An Otter on the road: From Lille to Limoges in 12 Days

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Loutre, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    An Otter on the road: From Lille to Limoges in 12 Days


    Hey fokes!



    Here it is, I finally found the motivation to publish (write, going to write... whatever) my very first ride report – journey (in english...) (so be indulgent: my queen's English may be a bit rusty. It's not my first long trip, but the very first one I think that will be worth mentioning (in english :eek:) (especially because I just bought a new Pentax WG-II that I really want to test).

    Anyway the ride will take place between Lille and Limoges (both in France) going trough Germany (Aachen, Wolfsburg, Berlin and Dresden), Czech Republic (mostly Prague), Austria (Vienna and Innsbruck) and Switzerland (Biel) to finally rest and party at Limoges (I really don't like straight lines... why doing 600kms if you can make it 3600kms?)
    The journey will take place between the 6/08 and the 18/08 on my F800GS.
    I already know that the update will be irregular because I don't think I'll have internet everyday (who cares anyway) but every evening I'll keep up my journal on my laptop.


    I'll be camping mostly except in Aachen and Berlin were I meet friends of mine and finally in Limoges were I'm invited to my GF's cousins birthday.



    A little introduction? - Ok here you go:



    The “plan” started a couple of month ago when I was studying for my exams. My favorite band “die ärzte” were on tour in Germany (oh yeah I'm from Cologne btw, studying in Lille) and I wasn't able to buy a ticket because they were sold out and anyway the concerts took place during my oral-exams. But then one day (magically), I saw a new date in august near Dresden (about 1000 km from my apartment) and like I said to a friend 5 years ago (when I saw them for the last time... sniff), I'd do anything to see them again, even if I have to ride 1000kms over night... oh hey... what a coincidence! As I am a man of my words I took the ticket and saw an opportunity to make a nice ride through Germany. So there we had my first “dead line”, being next to the Czech Republic (in Dresden) the 12
    <sup>th</sup> august. A few weeks after having bought the ticket, I went with my GF to her family in the middle of France where her cousin invited my to his birthday. Free beer and a buffet? Ok I'm in! So there was my other &#8220;dead line&#8221;, being back in &#8220;southern&#8221; France for the 18<sup>th</sup>.


    The weeks passed by and last weekend I realized that the dead lines were approaching but I still didn't knew what way to go and how to &#8220;occupy&#8221; my time between the 12
    <sup>th</sup> and the 18<sup>th</sup>. I took out my old friend Google Map and a picture began to draw itself into my head. The "map" is made but as always I'm up for surprises and it'll be hard to keep up with my schedule

    I hope you'll enjoy the journey as much as I will and I hope I'll be a good story teller even in English.


    If you have any suggestions to make (about things to see, to take with me, precautions to take in a country I'm all yours!)


    Ride safe and see you around!


    Loutre (Otter) - Tom
    #1
  2. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

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    If you're in Aachen, I know where you can spot an awacs or two you don't see everyday :photog Being from Köln you probably know the area better than me. Have a good trip :lurk
    #2
  3. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    arf... so sorry i didn't see that post before! would have been great seeing that spot but you can always tell me and next time when I'm around I'll go get there!
    #3
  4. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 0 (5/8/12): 0km


    Ok here we go, several tasks to do. Find the stuff that I'll take with me, pack it up and then go get my bike from my garage (which is 45min away from my apartment). The print out a map for my trip with some addresses of places where to crash etc.

    Done everything and I realize that the night will be short because I can't sleep at all. I called my Girlfriend and ended up playing counterstrike until 1am, reading 'till 2 and 5 hours of sleep later I woke up ready to start that bloody trip.

    Here are the pics of the day.




    [​IMG]
    All my stuff... let's see... gear, another pair of footwear, book and a magazine, 2 pair of gloves, tent, mattress, sleeping bag, hut, 4.5 liters of water, toolkit, stuff to eat, extra fuel, energy drink, cooking supplies... you get it.

    [​IMG]
    Washed the bike before heading home. The last time I saw her that clean I picked her up from the dealer.
    #4
  5. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 1 (6/8/12): ~320kms

    About the road? Nothing special, it was the highway through Belgium. I didn't want to lose my time in that country (I hate they roads). Anyway I arrived in Aachen at 11 and it's my pleasure to present you &#8220;biker's heaven&#8221;. It's one big BMW and Harley dealer with 5 floors full of BIKES yeah!! (and in it a Bar and a restaurant... what more do you want?... oh I know... A Touratech store? Here it is!)

