Rhine in Flames Tour  6 – 11 August 2014
 
P1060816 web
The group ready to leave Boppard – a really great bunch of guests made for a fantastic tour – and no apologies for the number of photos which follow!
*
*Our thanks yet again to John and Jen for such an awesome holiday. Yet another brilliant tour which has given us thrills, sights and experiences to treasure. It was great to meet old friends and new. A real pleasure to share this fantastic tour and its amazing rides so well planned by Bike Normandy. We have formed a Face Book page - Bike Normandy Fan Club. It is open to everyone to join and share. Its a great way for us all to keep in touch, share holiday pics and news very easily. Cheers”
Chris & Kath Adams (5th tour), BMW 1200RT
*
P1060264 web  P1060266 web
Everyone stays in Calais the night before the tour starts where Traci tries snails (much to David’s disgust!) and Barry has a huge mixed grill
*
“Even though the weather tried at times to sabotage the holiday – it was still a very enjoyable trip. The extra day stay over, made a big difference between a pure biking holiday and a relaxing chill out holiday. The routes were up to your usual high-class standard; fast, flowing, technical and scenic. It was also good to meet up with old friends and also to make new ones. See you soon”
David & Traci Wakefield (7th visit), Triumph Explorer
*
P1060267 web  P1060270 web
Sue “photo-bombs” the shot of the pre-tour briefing!
*
P1060272 web
After a day of relentless rain, when unfortunately Jane Bishop had an accident and was taken to hospital, the group (minus Steve Poole her partner and Ken & Sue Wright) arrive at our hotel – soaked to the skin but still in good spirits!
*
P1060273 web  P1060274 web
Drinks before dinner, Kieron Haines, Rita, Sharron Haines, Kath & Chris Adams with Sue & Ken having arrived from the hospital; Ron & Sue Hutchinson with Jean & Steve Canning
*
“Thank you for another wonderful trip from the dynamic duo!”
Ron (6th trip) & Sue (4th trip) Hutchinson, FJR1300
*
P1060275 web  P1060277 web
Sue Dunn with Barry & Lindy Jackson; Lyn & Ted Bailey
*
“Jen and John,  once again you have organised another Excellent Bike Holiday!! The people, the roads and scenery were superb and the Night of the Rhine in Flames was fantastic from start to finish! We would highly recommend this trip for rider and pillion as the mileage is just right! Thank you”
Barry and Lindy Jackson (6th trip), Triumph Sprint GT
*
P1060276 web  P1060278 web
Tim Hale (our van driver on this tour) with Barry – could they be brothers?  Barry caught parting with cash – then we discover it wasn’t even his !!
*
“Another tour to leave us with life long memories of laughter, good riding (pain free knees for Fran for the first time ever), friendship and amazing experiences. We couldn’t have conceived how lovely it would be to see the Rhine in Flames. The braziers along the rivers banks, the red lit houses, churches and castles, the wonderful fireworks as we travelled on the water towards Koblenz, and the awe inspiring finale over the castle there, all made for a memorable evening – and that`s without the meal, wine, music and dancing – thanks Bike Normandy for such a stonking good time! From beginning to end we always feel at home with John and Jen, and dear Rita and John (such quick wit!) The sad start was so well managed and showed again to us all the thorough planning and care that is taken in preparation for everything that happens. We really appreciated the selection of castle visits, the wonderful accommodation, the well timed coffee and lunch stops and, on this tour, Jen`s immaculate riding on such varied roads, which always got us all where we needed to be. Johns talks and guidance greatly appreciated, as always, and we wish him well as he returns to full health again. We are once again inspired to get on the website and see what we can do next – race you all, but hope to see lots of you again some time!
