Heading Home to France after a Month’s Cycling Holiday

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We’ve had a wonderful month, cycling over 1,100 kilometers along the Danube, Lake Constance and the Doubs, all on the Eurovelo 6 route, visiting two new countries – Slovakia and Hungary – exploring new areas of four other countries – France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland – and taking nearly 5,000 photos between us, but now I’m ready to go home.

Double bed with two mattresses and two covers

Double bed with two mattresses and two covers

I’m looking forward to sleeping in a double bed with only one mattress, to having my own pillow again and a sheet and blanket, not two separate duvets which are always too hot and which always seem to slide off. I still haven’t understood why the beds in Germany, Austria and Hungary have separate covers. I don’t know if it only exists in hotels or common pratice in private homes.

Hotel breakfast - one of the better ones

Hotel breakfast – one of the better ones

I’m looking forward to having a soft-boiled egg, French Activia yoghurt (when you buy it in other countries, it’s not the same taste or consistency), fromage blanc (we found speisequark in Germany, but it’s more like Petits Suisses) and real orange juice, not that awful fruit drink substitute you get everywhere. I want Earl Grey tea and Verlet ooffee

Curtainless shower with short wall

Curtainless shower with short wall

I can’t wait to have a shower in my own bathroom, where the temperature is consistent, the water doesn’t spray out in funny directions because the holes are clogged up and the shower curtain doesn’t stick to you. Our worst shower was in a very small bathroom with no curtain at all which meant the entire floor was wet afterwards.

My wonderful cleaning lady

My wonderful cleaning lady

It will be wonderful to be able to throw the clothes in the washing machine whenever I want and have them dry the next day. It will be even more wonderful to have them ironed by my wonderful Portugeuse cleaner!

Cote de boeuf at L'Arbre Sec

Cote de boeuf at L’Arbre Sec

It will be a relief to be able to communicate properly with everyone all the time because I understand and speak the language around me. No more surprises in restaurants. And while I’m on the subject of food, I am just so looking forward to a côte de bœuf, or at least an entrecôte, and lots of steamed and baked vegetables. Not to mention my home-made bread.

The Eurovelo 6 route from the Atlantic Coast to the Dead Sea

The Eurovelo 6 route from the Atlantic Coast to the Black Sea

And last, but not least, it will be great to have a fast, uninterrupted internet connection again. I didn’t realise how lucky I was in Paris and even Blois until I experienced the often slow and discontinuous connections available in many hotels and the apartment we rented. In one place, where we stayed five nights, there was only one place in which the internet worked – just next to the door, which wasn’t really very convenient you have to agree.

In the last place we stayed I couldn’t get a connection at all but at least we were in France so I had my iPhone.

I’m still looking forward to my next holiday though – in Sofia in Bulgaria in September!

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47 Responses to Heading Home to France after a Month’s Cycling Holiday

  1. CarolynB says:

    Welcome home! What a brilliant trip you’ve had – you and your hubby are fantastic role models for travel 🙂

    Thanks for your Twitter photos along the way. Good on ya, and enjoy your own bed, shower, and everything else at home — until your next trip 🙂


  2. Barbara says:

    Thanks for a fascinating trip. My son and daughter-in-law are so enthused by your trip that they want to try it next year – with me as child-minder, back-up support driver of course!

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      I’m delighted to hear that I have inspired your son and daughter-in-law! I still have to write up a couple of stages such as the loop then I’ll do a summary of the whole trip with tips and suggestions.

  3. Susan Walter says:

    I can’t believe how many cycling kilometres you did! I’m impressed.

  4. Jill says:

    A big welcome home , Rosemary and Jean-Michel. What a trip you have had! Your efforts truly put me to shame. The scenery has been beautiful , but I bet you will be happy to just look down over your amazing linden trees once more 🙂 Jill

  5. Andrea says:

    Bulgaria! That should be fun. We’ll still be in the Balkans then so who knows, we might finally be able to meet up.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      We’ll be arriving on 15th leaving on 22nd, and spending 21st in Plovdiv with our home exchange hosts. It would be great to catch up!

  6. Pat in Toulouse says:

    I’m catching up with your blog posts after my own holidays (which I spent… in Paris, showing around the daughter of an American friend and a friend from New Zealand). On your trip, you have seen so many things that are sooo familiar to me – it is always interesting to read about the impressions others have about these things.
    To answer your question: yes, Germans have separate covers in private homes, too. When I first moved in with a French boy-friend, we tried the common “couette” thing. Well, when you’ve been used to having your own duvet all your life, it is apparently difficult to share. I turned out to be a duvet-hogger. My husband and I have been going back and forth between the common and separate duvets for 20 years now and I find the separate ones so much more convenient! The sheet and blanket are not an option for me either, I always end up with the sheet crumpled up near my feet and the blanket in my face – and when I’m sharing a bed with someone, we wake up having one of them each and either are cold (the one who gets only the sheet) or uncomfortable (the one with the – often scratchy – blanket). I don’t mind the common mattres, but the separate mattresses make a) for a larger bed and b) for better sleep, as the other person’s movements don’t make your own mattress move. Of course, there is the gap in the middle, which the Germans call “Besucherritze”, visitor’s crack *g*. We have surrounded that problem by getting a bed which is “têtes et pieds relevables”. The two mattresses are connected in the middle by an unseen (and unfelt) zipper and separated at the head and foot. Really the ideal solution.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Hi Pat, thanks for the input! I can just imagine the scenario! So it’s all a question of what you’re used to really. I like the “visitor’s crack”.

      Next time you’re in Paris, I hope we’ll be able to catch up!

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