Monday, September 8, 2008
Riding from home to Lagny sur Marne near Paris
My original plan was ride to Gibraltar this year but sometimes things in life
don't go as you plan. Because of some circumstances, I won't go to Gibraltar
Part of that trip was that I would visit some old friends that moved to France
a few years ago and I also wanted to see the famous "Viaduc de Millau" in the
South of France so I decided to take a week to make that part of my trip anyway.
The first day, Monday, September 8, I left home at about ten AM and drove to
a gasstation to start with a full tank.
After my first pitstop my trip realy started and soon I left the Netherlands and
drove on the freeway past Antwerp and Brussels to Mons in the South of Belgium
After I past Mons, I left the freeway. I had been riding for almost two hours now
and stopped for a break. I had a sandwich and a drink at the side of the road.
The BMW at the side of the road, having a short break
Shortly after I started riding again I saw this coalmine elevator tower. I don't
know if it is stil in use but it looks interesting so I stopped and parked the
bike to take a picture.
Coalmine elevator tower near Mons
Near the French border, there were roadworks so the road was blocked and I had to
use my Tomtom GPS to find an alternative route which it did. It was a very scenic
road. The first kilometers, it was a coblestone road through the fields. Very nice.
The road was blocked so I had to make a detour
Fortunately the weather is very nice and sunny. I knew I have plenty of time to
get to the hotel in Lagny sur Marne and I had a reservation so it was a relaxed trip.
Unlike the situation in the Netherlands, people abandon their farm or house here
and just neglet it until it collapses. I don't know if that is right or wrong but
it makes nice pictures.
From the flat countryside in the Netherlands and the North of Belgium, I came
on more rolling farmland now. It is also very obvious that this area is much
less populated as most of the Netherlands. So much open space !
A watertower on top of a hill
In Guise, in France, I stopped to fill my tank again after almost 250km. It was
half past one PM. The bike was doing fine, about 25 km on a liter.
Pitstop in Guise
Beautiful road through the French countryside
In a small village on the D967 in the direction of Laon, they had a very nice
townsquare with a clocktower but I would not like to ride my bike there in
the rain because they had very "glossy" tiles instead of normal bricks or
paving stones and it looked very slippery, even when is was dry.
Around half past two PM, I passed the city of Laon from a distance. It looked
inpressive on that hill and I'll have to come back one day to visit it to get
a better look (I can do it in a day trip from home).
Laon on a hill
After a while I saw a glider plane behind a small aircraft when I passed a
small airfield. I stopped to take a few pictures.
About an hour later, I stopped again. I saw a windmill that I had been taken
pictures of on a previous trip to France on the BMW R1200C that I had
before I bought the F650GS (Click
here to see it).
It was almost five PM when I arrived at the hotel, the "Comfort Inn Lagny sur Marne"
at 21 Rue Jacquard, 77400 Lagny Sur Marne. I had a nice 430 km trip in nice weather
At the hotel, I asked for a place to park the bike. There was no garage but I
could park it behind the hotel, out of sight. After I unloaded and parked the bike, I
put all my luggage on my room and left for a walk in Lagny Sur Marne.
The bike at the hotel parking
A square in Lagny Sur Marne
Because a lot of restaurants in France do not open before eight PM, I could find
no place to eat and I was hungry so I went to a baker's shop to buy some bread
and a cold bottle of CocaCola. Then I found a nice spot on the banks of the river
Marne and had my picknick dinner.
Dinner in Lagny sur Marne
After "dinner" I walked back to the hotel and had a cup of coffee in the hotel
lobby when the lady that did the checkin at the hotel walked in with a small cat.
It was only three months old.
The hotel cat
After the coffee, I went to my room, checked the map and the Tomtom for my trip
to Montcombroux tomorrow, tried to watch French TV and went to bed.