Friday, November 13, 2009

Day #7 Remouchamps and The Bremerhof

Frans wrote:

10 Nov '09: We discuss every night what we are going to do the next day and where to travel. Whilst studying our route I noticed that the town of Remouchamps was right on our route towards our destination for that night, Hotel De Bremerhof near Kaiserslautern, Germany.

I remembered from my younger days in Belgium that there were some magnificent lime stone caves in Remouchamps and I wondered if my travelling companions would like to visit them not knowing whether they liked being underground in the first place.

All agreed that it might be a good experience and so we headed to Remouchamps in the heart of The Ardennes. We took the major road for the first part of the trip as the Western belgian country side is not so interesting and when we approached Remouchamp changed to the secondary roads which gave us some beautiful views of the small places and streams that are plentifull in The Ardennes.

The cave tour was carried out by a guide who told the story about the caves and its interesting features in 3 languages including English so that it was understandable for my travelling companions. The first part of the tour was conducted on foot and the guide gave us permission to make photo's which officially was not allowed but obviously he had his own opinion on that particular restriction.

The Cave Tour

The caves are littered with stalachites and with some imagination you can imagine many figures that are represented in these sculpture of mother nature although I must say that a generous serving of alcohol would probably assist in that.


The walking tour was followed by a boat tour where a second guide acting as the boat man pushed our boat with some 12 people in it through the subterrainean waterways of the caves of Remouchamps whilst entertaining us with explanation, stories and jokes. It is amazing how these people still can make you laugh although they undoubtedly have told the same jokes hundreds of times before. The boat tour took us back to the entrance and after parting with the obligatory tip we came out of the caves with a memorable experience richer.

From Remouchamps we had to take the motorways to reach our next destination in time. We were heading for Hotel De Bremerhof which reportedly was situated in the middle of a forest. As we approached the end of our trip for that day we were becoming a little worried as we were still travelling through the suburbs of the big city of Kaiserslautern which did not attract us at all with its heavy industry and smog. I think we were quite relieved when a only few kilometers from the end of our trip that day we turned suddenly to the right and within a few seconds had become surrounded by a dense forrest with no sign of Industry or Traffic.

De Bremerhof was truly situated within a forrest and we were welcomed by the friendly family that run the hotel and who went out of their way to make us welcome and settle in. after inspecting our rooms and beds we gathered on the small bar downstairs and sampled some of the local beers. this sampling has now become a bit of ritual with us and in many places we stop along the way we make a point of sampling the local beer as nearly each place has his own brewery or at least their local favourite.
We had a wonderfull good meal at De Bremerhof obviously cooked by the local staff. We all had different mains and although none of was game enough to try the speciality of the house being a cooked Goose, we had other local dishes like wiener schnitzel and red cabbage that was very much appreciated. Needless to say the staff of De Bremerhof earned their koala award well and truly!

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