y)
Thank you 👍
Nice trip and write up.
How did you get on with the panniers? On a Scottish trip last year I found mine lacking more form then function.
Great with enough space for a solo rider for a week I had the inner bags which I found very useful, they wouldn't be big enough for 2 people's belongings though.
I am not sure where you went but, if you head into the interior, you’ll find more. As an area overall, good for a two day stay, assuming you go riding on both days. Buy hey, bar the disaster of the hotel, you had a good time. That’s the main thing.

I selected a likely looking route with twists and turns from the map, a loop of about 200 miles in a clockwise direction starting from a point to the East of Avallon, roughly as follows;
D944 and D36 to La Gorge, D10 to Las Levaults then D20 to Champeau en Morvan,
D977 and D292 to La Faye and the Lake, then on to Moux en Morvan and Chissy en Morvan,
D980 to Autun, D680 to Montcenis D980 D102 D57 D985 to Perrecy Les Forges, on to Guegnon and D25 to Route de Guegnon,
D25 to Luzy D27 to Les Puits and on to Les Buteaux, D27 to Route de Lomes D944 to Vauclaix
D42 and D958 to Bazoches D958 to Saint Pere then D957 towards Avallon and back to Fawlty Towers :ROFLMAO:

Would've been quicker/easier to screenshot it 🤔 We did have a good time.
Great stuff Steve, as ever (y)
Cheers Cookie you know where we are if you want to dust off your touring kit and fancy joining us any time.
Excellent write up, many thanks for sharing
Thank you, you're welcome.
A great trip in good company. Looking forward to the next one
Same, not sure where the next one will be, something to discuss over a beer or 3
Excellent write up Steve. It was a great trip mate. As always planned brilliantly.
Thanks Sean, it was all thrown together on the back of a fag packet 🤪
Enjoyed that (y)
I'm pleased that you did 👍

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