Germanic Odyssey 2017

We left at 6.05am from Newport Railway Station on Monday 1 May and arrived at the hotel Carat in Monschau at approximately 8.20pm. It was an interesting journey with a pleasant ferry crossing to Calais and stops in Belgium. It was near Ostend that we picked up Simon, our courier, and between them, Simon and our driver Clive, produced an excellent partnership.

Our itinerary was varied and picturesque. On Tuesday we went to historic Aachen and saw, amongst other sights, the Cathedral, the last resting place of Charlemagne - the first Holy Roman Emperor. Then we were taken to Valkenburg in Holland where we experienced the underground wartime tunnels and nuclear bunker. The town was pleasant with historical sights, perfect for watching the world go by over a coffee or something stronger.

In subsequent days we travelled to Vaalserberg in Holland where by walking round the German, Belgium and Netherlands Trippoint Stone - the apex between the three countries, it was possible to be in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands at the same time. During our tour of the Eifel National Park we visited Bad Munstereifel a scenic German spa town.

On our final day we toured a chocolate factory in Eupen, Belgium and spent the afternoon exploring historic Monschau with its magnificent castle by land train.

The holiday was topped off with a ten pin Bowling match at the hotel (won by Stephen Berry). In the course of the match we were required to bowl in various hilarious ways and sample Schnapps. My aim certainly improved with the schnapps!

Derek Nash

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