Day 2: Solo motorbike tour of France (Charleville Mézières - Nancy)
For an overview of my 8 day tour of northern France through the Alsace region and the Vosges Mountains, click here.
Route: Charleville- Mézières – Verdun – Lac de Madine – Nancy (126 miles)
A lovely day’s ride along D24 & D30, leaving Charleville-Mézières after a croissant breakfast and heading off to Verdun to see the church, monuments and sit by the water. There is a nice central square by the river where all the bikers parked, just down from Porte Chaussee (the small, castle-like building).
After tea and cake, I travelled along splendid back roads to Lac de Madine. There are plenty of fun things to do here: cycling, fishing, golf, horse riding, pedaloes, sporty things and, of course, le camping! I managed a nap on a sun lounger in front of the lake and then left feeling refreshed from being horizontal and stationary for a while.
I arrived into Nancy a couple of hours later after a scenic route through the Lorraine National Park on the D904. Nancy was a shock to the scenic system: a hot busy town of one-way roads and drunks on street corners. I tied Saki to a bike rack but angsted about this all the way to the hotel. After I checked in, I returned to save her from the vagrants checking out her chrome and parked her up a quiet side road instead which certainly wasn’t legal but was at least visible from my room.
After walking around for a while, I realised I may have too hastily judged Nancy and settled in to the watch the bicycle protest in the town square with a cold Hoegarden and some pretzels. All the nice eateries were fully booked so I ended up in an Italian place with plastic menus.