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Old 04-13-2009, 10:40 AM   #976
tony the tiger
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpy
"Bl**dy Germans - that's not what I meant when I said I wanted to hang out..."


...Watch this space...
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:23 PM   #977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimF650GS
Today I enjoyed some sausage links and bacon in an Easter breakfast. I hope BACON wasn't offended.
I didn't tell him, Tim. For the moment Bacon is safe in our veggie-household...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMas
Getting anywhere near The Hague (Den Haag) by any chance??
....

Let me know!!! We can have a somewhere near the sea...
What a nice idea, MotoMas. It's a real shame but we are going to visit a lot of friends and family en-route and won't have time for a detour to Den Haag...

Thanks for the thought though.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #978
mr badger
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Mmm

One of those gargoyles looks a bit familiar...

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Old 04-15-2009, 05:45 PM   #979
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Too Funny!! I missed the little piggy the first time. Nice work!!
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:19 PM   #980
SgtMike
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When I come to England...

These places are on my "to visit" list!!!!!

Fantastic architecture and history, yes this is me with pig envy.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:43 PM   #981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr badger
One of those gargoyles looks a bit familiar...

Well spotted, Mr Badger. That's one of Bacon's ancestors - Roger...
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:05 PM   #982
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great stuff!
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:54 PM   #983
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OMG...that was one of the funniest posts yet..and there was not even any bikes around. Great stuff, made my night.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:04 AM   #984
flash of the gap
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hey great stuff pumpy really enjoyed that ,note to self gotta visit oxford
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:55 PM   #985
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If Bacon is ever coming to Belgium, I'd gladly show him around my little country

Grtz, Philip!
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:21 AM   #986
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Thank you all for your kind feedback.

If you ever come to Oxford just give me a shout - I'll be happy to be your tour guide.

And as soon as we get back home, I will continue reporting on Bacon's ventures into Europe...
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:09 PM   #987
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Bacon in Belgium

Originally, our plan was to spend a week's holiday in Europe on our two 1150 GS's:

- take the ferry from Dover to Dunkerque
- meet Blackbert there and explore the back roads of Flanders with him
- travel to Luxemburg together
- then into Germany and up through the Eifel to my little sister in North Rhine-Westphalia
- tour the Sauerland with her and her friends
- then carry on through Northern Germany towards Denmark
- meet Bummer at the border
- stay on the island of Rømø
- work our way up to Skagen, the most northern top of the country
- and then come back to the UK via ferry from Esbjerg to Harwich.

Maybe not the most exciting motorcycling countries but still interesting enough for an entertaining ride report. So we thought.

The first setback was that my broken arm took a lot longer to heal than anticipated. So plan B came into effect: riding pillion with Possu and carrying Bacon in my jacket. Not ideal but better than not going at all.

But a couple of days prior to leaving, Steve’s mum died unexpectedly, meaning that we had to change our plans. Steve went to stay with his dad, both trying to come to terms with the loss of a wonderful mother, wife, friend, and sorting out the formalities. I cancelled the ferries and informed family and friends. We then thought it might help us to clear our heads if we went to the continent at least for a long weekend and met some friends. So Possu came back to Oxford, picked up a few clothes and me, along with bits and pieces for our mates in Belgium. We were both not in the mood for a motorcycle trip; too much luggage to carry on only one bike and too many miles on a straight, boring motorway.

Considering the sad circumstances and the fact that we were not riding our bikes, my first notion was to leave Bacon at home. But then I thought that I didn't know how he would ultimately travel on from the UK and that this might be his only chance to see the White Cliffs of Dover and taste Belgian chocolate. So I put Bacon into my rucksack and took him with me.

Checking in at the ferry port of Dover


The harbour is fairly busy with 62 sailings per day between France and the UK - and that's in addition to the Chunnel, the undersea rail tunnel...


Personally, I prefer taking the ferry for the real flavour of travelling between England and the continent




At first, Bacon was a bit anxious about going overboard...


... but after we had told him what to do in case of emergency...


... he started to enjoy the wind in his hair, erm, ears


... and got quite excited by the sight of the White Cliffs


"Pumpy, when we get back to England can we have a closer look at the cliffs, please?" We'll see...


St Margarets at Cliffe, where Possu's dad was born


I wasn't sure if Bacon would get seasick but fortunately the crossing was calm...


... and soon we were approaching France


Dunkerque, to be precise - if you look closely, you can see the name written on the cranes


Quickly we got off the ferry


... and half an hour later we were crossing the border


Now, I have to admit that apart from riding through Belgium on the way from Germany to England and vice versa numerous times, I didn't really know a great deal about this country...

So, be honest, what crosses your mind when you think of 'Belgium'?

Chocolate?


Beer?


Brussels Lace?


Manneken Pis?


Tintin?


... or the English saying "Belgium will be a nice country - when it's finished..."?

There is a lot more to the place...


... as we were soon going to find out when we arrived at Blackbert's


"Ah, some bike stuff at long last..."


Bert's latest toy, brought over from the UK four weeks earlier


Have a guess in which room we found this warning sign...


Bert then showed us the sights and delights of Beveren


Spot the piglet!


