Friday, 4 October 2013

Frankfurt, Liege and other random things...

Basel and Munich were the two main areas I visited during this little excursion in Europe. But I also stayed in Frankfurt and Liege for a few days.

First up, Frankfurt!
Just a few days before leaving Canada, I discovered that my cousin, Shuchita and her husband (Sunil) are temporarily calling Frankfurt home for the last year! Last time I saw Shuchita was sometime in 2004 when she and Megha (another cousin) visited us while my parents were still in Paris. They came for vacation and I got to be their tour guide for a few days…haha, I was majorly moody back then! ;)

Anyway, they graciously hosted me for a few days in their home and took great care of me in the days following Powerman Zofingen as my legs/back/shoulders recovered from the race and the crash. I was able to catch a few glimpses of this city and my cousins…


The journey from Frankfurt to Liege was stressful and awesome at the same time!
I had to make 3 train changes, with 1 change being less than 5 mins! When you have 2 large bike suitcases...

The train ride from Koblenz (intermediate stop) was one of the most scenic train rides ever:

The train ride to Koblenz had the most breathtaking views I've ever seen as the train traversed right next to the river

I decided to book a B&B on Shuchita’s recommendation via , and found a great host in Alex/Gaelle in a nice corner of Liege. They were great hosts, very accommodating and easy to talk with! They definitely made me polish up my French! Here s a pic of their place:
 (More pics at:

After I visited Munich, I came back to Frankfurt for a few days where I could’ve gone some other place in Europe, but really, I didn’t want to be a rush tourist, and just wanted to put my feet up and relax…the feeling of vacation was still kicking in! Even though I had been away from Toronto for 2 weeks by now, I only really switched to “vacation mode” after the race! So I didn’t bother seeing as much of Europe as I could have. 
Anyway, my flight back to Brussels was on 19th, and I had a few days to kill. So I stayed in Frankfurt till the 17th and then thought I could stop over Liege on the way to Brussels for a few days. I caught up with an old friend (Caroline!) from high school days after 9’ish years and to try out the fabled Liege frites, boules (meatballs!!), and waffles!
Frites tasting with Caro and Nico
Their pets are so much fun. Not sure I could live with 3 birds and 2 cats, though!
Most awesome meatballs I ever had!
...and more frites!
 I also explored the Liege university campus and a few of its attractions. I randomly walked into an engineering expo for clean electric engines for cars on their campus. With a bit of persuasion, they let me try out their 'raw' go-kart with a direct drive! Man, it was hard to turn that steering wheel!
I also thought I’d be able to get another nice run in Liege because it’s a city surrounded by hills in a valley and nearly every road goes either up or down. But the rain has literally followed me everywhere since Zofingen and Liege was no exception. It rained nearly all of the 36 hours I spent in this city! :(
This city is built on stairs, it seems! They're everywhere! And not just a few of them...I must've climbed a few sets of 500-1500 step staircases! The city is in a valley surrounded by hills, so every road goes either up or down. No flats.  My quads had forgiven me for the Zofingen race by now, so I really wanted to bike here, but cycling here would’ve been too much of a hassle to unpack/pack for 2 days, so maybe next time I’ll come with Garima and we can do the Liege – Bastogne – Liege! :D 

Keep pedaling.

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