Long weekend cycling in #Luxembourg and Germany: Saturday 23 July, #Saarburg-#Mettlach-Luxembourg City-Brussels

bikes in store room Saarburg 716.JPG

It was cooler on Saturday. Our bikes were being used as stands for seat covers that had been drenched the night before.

roof Saarburg 716.JPG

We cycled out of town, with interesting tiles…

blue house Saarburg 716.JPG

… and past the outskirts of Saarburg, with buildings brighter than those we’d seen in Luxembourg. From then on the path, often through forest, was without buildings, the dark river Saar without boats. Odd that a place as complex as Saarburg is so far from “anywhere”.

Finally at Saarig we came to another great lock. It seemed redundant, but then above it were two passenger boats (and a pleasure boat hurrying to have its place) –

passenger boat Saarburg-Mettlach 716.JPG

then, as we stopped for a break, a vast 110 metre barge,

barge Saarburg-Mettlach 716 2.JPG

skilfully steered down the narrow river.

barge Saarburg-Mettlach 716 6.JPG

Everywhere attention had been paid to wild flowers on verges.

verge Saarburg-Mettlach 716.JPG

Finally we climbed to a chapel, at a site where a duke called Ludwig had one built in the 7th century, and then dropped down, after 20 km cycling, into Mettlach. What do Portsmouth and Mettlach have in common? They both have a Villeroy and Boch outlet shop. Something to eat at the Swan pub, then we managed to get lost (I managed to get us lost) on the 1-km cycle ride to the station. It took more than half an hour and we missed the train. I hoped to make up time by nipping from one station (Konz) to another (Kreuze Konz) but you try it! and it was raining! There comes a moment where you can see the tiny, single-track station on an embankment above you, but there is no sign, and you have to work out yourself the indirect route (3 right turns mixed with 5 lefts) you must follow to get there.

SD station Kreuse Konz 716.JPG

From K.K. it was an easy trip to Luxembourg city, a well-run main station where within fifteen minutes it was possible to get, from friendly people, a ticket; sustenance for the journey to Brussels; the same day’s Guardian newspaper (which you can never get in Brussels); and a glass of white wine. The guard invited us to load our bikes onto his train with extravagant gestures.

public men Luxembourg station 716.JPG

The scouts we travelled out with had matured considerably during their three day trip.

scouts getting on train Luxembourg-Brussels 716 (+SD).JPG

Among the five Brussels stations at which the train stopped it was probably a mistake to choose Gare du Nord; but it did mean that once we found our way to Botanique, we could get a direct tram home with the bikes.

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Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

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