Day 10: Ypres to Cirencester

I’m writing this evening from back home in Cirencester, having completed my first German Road Trip.

For my last day abroad, Sunday started with a fantastic breakfast in the B&B – A croissant, bread and jam, sausage, egg, bacon, a Belgian waffle, a vanilla yoghurt… Enough to set me up for the drive back to Gloucestershire.

After paying up and leaving the B&B, I drove in to Ieper (or Ypres as it is called in French/English). Paid parking is available in the Market Place of the town, or you can park for free at the railway station a short distance away, which is what I did.

Knowing the weather in Britain had not been great, I sat in the sunshine for a bit near the Menin Gate, reading my book. I then went to the In Flanders Fields Museum – I’ve been before but did not climb the bell tower last time. Those bells really are loud right up close! From the top you can clearly see over the top of the buildings to the Menin Gate and beyond.

I had a light lunch – just a toastie – in the town centre before I returned to the car to make my way back home. The roads of Belgium and Northern France were very quiet as it was a Sunday – it’s a shame the UK did not offer me the same driving experience. The M20 through to the M25 was much more crowded but at least it was moving.

Then I heard on the radio the M3 was closed in both directions for resurfacing work. Oh ****. This would mean heading straight in to the back of a queue further up the M25. From just after the M25/M3 junction, I was in stop-start traffic most of the way to Reading Services on the M4. Then more stop-start traffic between junctions 12-13 because of an accident.

Eventually, I made it home at 7pm – bringing to an end my first (and hopefully annual) German road trip.

The vital stats:

  • Countries driven in: 5 – France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg
  • German States visited: 6 out of 16: Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Hessen, Baden-Württemberg, Bayern/Bavaria, Saarland (briefly)
  • Miles Driven: 1750
  • Fuel: 4.5 Tanks of petrol – approx €240
  • Number of Photos Taken: Over 400

Overall: A great week! I’d certainly drive to Germany again for a holiday. Not sure I’d do it with quite so much moving about, but do things at a slower pace. Germany is a big country with lots to see, so going by car means I can get to some of the places where public transport links aren’t so great. It gives me the chance to do things at my own pace. It means I don’t have to queue at the Airport (but I do have to get stuck in traffic).

Where shall I go for next year’s German road trip? I’m thinking maybe a May trip to Cirencester’s twin town in Itzehoe, and then in to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for a few days.