    So I went in there for a Zego Pro topcase + platform and I went out with a top case, extra fuel holder, side stand enlarger + the platform for the case and fuel holder... man I love shopping in there. I talked to the Touratech vendor and he told me stories about some hard core riders and one from Luxembourg, a millionaire, who's spending his time riding his f800gs. He climbed the highest mountain of every continent and he even wrote a book about his trips. Dreamy isn't it?

    So after the chit chat I mounted the top case on my bike. Sadly the screws were to tight so I asked the mechanics for their help. They were so nice that they mounted the whole thing for me, making me look like a weak sponge (that I surly am :eek:)

    Anyway, I spent my afternoon with my grandparents and the evening at my best friends father. She is now working in Paris for the summer... irony? Sure why not :eek:). But who care if I can enjoy a couple of beers with her father and ordering a pizza to celebrate the beginning of my adventure. I hope tomorrow will be more fun... like no-highway-at-all fun. I'm looking at the sky now and I think someone up there doesn't want me to have fun because it's all gray. If it doesn't rain during the night it will tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers.

    Here are the pics of the day.



    [​IMG]
    The bike is ready to start it's journey.

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    Biker's heaven... Bikes everywhere and a restaurant... and a bar... and TOURATECH :eek:)

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    Every TT farkle imaginable... it can be yours for only 20.000&#8364;...

    [​IMG]
    Inside of biker's heaven...

    [​IMG]
    My new Topcase... man am I happy :eek:)
    #5
  6. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 2 (7/8/12): ~630km – Total 950km

    Ah day two... how you inspired me driving through landscapes with nothing but green land and trees... You did wake the philosopher in me... ok now it's getting cheesy.
    So it began with a quick breakfast and trying not to wake my best friends father (he wasn't singing as he promised dirty songs but he didn't end well though). I enjoyed some heavy duty Müsli (kinda like a horses meal but with some yogurt in it, it becomes a glue-like paste. Anyway eventually he woke up and we had some coffee together. Then we talked about some stories about Germany's secret history and about the theory that the Nazi's believed in a black sun and that the 1000 age Reich was in the bible told by Jesus to a German-Roman soldier (I'll give you the 1000 age Reich). I like listening to his stories because he's a great teller. But with that I already go one hour late.

    The plan for today was to head up to Wolfsburg, sleep there and then go to Berlin the next day. After 5 hours on the bike looking at sheep, landscapes, the new electric windmills and some unfriendly riders (didn't even say hello to me o0), I changed the destination to Berlin to see what's left. As expected only 2 hours more. Hmmm... the motivation was there but I finally agreed with myself to see in about 3 hours at 6pm if I'm tired or not and if I could find a safe and nice spot to camp.

    Whilst doing that, I crossed a city where a factory caught my eyesight. I thought it was Lenin... but no it is Fritz Züchner and looking at that “mosaic” I think he was a butcher.

    Nothing, niet at 6pm... for 50kms only farms with corn everywhere! Impossible to plant my tent. I was indeed tired but I didn't want to go in a camping place.
    I ended up calling my friend and told him that I'll be in Berlin in about 3 hours. Immediately after the phone call I saw a sign that my decision was the right one... the Shuberth factory... looked great from the outside but I'm sure it was closed... and anyway I hadn't much time to waste.

    I arrived at 9pm in Berlin, my friend met me up one hour later at the Alexanderplatz. We had a nice Currywurst together and headed “home” to drink a couple of beers. We talked for hours and had great plans for my stay in Berlin: doing all the touristic places (he's like me from France and for the first time there), picking up our piece of the wall (with our own tools... by night:huh) and buying him a helmet :eek:).

    Here are the pics of the day.


    [​IMG]
    My best friends dad, a very nice man and great story teller. Would like to go camping with him (and of course his daughter) just to listn' to his stories next to a bonfire)

    [​IMG]
    Here is where they live... I love spending time there :eek:)

    [​IMG]
    not one car in sight...

    [​IMG]
    Fritz Züchner (alias Lenin o0) and his mosaic:

    [​IMG]
    I would like to know in what the pig is jumping...

