June 25 Paris to Portland

Except for a terrible check in process Iceland Airlines got us home on time, and relatively comfortably.  This was our longest trip so far at 8 weeks.  

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City scene from Flanders, this style of building is popular in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

We visited 6 countries if you count our unplanned drive thru Austria on our way to Garmisch.  We visited France, Germany, The Netherland (one day), Belgium and Luxembourg.  Germany is a very easy country to travel in.  The roads are good and we fell into the habit of using the Autobahn which cut our drive time down quite a bit at the expense of seeing the countryside.  There is a lot to see and we found the cities very comfortable to visit.  I enjoyed seeing the former East Germany and found it very interesting, though the differences between the East and West to an outsider are fading fast.    We really enjoyed Belgium, it is a charming country with some really pretty cities.  Bruges is popular for a reason and was probably the prettiest city we visited.  

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The cathedral in Bruges.

Once again we ran out of time and ended up skipping some planned stops in Germany including Nuremburg and Berlin.  So far we have had a hard time making capital cities on our trips.  In Belgium we missed Wallonia completely, and I would like to give the Ardennes region there a look. Based on our day in Maastricht and talking with the many Netherlanders we met we have added the Netherlands to our countries to visit.

We covered about 5000km on this trip, (not an exact number because I forgot to note the starting mileage.)  Besides the mystery leak when we are in monsoon like conditions François performed well.  We are really enjoying Europe so far.

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A view from the road in France, you really cannot beat the back country in France.

The final question; who has the better beer?  I think it is Belgium by a mile, and Ton also votes for Belgium.

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