June 24 from Dilsen-Stokkem to Monschau

Natalie here, writing about our 3rd day of riding. We usually kinda co-write….

Last night we had a harder time getting to sleep. We wondered if our sodas at dinner may have been caffeinated or something. Or it could be our body clocks still adjusting. We really speak/read no Dutch! So menus and labels are mysterious to us. Thank goodness for translating apps. And also GPS and Google maps! How did people do trips like this before then?! Haha

Breakfast at Huyze Max B&B was simple but very yummy: fruit, plain salad, bread, OJ. We really appreciated our host’s effort to make something we could eat. We are also grateful that he let us park our bike in his garage!

The weather today was perfect: cloudy and breezy and cool. Great biking weather, especially for a day with hills to climb.
As it was a Saturday, we saw tons of bikers on the trails and roads, especially groups of road bikers. We had one short ferry crossing early today, and the only customers were in fact groups of bikers! 

Early today we also experienced our first detour of the trip: a closed bridge. Thanks to our routing software we were pretty easily able to re-route, and the detour was through beautiful farmland.

We began in Belgium of course, then we were in Netherlands part of the day, and finally Germany. We rode 48.8 miles (78.5 km) and gained 2700 vertical feet. That’s a lot compared to our last two days which have been pretty flat. Our legs are tired but happy. We’re staying in Germany tonight. It’s fun to keep crossing borders. We’ve never had to show our passports except at the airport. I love having Euros, as compared to when I did my Belgium internship 30 years ago and was constantly exchanging money in every country. (Go E.U.!!)

Much of today’s ride was in kind of more industrial but small towns. Interesting! Then as we climbed higher we got into more green and wow it was beautiful!!!

A couple of the cities we passed through were Heerlen, Netherlands, and Aachen, Germany (where we rode through a cool little cobblestone shopping area).

Today near the end of ride we had 10 miles of sustained climbing. Then we ended the ride going down a bunch of super steep, twisting, narrow, cobblestone streets and being amazed by this old German town of Monschau! Google it! We did not expect to be staying in such a cool place! Monschau Germany is a 300-year-old town and we are staying in a 200-year-old house (B&B found through AirBnB), up a tiny cobblestone crazy-steep street. We have a sweet old German lady host who helped us stash our bike safely in a random small room at the bottom of her house. After cleaning up we found a simple but good dinner at an outside cafe, surrounded by many different languages, and ate slowly and just talked. Then we strolled through the quaint old town, happy to relax and stretch our legs. 

Tired but happy! It really was an amazing day. What a great adventure! What great variety we have in our world. 

One Reply to “June 24 from Dilsen-Stokkem to Monschau”

  1. What fun. What beautiful scenery. And, what a romantic place to spend your birthday (Natalie). Too bad you can’t have one round of wiener schnitzel with some sauerkraut and rye bread with Swiss cheese.

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