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 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), working out my next moves, and taking some Spanish classes to cement the Spanish I’ve learned whilst away. As to the future tours, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be doing some more. Maybe not big ones like 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 place I want to visit with a bike. 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

20 thoughts on “Basque country to Berlin

  1. The French weren’t friendly…😳 Never😎

    I look forward to your next adventure! And hopefully I’ll be surprised to you you in Germany!

    Take care xx

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    1. Hi Tania! Well it was by no means all of the areas, but Bordeaux was pretty terrible. Thankfully there were other places that made up for it, particularly Orleans. And should you ever have a ‘surprise’ visit to Germany, let me know 😉 Love to you both, S x

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    1. Hi Colin, how did you get on in Bordeaux? Hope you had a different experience to mine – maybe they were just having an off week! Trust all well with you, and you’re still keeping the cats herded! Best, Stuart

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  2. What a wonderful summary of the most fascinating trip which few could even dream of making. Extraordinary trip by an extraordinary MAN ! With great respect George

    GM. iPhone

    >

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  3. Glad you’re home safe Stuart. It has been a pleasure travelling along the road with you, and sharing your experiences! I’ll see you soon either in London, Berlin or Espania!!

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  4. Stuart, I had to wonder if Manneken Pis frequented the Willy Wash …;)

    Thanks so much for sharing the details of your cycling odyssey with us over the past year! It was a fascinating journey and I will miss the updates.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your travels! Viel Spaß beim Auspacken, rechtzeitig wo der Herbst dazu einlädt es sich zuhause bei Tee und Keksen gemütlich zu machen. Liebe Grüße und bis bald mal! Marina

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    1. Hi Marina! Danke Dir, es ist auch schön wieder daheim zu sein. Bin aber immer noch mit auspacken beschäftigt – zwei Wohnungen in eine zu kombinieren ist nicht so einfach! Freu mich auch auf das hoffentlich baldige Wiedersehen und schicke liebe Grüße an euch, Stuart

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  6. Hi stuart it’s been a while. Welcome home and wow! What an adventure!.
    Glad you’re home safe.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your blogs when I had a chance to read them.
    Hope you get chance to come.to UK soon.
    Big hugs to you
    Deborah

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