    [​IMG]
    Landscapes again

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    Being extinguished - My last rest before the "finishride to berlin"

    [​IMG]
    Arriving in Berlin: The Alexanderplatz!
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Looks like a great trip, thanks for taking us along :thumb

    :lurk
    #7
  8. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 3 (8/8/12): ~0km &#8211; Total 950km

    Oh yeah today no riding but walking... but man did we walk. My friend has the excuse that he's only been in Berlin for one week but I think his orientation sense got mixed up when he was born. We walked around Berlin for 6 hours and managed somehow to not see every sight seeing thingy (I'm just talking about seeing it, not visiting) on their tourist map, which is not that big (and somehow we always walked in circles). Tomorrow we'll continue that Berlin visiting and actually go visit some museums. I'll post some pics trying to avoid the classic touristic places (if you want to see some I still can edit and upload some).


    Pics of the day:


    [​IMG]
    A Stormtrooper explaining to two soldiers how to handle war... or at least I think so :eek:)... oh yeah behind it's the Brandenburger Tor. I think you don't need a pic of it, you see it everywhere (but if you want one I still can edit).

    [​IMG]
    I love Berlin for its parks inside the big city. It was a nice summer day and a lot of artists were around.

    [​IMG]
    They played some awesome music. On second thought I should have bought their CD.

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    Another touristic spot (I try to avoid posting them but I simply love this one: In the memory of all Jews killed during WW2: going from 1m up to 3m).

    [​IMG]
    Here is my friend Ben in the park... He says it looks like a Bretzel :lol3

    [​IMG]
    ok I admit it... I cheated on my bike :eek:)

    [​IMG]
    That fountain made my day. It looks very nice with a lot of details. Amazing!

    [​IMG]
    Again some artists making the map of Berlin with (I think) chalk.
    #8
  9. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 4 (9/8/12): ~0km &#8211; Total 950km

    Still no motorcycling? Yeah no I'm sorry again :eek:) We did as I said visit the Museums in Berlin, thinking it was for free every Thursday (as it is notified on their website... but as we checked it again the website didn't update since '09. As we moved forward to the museums (like innocent students, with no bad intention whatsoever), two girls sitting in the grass asked us if we wanted to join them. It seemed to be a nice plan (instead of visiting the museums), but my friend declined in his best german, telling them that we had no time. &#8220;What the hell is wrong with him&#8221;, might you ask... so did I... and a couple of meters later we already regret our choice. As the perfect gentleman that I am I told him that we can't go back with empty hands... so we did check out a Kiosk to buy some beers.
    As we head back to them they were already gone... (what a retard...). Anyway some other girls came to talk to us with a petition formula, and of course we did the ones who didn't understand crap, talking only french to them. They wished us a nice day and as they were far enough away my friend told me that these two girls were the same sitting in the grass. IT WAS A TRAP!! at the bright side: we had twice as much beer as we planned to drink anyway... isn't that always good news? We decided to chill another hour in the grass before heading to the museums.

    The museums were pretty nice! They had the nofretete mask, the hammurabi statue (in law university they told us during 2 hours how important it is, being the first dictated law in history), one of the 7th world wonders (the ischtar gate).

    After that we met some foreign students and hang out with them in a couple of bars. They came from everywhere in the world, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, China... We spent an amazing time talking with them and we got new friends.
    Oh and did you know how amazing ADV stories are to pick up chicks? I mean I told them I came from France to Berlin on a bike just to visit a friend and they were all over me. If one day I'm single again I'll remember that one! Anyway I made some publicity for our website and I think we'll have some new lurkers around :eek:)
    We decided to meet again the next day to play some beach volleyball and split up at 1am.
    As my friend Ben and I were wondering around the streets we saw a big waiting line in front of us. As we read the sign above their heads we saw something about &#8220;versicherungen&#8221; or insurance if you want. Slightly confused and amused we talked to one guy in the waiting line and he told us that at the rooftop we would find the&#8220;hippest bar&#8221; in Berlin. Tired, we decided to go home instead.... Oh yeah about that... I told you about the &#8220;orientation sense&#8221; of my friend... for something that should have been an half hour walk we needed 3 hours. And no we weren't event that drunk... oh and yeah he had a map.

    Anyway tomorrow beach volleyball and going to the east side gallery.

    Pics of the day.

    [​IMG]
    oh yeah... good times hanging in the park after escaping "the trap"

    [​IMG]
    ok just posting some of my favorites museum pics. shot like 200 pics from the 4 main museums on the "museum island" so if you want more just scream!