While the boys settled for some drinks...


I thought I'd rather contribute to Bacon's cultural education and show him the Castle of Cortewalle


"If I had a few horses this could be nearly as exciting as riding a motorbike..."


Antique lavatory


Beverenian art


I hope we didn't commit an outrage against the Belgian national pride here...


Amazing craftsmanship


"I can see Possu & Blackbert!"


Possu had been making friends with the locals in the meantime...


Still life with castle suspension bridge and piglet


Back home at Bert's...


... we were treated to a delicious dinner


Oi! Hands, knives and forks off Bacon!


Homemade mousse au chocolat...


"What are you three having for dessert?" Nice try, Bacon...


And then it was bedtime...


As it is now and here - good night!

More of Bacon's Belgian adventures to follow tomorrow...
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #988
Chris K
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Splendid hosting Pumpy and Possu....

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Old 04-28-2009, 05:54 PM   #989
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Thanks, Chris, we wouldn't have met Bacon without your efforts to bring him to the UK in the first place.


Bacon's Belgian Adventure Part II

After a delicious breakfast the next morning (no food photos here for a change... ) we paid a visit to fellow Adventure Riders Rose & CrazyIvan


CrazyIvan looked still pretty rough after his little tumble during the International Dutch BMW GS Easter Meeting


“Well, the bike looks comparatively better off than its rider…”


“And judging by this well equipped workshop I would think that the KTM is also a lot quicker back on the road again...”


"This leads us to one of the big philosophical questions in life - how many engines does one human being need?"


Rose’s famous DRZ, faithful companion in many rallies and competitions


Possu’s delight – you should have seen his eyes when Steve spotted this prime example of fine craftsmanship and engineering


He pulled out all the stops and tried every single trick out of the seasoned salesman skills box to get them - but CrazyIvan stood firm: too much sweat, heart and soul had gone into these beauties...


“Can I have a pair of clogs as a souvenir, please?” Well, Bacon, I’m not convinced they go with your hair…


After an opulent lunch (Dank U!) we left Nurse Rose and her patient to focus on a speedy recovery (get well soon, Wilf!) and headed towards Belgium’s capital Brussels.

Bert had arranged a splendid tour guide for us – his friend Celine, who impressed us deeply with her vast knowledge of the city...


We saw an open air concert in the square of Sainte Catherine


Brussels Stock Exchange


The varieties of chocolate...


Bacon thought he had gone straight to heaven...


The Grand Place in Brussels is one of the World Heritage Sites


... and attracts tourists of all sorts...


The magnificent buildings show the power and wealth of the guilds - the Museum of the City of Brussels was once the Bread House


The gothic Town Hall is meant to have been founded by the butcher's guild


Sometimes I wish I had a wide angle lense...


St Michael – the legend says that touching the bust of Brussels' patron will bring you luck and long life


Another of the many delights in this country - Belgian Waffles


“Oops, I thought he would be bigger…” 'Manneken Pis' or 'Petit Julien', one of Brussels' most famous landmarks


And for equality reasons we also visited Jeanneke Pis


Suddenly Bacon quite fancied the idea of getting really drunk…


… in the hope to meet other pink animals…


Fortunately there are many distractions in the centre of Brussels


Little alleys… “Look, like in Oxford!”


Food...


And beautiful architecture


Place d’Espagne “This Don Quijote reminds me of someone I know…?”




The Cathedral of St Michael and Ste Gudula


And finally Bacon got into his pub – the notorious 'A La Mort Subite'


“Are you really sure that I will die a sudden death when I drink this cherry beer?” Well, Bacon, it says on the tin…


We'd better get something to eat now - and a restaurant that can be highly recommended is the Arcadi Café


Very nice atmosphere...


… and some of Brussels' best quiches


"Is this all for me?" Mmm, actually... no.


Poor Bacon, shouldn’t have left him alone when I went to the bathroom...


Unbelievable - and I thought they were my friends!


Yes, Bacon, I'll make sure that you get some compensation for that cruel treatment...


And some more...


Back at the Grand Place we looked a bit closer at the town hall’s façade


These gargoyles depict the legend of a judge and his nephew who assumed their relationship would save him from being brought to justice. After he had managed to escape punishment for years, he confessed a capital crime to his uncle who was already lying on his deathbed. Apparently there were still a strong sense of duty and some strength left in the old fellow...


Putting things into perspective...


Emerging night life


3 in 1


Brussels off the stage...


Celine then led us to the Hall of Justice, built from 1866 to 1883 and for which a considerable part of the old Brussels was demolished


The building spans so many levels that you can get completely lost inside (Celine & Bert were talking of experience...)


But the views were great – if you look closely you can spot the Atomium in the distance


The Basilica of the Sacred Heart


Thank you very much, Celine, for your time and a most excellent guided tour, much appreciated!

We others drove home to Beveren, crossing the river Schelde and briefly stopping to see Antwerp’s cathedral


What a wonderful day – it definitely put Belgium on the map for us. Mission accomplished, Bert, and we had a great time in the process.

Thank you!
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:50 PM   #990
Noddy GB
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Where is the little chap now ????

We need an update.
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