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Blog #10 Saarbrucken to Frieburg

Not much of a plan forming, but it will happen

Yesterday I saw an old friend of mine Bernd Tesch and his wife Patricia. Bernd and Pat have been two of my most ardent supporters ever since I turned up at his Tesch Travel Event on my Enfield in 1992. Bernd has the largest collection of motorbike travel books in the world.

After the Farm Castle at Terbough I rode to Neuerburg and then today onto Saarbrucken. We had ice cream at the Italian place on the right as you climb the long slow ascent to the small town centre of Imberbrioch. Bernd lives at nearby Hammer but I couldn't face the hills there and he would make it very hard for me not to stay and my schedule just didn't allow me the time. Seven months sounds a long time, and it is but it could rachet upto a year easily and that is definitely not part of the plan that I haven't got.

My satnav took me right on the outskirts on town then instructed me to ride along a disused railway line repurposed for cyclists called the Vennbahn.

A Bit of HIstory - Vennbahn

There is not much left to remind one of the quantities of freight that once rolled up and down the Vennbahn between Aachen and the north of the Grand Duchy. A handful of deserted station buildings, as in Raeren, Walheim or Sourbrodt, the occasional rusting wagon, coach or locomotive, a few signals, frozen in time … these silent witnesses are all that remain of a glorious past. Some of the former stations house exhibits and relics that give insights into the history and lore of the Vennbahn. The era in which the Vennbahn was the pulsing artery of industrial development and trade between the coal fields of Aachen and the smelters of Lorraine and Luxembourg is long past. This turbulent history began under Prussian rule, when Kaiser Wilhelm I. laid the cornerstone for the start of construction in 1882. By 1889 the Vennbahn line between Aachen-Rothe-Erde and Ulflingen (today’s Troisvierges) could begin to carry traffic. The Vennbahn was a successful operation well into the 1920s, gradually losing importance as its incapacity for higher speed travel became a disadvantage and customs regulations between Germany and Belgium began to negatively affect trade. Nevertheless, the last goods trains still rolled on into the 1980s, until the line was converted as a tourist attraction in the 1990s.

Interesting Links

Always Why?

The balancing position between the the edge you seek allowing for a flash of incisive thought and the dangers associated with extreme adventure come at a price. For hours and hours I churn the pedals. Everything you need to know is hiding in plain sight. There has to be more about this but I'm tired so can pick up on this another time.

Map of the Day

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