    [​IMG]
    The following two made my day. I mean I was really really happy seeing them. Like a child on X-mas eve. I mean you go through a big ass door and there it is PAAAF one of the seven world wonders... just there you can touch it, it's beautiful, so much history, the gate of babylon!

    [​IMG]
    I think this one is maybe even more important to me than the gate. I mean they teach you a lot of useless stuff in university and when they talk you about some ancient thingys that were important because some god send it to earth but this one is from an actual king and seeing this in some non important corner and having one of these WTF moments is just better than a cold beer on a hot summer day! period!

    [​IMG]
    a last one? I simply needed to take a pic of our "meter of beer" for two persons. Thanks to that meter we met the other students. hmm like ants attracted to shugar... maybe this will increase the readers of my RR. oh and if you're wondering... yes indeed that is a strudel :eek:)
    #9
  10. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 5 (10/8/12): ~0km – Total 950km

    My last day in Berlin... a bit sad I have to say, I really really liked it here. This city is amazing and I think I'll come back very very quickly.
    Anyway after a brief sleep I took my bike and went to the East-Side gallery. It's the old Berlin wall painted with spray cans by artists from all over the world. It's 1km long and one of the free artistic stuff you have to see when you're coming to this town. Anyway I'll post some pics of the spray-art but if you want some more I took a picture of every single one (about 140) for those who can't come to Germany.

    During the afternoon we met the students from yesterday and played some beach volleyball. It was a lot of fun and really quickly we all communicated in English because it was so much easier to communicate strategies etc. Anyway the bad part came at about one hour into the game. I twisted my ankle quite badly. The thing is that I already twisted it 3 weeks ago and that it was still fragile and did hurt when I pushed it a bid harder to one or the other side, you know the feeling. Anyway now I'm at his apartment whilst he is out there partying... ah life you can be so unfair. Now that gives me time to make me a bandage and hope that I can walk correctly tomorrow and most importantly during the die ärzte concert in 2 days. Lets cross our fingers. Anyway now I also have time to complete my RR and to pack up my stuff for tomorrow... whilst drinking beer (of course).

    Pics of the day.

    [​IMG]
    a classic one.The line reads: "Dear god, please help me surviving that deadly love"

    [​IMG]
    I really like this one. "we tried to bring color to the other side". not much but the meaning is really powerfull.

    [​IMG]
    "we need to deconstruct walls"

    [​IMG]
    the volleyball game, meaning the end of my ankle, now the real adventure can start! :lol3
    #10
  11. Swinefahrt

    Swinefahrt RooteR

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    :clap Subscribed
    #11
  12. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 5.1

    How about beginning the day with a little felony. I always said that i'd never leave Berlin without a piece of the wall. So I straped on my "ninja riding gear" and began to check out a weak point of the wall. hmm first problem there! These russians knew how the build a wall! but with a bit saliva and adv-power-skill I finally managed to get a few pieces out of it.

    A special thanks to Ben who agreed to help me and a special sorry to the people living infront of the wall... I did not expect a wall making so much noise :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Man vs. armed concrete (luckily I did not keep score

    [​IMG]

    Finding the otter :eek:)

    [​IMG]

    My treasure... or maybe I should open a store, who knows merchandising could pay off!
    #12
  13. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    So I'm back. I wrote the report but had no internet to update it.
    then when I got back my USB drive crashed and it got erased. I'm going to re-write it right know. Sorry for the disappointment but you'll have the story.

    See you all later!
    #13
  14. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 6 (11/8/12): ~210km &#8211; Total 1160km


    After my little « escapade » from the night, I woke up ready to race and was glad to be back on the bike. The weather was great and I rode the whole morning through woods. I looked at my watch and it was lunch time. I was searching for a nice spot to have my china noodles and found it a bit further. What you see is a &#8220;artistic place&#8221; next to a gas station. You give them a picture of something and they make a wooden statue out of it. Since the woodsmen were out of sight (think they were having their own lunch) I took the liberty to cook some nice noodles with some dried meat. It's not much but like my dad used to say, when you're out camping every meal is a god sent.