Signed, “Nuts in November and Dumplings in December” [since booked Black Forest 2015]
Fran (5th trip) & Terry (7th trip) Stanfield, Triumph Sprint 1050
*
P1060279 web  P1060280 web
Lyn & Ted, Sue & Martin; Rita & John Gates (backmarkers on the tour) with David & Traci Wakefield & John
*
“The Rhine in Flames…Dinner on the boat and a truly spectacular sight as we cruised the river: the banks lit up with fires and the fireworks seemed to be over the sky – finishing with fireworks accompanied by music and a little boogie on the way back. This is the most relaxing tour I’ve been on yet – we stayed in a hotel for 3 nights…absolute bliss. I even got to hang my clothes in the wardrobe! Of course there was an option to go out sightseeing on the bikes each day led by Jen, but for me the retail therapy was calling and I wasn’t disappointed in the cool shops there were to look around, not to mention the coffee shops for the super tasty cakes. For the ladies it was perfect. For those with a sweet tooth it was delicious, and the adrenalin junkies got to go out and ride the twisty roads. I always have fun on a Bike Normandy tour and again would thoroughly recommend this as a good start for those who have never been on a bike tour adventure, or riders, if you wish to impress your pillion as the mileage, hotels and entertainment have been perfectly planned. I would definitely recommend a swim and sauna in the last hotel it just recharges your batteries…oh and try and find the bowling alley!! Maybe challenge Jen to a game, she definitely needs the practice. Ha ha!  [What happened to team spirit then ??? -  only joking we love having you guys on our tours - Jen]
Sue Dunn (with Martin Askem) (5th visit), BMW 1150 GS
*
P1060281 web  P1060282 web
Dinner is included on our first night
*
P1060283 web  P1060284 web
*
P1060287 web  P1060288 web
We all enjoyed a superb meal
*
P1060289 web  P1060299 web
A misty start the next morning; always a briefing before we set off
*
P1050874 web
After a day of sunshine we arrive at Boppard – our base for the next three nights; the view from our hotel
*
P1060300 web  P1060301 web
Rita & John; Terry & Fran Stanfield
*
P1060306 web  P1060312 web
Jane Andrews has a new camera – “My zoom’s bigger than yours!”;  Drinks outside the hotel on a free evening
*
P1060313 web  P1060314 web
Boys  – vs – Girls !
*
P1060320 web  P1060333 web
Jean & Sandra on the Rose wine; Barry Loves his Wife – but only because she lets him ride his bike!!!
*
P1060337 web  P1060340 web
On our first free day we all take the train to Bingen then the ferry to Rudesheim
*
P1060343 web  P1060356 web
*
P1060345 web  P1060348 web
With John still on crutches, Ron is appointed “Deputy Tour Leader in Charge of Ferry Tickets”!
*
P1060354 web  P1060355 web
Is this really the wedding limousine ??
*
P1060363 web  P1060359 web
*
P1060374 web
*
P1060381 web  P1060414 web
Explore the quaint back streets of Rudesheim and sample the local specialty coffee
*
P1060382 web  P1060383 web
Kath, Sue, Chris & Ken;  Kieron & Sharron
*
P1060384 web  P1060386 web
John & Terry; Tim can’t resist having an ice cream as well!
*
P1060389 web  P1060390 web
Fran & Jen start with wine!  Ken & Sue, Chris & Kath move onto apple strudels!
*
P1060398 web  P1060400 web
Take the ski-lift to see the view of the Rhine – John & Rita, Barry & Lindy, David & Traci
*
P1060402 web  P1060401 web
Lyn & Ted, Sue & Martin had champagne on the ski-lift;  Tim tries to sample the local brew!!
*
P1060407 web  P1060410 web
John treats us to Strawberry & Champagne cocktails
*
P1060393 web  P1060408 web
*
P1060419 web  P1060421 web
Fran’s accosted by two dodgy characters while Terry & Tim inspect the local bikes
*
P1060488 web  P1060423 web
Some of us take the paddle boat back to Boppard – strange sights en-route!
*
P1060425 web  P1060430 web
See the castles along the way
*
P1060434 web  P1060446 web
*
P1060437 web  P1060456 web
Drinks on board
*
P1060468 web  P1060483 web
*
P1060486 web  P1060491 web
The most spectacular view awaits our return to Boppard!
*
P1060493 web
Boppard by night
*
P1060500 web  P1060501 web
The next day, despite a damp start, most venture out on the ride-out, taking the ferry across the Rhine
*
P1060505 web  P1060507 web
We take the funicular railway up to the Dragonfels ;  Sharron &  Kieron ;   Allan – but where’s Jane ???
*
P1050865 web
The castle half-way up
*
P1060508 web  P1060515 web
The sun is shining!   Terry & Fran, Traci & David;   Tim tries for that perfect shot
*
P1060510 web
The super views at the top
*
P1060527 web
*
P1060517 web  P1060526 web
Kath & Chris;  Sharron, Tim & Kieron
*
P1060528 web  P1060529 web
Here’s Jane! Having stepped off the train to allow a wedding party to dismount the driver closed the doors & left without her!
*
P1060543 web
*
P1060540 web  P1060547 web
We arrive back at Boppard; Jen leading on the Street Triple
*
P1060548 web  P1060549 web
David Wakefield on his Explorer;  Steve Canning on his FJR 1300
*
P1060550 web  P1060551 web
Chris Adams on his BMW 1200RT; Kevin Boot on his Pan European
*
P1060552 web  P1050851 web
Ken Wright on his Triumph Tiger 1050;   The view of our riverside hotel
*
P1060555 web
Our boat for the evening cruise
*
P1060557 web  P1060558 web
Dinner on board
*
P1060559 web  P1060560 web
*
P1060565 web  P1060566 web
We’re all laughing as first Sharron & then Sue are encouraged to sit on a German guest’s knees to take their photos!
