The planed three day trip back to the Netherlands turned into two and a half as the prospect of driving through dull Belgium only to find our points of interest (mainly small breweries) were closed was too much to deal with.
Our first day through northern Italy required us to head south for a bit, then east to avoid a mountain with no suitable roadway through it. Soon we did arrive at a mountain with a fantastic roadway over it; Little St Bernard Pass is an exciting twisty bit of roadway that climbs into the clouds and takes you from Italy over the border into France. It’s a favorite of those with sport bikes and unfortunately those dragging their houses behind them too. After the twists and turns then decided from the mountains we stopped at a wonderful French Boulangerie for proper croissants and a French attempt at Italian coffee.
Back on the road heading north through France where several stops were planned. Unfortunately, it seemed everyone in France must have checked out my plans causing massive traffic and huge crowds at every stop planned. Plan B – drive north out of France as soon as possible! Just before the border of Belgium we stopped at Fort Vaux. The fort was bombarded mercilessly in WWI, and the earth still shows the scars.
Even closer to Belgium was The Citadel of Montmédy This was a quick stop as there was not much to see aside from the drive in and out through the historic gates of the city over the once water filled moat.
Finally over the border into Belgium it was time for a beer – a trappist beer at a cafe just outside the gates of the historic and world renowned Orval Abbey From this most southern Belgium location we headed directly for northern Belgium and the “abandon” village of Doel. Within the confines of this small village are only a half dozen or so inhabitants. The rest of the dwellings have either been knocked down or become an artists canvas. Unfortunately some of the best works have been painted over or have faded away. A historic windmill resides at the on the banks of an ugly shipping canal with an even uglier nuclear plant puffing steam and smoke behind it.
From this ruin of a village to a popular tourist destination – the beaches of Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands.
On the way north to Groningen to put the Sud away until next summer we stopped in to see some Mummies in a small church in Wiuwert.