    Anyway I got back on my bike and about 3pm I arrived at Dresden. I was looking for the Camping place I found on the internet to unload my bike.
    When I got there a biker told me that the reception is closed for the afternoon but that they'll be back in about 2 hours. I looked at him and asked him what he was waiting for... &#8220;for the reception to open up&#8221;... yeah no that was not in my plans. I took my bike and searched a nice spot to build up my tent and to leave my stuff in it. Found it. Done it. I headed back to Dresden to visit it. I'm sure the receptionist won't through it all out because I didn't check in. I passed the biker, smiled at him and went to Dresden, searching for the place where I'll be rocking the next day.


    Dresden is a very nice city. Even if it was destroyed during WWII they build it up nicely. Too bad that I had no time visiting the museums but I'm sure, since my Grandparents wants to go back there again with me, that I'll have time for that later (even though it won't be on a motorcycle :eek:().


    In the city I saw a lot of die ärzte fans with their t-shirts. Since there was a concert that night too, I smelled that the spot couldn't be far away. Soon enough I found out that I was right (again). I reached a &#8220;big ass mega (I think) museum&#8221; and on the other river side I saw something that looked like a riot, fair enough it was the place where I would rock the next day.
    I went to the other river side and saw that the place where the band would be playing was in sight from the outside. Would it be possible that I'd be able to see them twice? Oh dear lord please!


    I went back to the camping to get into some lighter cloth and saw when I got back on the bike that I had a dark oily liquid next to my rear fender... Oh comon! I don't want this road trip to find an early end! I tightened them a bit more and decided to wait and see. When I'm looking back at that decision I think that I didn't think enough about it. I mean 2 days later I was in Czech Republic where no-one would speak my language and I wouldn't have the right form of cash... Anyway I made it.


    I got back to the place and rocked my arse off that night and slept well until 3 o clock in the morning. It was COOOLD. I took my 15°C sleeping back and thought it would be enough... I mean last year it was and anyway, it's supposed to be summer! I put on some more cloth and got back to sleep.... Tomorrow would be an even bigger day!


    Pics of the day:



    [​IMG]

    Here is the woodplace I mentionned. I like the work they do! Looks even better with a GS next to it.



    [​IMG]

    Here is some work they were working on. the picture of the dog was right next to it



    [​IMG]

    Lunch for one... Everything you cook under some real fire in nature tastes delicious!


    [​IMG]

    The crowd was waiting to rumble! On the other side was the same amount of fans waiting!


    [​IMG]

    The beginning of the end? Would be a good "excuse" to change the read fender...






    #14
  15. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 7 (12/8/12): ~0km &#8211; Total 1160km


    Today motivation woke me up. I headed down to the next store and bought some milk, müsli for breakfast and then some nice sausages with vegetables for lunch. I thought it would be a nice moment to inform the receptionist that I already slept a night in their camping... oops... did I forget? I told them a story about how late I arrived and that I was a french dude with only some little knowledge in german. I really do a nice fake french accent!
    Anyway I headed back to my tent to have my breakfast when I suddenly heard a woman complain. Nothing special you would say... but she was starting an argue with her husband... again nothing special... but they were french and had some gray hair and as I said before, motivation woke me up that morning. The man had problems fixing his bicycle. &#8220;If you don't know how to do it, don't touch it!&#8221;... Ah women, always the right words to cheer you up! I took my leatherman and proposed my help. After some dirty minutes I fixed the bike and we got into a chat.
    They were retired and decided to do some trips on their bikes. They had the same destination as me: Prague but they'd have 2 days more to ride. They told me about a convention that would take place in September with some globetrotters telling their stories and showing their pictures on big screen.


    I liked their spirit &#8220;I don't need money to ride a mountain bike and I don't pollute the nature&#8221;. We agreed that cars sucked and had a coffee together. I told them about my trip and made some advertising about ADVrider :eek:). I took a picture of them and gave them my e-mail address and told them to write me as soon as they had finished their journey.

    After that conversation I looked at my watch and it was nearly time to leave. I ate a sausage and decided to do some washing. Here is some advice if you have aluminum panniers and you are in a camping where the showers aren't for free(!). Go next to the washing room and take the hot water from there and fill up the top of your box. Go back to the shower cabin and wash yourself. Really I don't see why showers aren't for free! First time I see that, even for a cold one you have to pay. They ask 1&#8364; for 5 minutes! I took my times and washed my dirty clothes too.

    Soon I was ready to jump on my bike to head to the concert place. I didn't want to be the last guy in line and since I already did 3 of their concerts I knew that if I wasn't there at 2pm, I would be one of the last people in line.

