Bella Italia - June 27th 2010
The 16th day - and eventually along the Semois valley.
My two objectives of the day were to recce Verdun, as this is one of the main Great War memorial sites for the French, and then to get to the Relais de Motards at Beauraing in Belgium
Wiki article on Verdun
The ride to Verdun was nothing special at all, 375 miles of not very inspiring roads, but at least I kept off the autoroute. 60km out from Verdun the fuel light came on, but hey, I'd always found gas before. 50km later I was beginning to get worried. At this time I was travelling parallel to the autoroute, and a sign on my small road said there was access to the services. Great! Turns out it is pedestrian access only - but that's never stopped the Hornet before. So I managed to fuel up. I'm sure I took a picture, but it ain't in the camera, so I must have goofed.
Verdun. Better pictures are on the 'net.
Loads of signs pointing to the "Centre of World Peace" - which turned out to be a palacey sort of thing tacked onto the Cathedral, and where they hold 'inspiring expositions' every so often. Hmm...
The main memorial and museum looked really good, but EUR7 to get inside, and there's a 22 minute film - I didn't have the time to do that, but it should be on our next battlefield tour.
I did spot a natty trailer in the bike park - looks custom made.
I go up the road to check out the ossuary - again, that looks like a good place for a future visit. Around the other side are windows just above the ground where you can see all the bones - goodness knows how deep they go.
Massive cemetery. Panoramas don't work that well on web-pages, so you can stitch these together in your mind:
I started on some glorious roads along and above the Semois valley, you'll have to stitch these in your head as well - the view at Rochehaut:
I go past the Relais de Motards - and it is closed up and for sale! Bother. Gertrude can only find one hotel in Beauraing itself, so I book in. This was the most expensive place I'd stayed all trip, but the room was tiny and hot, no shower - just a bucket of a bath, the food was crap and they charged a fortune for whisky. Hey-ho, I look forward to getting home tomorrow.
Track for the day (513km):