We had our tiny taster in the form of the Franco-Belgian introduction!
An amazing little mini adventure as we cycled up the beautiful seaside from Dunkirk to Ostend before veering off to take the canal paths to beautiful Brouge where we ended up drinking as much wine as trapist. Finally we found ourselves at our destination, the home of the European Parliament ridiculously picturesque Brussels.
We only had a week for that tour, it was as much a test of our ability to tour together as it was of the kit we took, one thing was for sure, I totally fell in love with touring then and there.
Our second Tour was considerably longer and further from Manchester, it was;
Dubrovnik to Budapest, our first real tour, taking the scenic (?) route through Bosnia and Herzegovina!
We had big dreams for our now retired bikes, Ellie had terrifically timed tonsilitis that had us bogged down in Dubrovnik, NOT the worst place to be stuck in!! Although in a week we only managed to find Old Town on the last 2 nights. Making it a memorable and affordable experience.
Most streets are actually stairs, its a great starting point for a cycle tour, but arriving with S-s in our wheels was unfortunate as we were not confident at the time to true our wheels for a 1000Km+ fully loaded tour. Ellie earned the title “Best Female Bike Mechanic This Side Of The Adriatic” in our eyes.
After chilling at the seaside for what almost seemed like a non-bike holiday, we finally got on to some cycling! Up through the picturesque coastal road towards Neum (Bosnias little tiny bit of coast) and shortly after slicing into and straight through the beautiful (and frighteningly backwards Bosnia… they were sure that the word Vegetarian is simply a pizza, even experienced (?) hospitality staff)
it was beautiful following massive scars carved by rivers, dodging the extremely stray dog population as we pedalled towards familiar lands (those dogs would actually attack cars at roundabouts… i mean attack, not bark-at) until sudden bouts of wtf-mountain-fog would bog-us-down at middle of nowhere cafe/diner where vegetarian menu items consisted of fries, cabbage salad and rice (grilled veg if your very lucky 🙂 )
Overall it was beautiful, Im not sure what i learned from it, im not sure i did…. except for horrible facts and images about a despicable act against humanity (genocide is truly horrific).
On the bright-side there was some seriously weird toilets / crumbling buildings and dodgy questionable wiring in Bosnia, here are a few snippets:::::