    When I got there some people already sat on the ground waiting like me 7pm to start. I met a nice couple: Frank and Simona. They had 2 kids and took their day off to see die ärzte. This guy was amazing, he taught me a valuable lesson for life. Always take a newspaper with you. We had to wait for 4 hours and I was glad to have some of his articles. He took some great videos of the concert, I'll post a link later.
    The concert itself was breathtaking. Best one in my 7 year "career". The for-band was really really strange but in a good way. Bonaparte, look it up. It's like 20 artists, 5 of them playing tunes and the rest are acting on scene. We were lucky to have them since the day before Bonaparte were on a festival and there was no pre-band.
    At the end I bought the mp3 stick of the concert and headed back &#8220;home&#8221;.

    The next day would be Prague... wow I'm excited to drive in that country!


    Pics of the day:


    [​IMG]
    A very nice couple, I hope to hear from them.

    [​IMG]
    I think ADV isn't ready to see me naked yet so let's start with a nice shower place... leave the rest to imagination :eek:)

    [​IMG]
    I hate paying for stuff... especially for showers!

    [​IMG]
    Ah... laundry day :eek:) I looooove those boxes!

    [​IMG]
    Newspaper on a concert: Great idea isn't it?!


    Here is the link to Bonaparte: Y'ou'll be able to see Simona then me (at 23sec :eek:)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaZZt71UPI4
    #15
  16. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Day 8 (13/8/12): ~440km – Total 1600km


    Oh yeah baby, today Czech Republic! But before I had to check out of that camping place. They asked me if I had a nice stay and I started complaining. I said that it wasn't acceptable to pay for water etc and that I took my boxer to “shower”. At the end of the argue they offered me the price that I'd pay for my bike, and even a shower on top of that! Nice 7€ more in my pocket. Let's see if I could buy myself a Schnitzel for that later in Austria.


    After taking my shower I took some country roads down to Czech Republic. Once the border crossed I took out my phone to calculate if gas was cheaper here or in germany. Oh nice 15cts cheaper! I filled up my tank and my extra fuel can and headed towards Prague. The landscapes were really nice. Nature everywhere. I even saw 2 dears just “hanging around” next to the road. I never saw one so close at day time. Seeing the constructions you knew that you crossed a frontier and that this country was 20 years back in time. Prague was the exception.


    It was a nice city but man so many tourists! Impossible to walk in a normal tempo. Always somebody in your way. I knew that I wouldn't spent much time here! I headed back to the main place where I parked my bike to put some more stuff in my boxes because the heat was killing me. A man approached and asked me if that was my bike... I love these rhetoric questions... Anyway he offered me to take a picture from me and my bike. I saw next to him a child and at first I thought... oh dear I'm sure as soon as I give them my camera the kid will kick me in the nuts and they'll run away. But than I remembered Glenn Clark saying: “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears”. So I took my fears off and gave them my camera. Everything was fine and I proposed to do the same for him. They told me that they came from England and that he and his son were on the road doing and Europe trip. I'm sure we had a lot of stories to exchange but he told me that they had to go because it was nearly 12 and at each full hour the cities clock will do a special thing. I followed them but lost them soon enough in the dense crowed. But thanks to his advice I saw the clock doing it's nice thingy and was able to check that on my “to see in Prague list”.


    Not much more to say there... I spent 3 hours in that city and saw what every tourist needed to see. Since I wanted to escape the crowd I decided to see what kind of beer the Czechs are drinking. Ah first problem... the money... Man did we Europeans become lazy with our euro, thinking that every European country needs to accept it. Anyway at some point I found a nice “Pirate Bar” that would accept my credit card. Really nice ambiance!


    After that I did some more sight seeing and got back on my bike, I didn't want to spend the night in that country. Nothing against you Czechs but I prefer being able to pay someone if I need a service and I really didn't want to get some spare Czech cash because I don't think that I'll come back soon.


    I programmed my GPS to get me to Vienna. Since it was getting dark I planned of staying somewhere between the Austrian border and Vienna. Before crossing the border I saw one last nice thing in CR. A lake of a great size where the fishes were jumping out of excitement.


