Basque country to Berlin

So, this is it. The final instalment of my travels. Hurray, I hear you cry….

A little over 10 000 kms after setting off from Medellin, I rolled into Berlin. The ride home continued to be hugely enjoyable, albeit for pure cycling adventure the Spanish Basque region was definitely the highlight in Europe.

I took minor roads or cycle routes for the whole journey, apart from a train from Orleans to Paris, and then again from Paris to Brussels. I had awesome weather pretty much the whole way. It was wonderful to be back in Europe and to visit my sister and nieces in France, as well as various other friends on the way home.

For the sake of getting the blog finished (it seems somehow weird to be writing about travelling once safely back home) I’ll mostly let the photos do the talking for this bit, split into countries:

France

France was good for cycling, but sadly mixed in terms of friendliness and, weirdly, food. Whilst I expect that of Paris, I was surprised at how bad some of the other areas were too, particularly Bordeaux.  The standout city for me was Orleans – it was beautiful, the people friendly, and great food. A perfect combination.

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A consistent feature throughout the ride was the poppy fields. Simply beautiful.

Belgium

Belgium was over far too quickly. Whilst there I enjoyed great roads, hospitable people, and good food. Definitely a country I’ll visit again. I rode fewer cycle routes than in France, but found I enjoyed this more. The velo routes in France are great, but they were, in part, very clogged with day trippers.

Belgium also gave me a laugh with this sign for a ‘willy wash’. I’d just showered, so passed on the opportunity.

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Germany

And then, almost suddenly, I found myself rolling over the border into Germany. Visiting various friends on the way, it was good to be home again.  For cyclists, Germany is a fantastic mix of countryside and urban areas, with some great cycling infrastructure.

And then, almost suddenly, I found myself back in my beloved Berlin.

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Since being back, I’ve been kept busy trying to get my flat sorted out again (it was rented out whilst away), as well as working out what I’m going to do in future. Nothing set in stone yet (it’s going to take a while to readjust), but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be doing some more big tours. Maybe not as big as the one I’ve just done (contrary to some friends’ expectations, I’m not going to go ‘full nomad’), but there are still loads of adventures to enjoy. I’ll post to this blog again when I do.

To all of those who’ve kept me company on the way, a huge thank you. It’s been great to share my experiences. I look forward to catching up with everyone again as I settle back.

As ever, much love to all,

Stuart

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