Day 9: Aachen to Ieper/Ypres
The rain had stopped by the time I woke up and the sun was shining! I had breakfast at the hotel, then left quickly after that. ibis Budget hotels aren’t places to hang around in – they’re just useful overnight stops.
Before leaving Germany, I drove for an hour (further away from the border) back to Brühl, to visit the bits I missed there on Sunday. Last weekend, I only saw the Falkenlust Hunting Lodge, but I didn’t get as far as the Augustusburg Palace and its gardens.
I parked back by Falkenlust and walked to Augustusburg (about 2,5km), through the gardens. Entry was only with a guided tour – which I did. The guided tour was all in German – I chose not to take an audio guide which would translate in to English – but I understood for the most part which part of the castle we were in.
The tour took just over an hour and we went in to some very grand looking rooms, and some with excellent views over the castle gardens.
When we got back to the starting point I went for a walk around the gardens for a bit, before deciding it was after 1pm and I really needed to make a move. I had a 4 hour drive to Ypres ahead of me.
The next bit of driving would be my last Autobahn stretch before leaving Germany. Just West of Aachen I pulled off the Autobahn and turned South to reach the Dreiländereck – on the outskirts of both the German city of Aachen, and the Dutch townb of Vaals. It is the point where the borders of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands all meet – and it is a bit of a tourist attraction with a viewing tower, the flags marking the border, the highest point in the Netherlands just a few metres away, and many cafés nearby.
From the tri-border point I returned to the car and it was then a further 2 hours 45 minutes to Ypres. It was a fairly clear run and I did it with just one stop of just under 5 minutes, shortly before joining the Brussels Ring: The Belgian version of the M25.
Arriving in Ypres at 18:20, I checked in to my room and walked in to town in time to see the Last Post ceremony at 8pm. After the ceremony, I went to find somewhere to eat and I enjoyed a very tasty Flemish Beef Stew, before returning to the B&B to get some rest.
On Sunday I’ll be returning to the UK. I’ve not driven on the left in over a week, and the 70mph limit on UK motorways will feel incredibly slow compared to the speeds I was doing on the German Autobahns!
My Channel Tunnel crossing is not until late afternoon, so I’ve got plenty of time to have a wander and do not much at all before I leave Ypres after lunch.
I’ll see you later, Britain. (Please let the weather be good).
Today’s Mileage: 272 Miles
Accumulative Mileage: 1516.2 Miles