*
P1060577 web  P1060578 web
*
P1060579 web  P1060571 web
*
P1060572 web  P1060573 web
Jean having a laugh with Ron;  John entertains with a joke
*
P1060575 web  P1060581 web
Jane & Allan;   Cheers!
*
P1060586 web  P1060602 web
Ron thinks the Germans don’t really like their wine!   Terry & Fran on deck
*
P1060603 web
All the boats start heading towards Koblenz
*
P1060607 web  P1060614 web
*
P1060625 web  P1060619 web
The girls take to the dance floor with the “Wigan Slosh” but goodness knows what Kieron & Barry are doing!
*
P1060683 web  P1060675 web
We all go up on deck to watch the fireworks along the Rhine
*
P1060684 web  P1060699 web
*
P1060700 web  P1060705 web
*
P1060718 web  P1060719 web
*
P1060725 web  P1060726 web
*
P1060727 web  P1060732 web
*
P1060736 web  P1060740 web
*
P1060741 web  P1060746 web
*
P1060747 web  P1060752 web
*
P1060754 web  P1060755 web
*
P1060760 web
After the finale the boats turn around & head back down river
*
P1060763 web  P1060777 web
Back inside it’s pretzels all round before we all hit the dance floor
*
P1060764 web  P1060776 web
Barry plays guitar!  Jean drags Ron onto the dance floor!
*
P1060779 web  P1060781 web
*
P1060785 web  P1060787 web
Rather a lot of wife swapping going on !!
*
P1060797 web
The “Wigan Slosh” again !
*
P1060800 web  P1060802 web
Lyn drags Tim onto the dance floor;  Sandra & Kevin take to the floor
*
P1060807 web  P1060813 web
We finish with Y.M.C.A.   
*
P1060816 web
Ready to leave Boppard after a fantastic few days
*
P1060822 web  P1060823 web
Ted & Lyn on their FJR1300; Ron & Sue on their FJR1300
*
P1060825 web
Martin & Sue on their BMW 1150GS   (sorry, the rest of you were too quick for John to photo!)
*
P1060830 web  P1060833 web
We stop to visit Burg Eltz en-route the next day [please note we may not stop here in 2015 due to timing issues]
*
P1050928 web  P1050926 web
We arrive at our hotel in Monschau for the final night
*
P1060844 web  P1060847 web
Time for a swim & a sauna
*
P1060856 web  P1060857 web
Our final dinner together
*
P1060858 web  P1060859 web
*
P1060860 web  P1060864 web
*
P1060865 web  P1060866 web
Tim’s presented with a Fireman Duck!   Barry runs through the candidates for the next Bike Normandy calendar…
*
P1060867 web  P1060868 web
Lindy – Miss Fanuary;     Rita – Miss Flip-Top February
*
P1060869 web  P1060870 web
Martin – Mr March Muscle Man;  Allan – April Showers (just guessing – someone please let us know!)
*
P1060871 web  P1060872 web
Sharron – Miss Spring Tide;   Jane – Miss June Jump Leads
*
P1060873 web  P1060874 web
Sue – Miss July Autopsy;   John – Mr August in Bloom
*
P1060879 web  P1060875 web
Tim – Mr Septic-member!;   Barry – Mr Cocktober!
*
P1060876 web  P1060878 web
Terry – Mr Nuts in November;  Fran – Miss December Dumplings
*
P1060881 web
Ron recites that well-known Northern ditty – “Don’t fall off the roof, John”!!!!!
*
P1060883 web  P1060886 web
The girls hit the bowling alley but need help setting up the teams
*
P1060891 web
*
P1060895 web  P1060898 web
Sue takes a turn followed by Lyn – who’s taking this very seriously!
*
P1060899 web  P1060902 web
Traci has a unique style of just dropping the ball!!    Sharron goes next
*
P1060905 web  P1060915 web
Sue & Jen try too hard & the balls run down the gulley!
*
P1060927 web  P1060933 web
Losers!!!!                And the Winners are – Traci & Lyn !!
*
P1060929 web
We really had some fun
*
P1060945 web  P1060946 web
We leave pretty Monschau and head back to Calais.
*
P1060953 web
And finally, Jane has a gift for “Parker” (see reviews Black Forest Aug 2013 & June 2014 & Picos 2014)
*
A fantastic group of people made this first Rhine in Flames Tour a huge success – we look forward to seeing you all again on future trips. Regards John & Jen