Finally dry in the Vosges

ER Classics Desktop 2022

stirNostalgic travel is great. But after three days of camping in the Vosges we are wet to the soul. The only consolation is that our two classic engines take us effortlessly from one downpour to another downpour.

But our tents and things are wet. From our very early childhood experiences (on mopeds to the Ardennes, where it can also be so damp) we know that clothes and camping equipment will smell a bit sour after dissatisfied mushrooms after day 5. The rain radar shows that it is raining in Plombieres les Bains and Nijmegen.

But when we are in Plombieres les Bains, we have to make the best of it. The town is from the Roman MGRegenknown for a while from hot springs.

We have been wet enough in the meantime. But some warmth wouldn't hurt. Nice and steamed we sit a few hours later on a covered terrace.

We decide to leave the camping and to find real shelter. Diagonally behind us is a lady with a bag of groceries sitting next to her, talking to what is heard laterally as a local business woman who also complains about the weather.

In our best French we ask the ladies if they give us an inn, La Balance outsidegite, logis, chambre de d'hotes or whatever can advise to recover for a few days and to use as a base for the otherwise perfect environment.

One lady makes it known that the other lady is exploiting such an opportunity. The other lady cautiously states that she doesn't like motorcyclists, but that we can get through with it in her eyes. Dame 1 disappears and lady 2 then turns out to be a Dutch citizen who is fully established in France.

That we are Dutch, she had heard that from our French without accent. She thought it was inappropriate to speak Dutch because there was a native French with us.

The conversation held further in Dutch made the relationship even better. We booked for two nights with an option on a third. Margaret's inn, La Balance, stood a mile outside of PLombieres. The beds were clean and good. The shower convinced and Margaret turned out to be a perfect cook. And the name of the inn turned out not to be, as we feared, something vaguely spiritual, but based on the historical name of the local slope. Or so.

We showered, put ourselves in the dryest clothes and dozed off to the fireplace until dinner. Bottle of wine. Fine. We were at home.

And when we woke up after our first dry night, the sun was shining. Our camping gear was hung out to dry and we had a great day. The third night was booked. And we left our camping gear behind.

The Vosges are top. An absolute must for classic enthusiasts on two and four wheels. The distance from the navel of the Netherlands is not too bad. The area is hilly, woody and full of cultural-historical surprises. The residents are friendly. And the ramp to La Balance is not very suitable for the lowest sports cars.

But the chance of rain is present.


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