    What I'll take with me from that country is that it's nature is mostly untouched and that people are very very friendly even with strangers that don't speak their language. Ok fair enough I have to say that a lot of people there speak german so that I didn't really really had a problem, but as soon as you reach the countrysides these people are rare to find. That was really nice and funny to be again in that situation where you don't speak the language of the guy who is talking to you but you can make a whole conversation just by doing some signs, drawings or just with smiles. Since I speak 3 languages fluently I was really excited being exposed to that situation again.
    Oh and another thing that I'll take home with me from that country: MAN are these people nice to bikers. I mean you are behind someone and they'll literally drive their own car into the side way where are bumps, grass, gravel and other unpaved stuff! And on the other side they'll do the same. At one point you were able to put another car between both cars. Once there was a traffic jam and they kinda “forced” me to overtake them. I needed to say thanks with my right foot to one lane and with the left arm to the ones coming infront of me. That had to be a funny looking scene.


    Anyway, back to our horses. I crossed the Austrian border and found a nice place to set camp. It was only 50kms away from Vienna so I'd be able to be there before lunch, having a nice Schnitzel...


    After building up my camp, I remembered having some sausages and vegetables left from the day before.... oh and there is a wood right next to me... you know what that means... a bonfire BBQ!

    Jummy Jummy i've got love in my tummy!


    Pics of the day:


    [​IMG]
    And another country done on my Europe list :eek:)


    [​IMG]
    Me in Prague, Thanks again mate for taking that pic!


    [​IMG]
    Really nice that clock, apparentrly it's one of the oldest or the oldest amstronomic clock the work.



    [​IMG]
    Great bar with great beer, exactly what I needed!


    [​IMG]
    The great lake... or just a lame excuse to take some F800GS pics :eek:)


    [​IMG]
    Austrian border


    [​IMG]
    Is there a better place to be?


    [​IMG]
    Jummy Jummy Jummy!!!
    #16
  17. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,883
    Location:
    :o)
    Day 9 (14/8/12): ~500km &#8211; 2160Total km

    Ah Day 9, I think this one of the best days of my whole trip. Starting with a fun fact. The very first village I rode through was named &#8220;Bierbaum&#8221; or Beertree. That gave me some motivation!

    I arrived in Vienna at about 10am and decided to spent, like in Prague, 3hours in it, seeing the essential touristic sights and then hitting the road again. It is one beautiful city and now I understand why the Europeans fought so hard to protect it from the Turkish people. They know how to make coffee (thanks to the turkish people) and they know how to make some badass schnitzel! I'd marry that city.
    Anyway I did the main touristic spots but it wasn't like Prague. It wasn't as crowded as in the Czech Capital. I liked walking around, even if I was very lost, and they had some great buildings. But I know that that's not the kind of things you want to read. You want to read about the Schnitzels!

    Man it was great, having a nice Schnitzel with a cold beer. I think I could live with just these two things... and of course motorcycles :eek:). But my deception was that it wasn't that big... Last time I went to Austria with my Dad I ate a half meter schnitzel... I'd like to find that very spot again and eat a whole meter. But it's not about quantity... (oh okay a bit...).

    The next step after Vienna was Linz. Why that city? Because of Ural! I don't know if you have seen the video from Moto Journal going to the elef', but they take a bike from the Ural factory Austria. The guy seemed so nice in the video &#8211; I simply needed to go there!

    The place was hard to find but it was worth it. Harry and his wife Birgit Krasschnitzer (litt. Bluntly-carver :eek:) were so nice! They immediately asked why I came with the wrong bike to their shop. Ah these Austrians, always funny blokes.


    They asked me where I came from, as I told them about my trip they offered me some coffee and wanted to hear more about it. I told them how I went to Prague and Vienna and just stayed like 3hours. They asked me why so short. &#8220;I just wanted to know what these city are looking like and that's it, I prefer spending more time on the bike, seeing landscapes&#8221;. They burst into a bard laugh. I told them that I saw the video on youtube and that I needed to come here and show them that not all french people are crazy... Ok I think that we need a 3<sup>rd</sup> guy going over there to convince them.
    He eventually showed me around in their &#8220;factory&#8221; and I felt more and more at home. One thing is sure, I'll be back!

    After talking about 2hours, I needed a new goal. For the first time on my trip I was planless. It was a great feeling but I still needed a place to head to. Harry was so nice and helped me out. He asked me where I would like to go... I looked at the map that they had on the wall and said &#8220;oh well Italy isn't that far away, let's see how it is looking like&#8221;. They laughed again. His wife turned to me and gave me her card &#8220;when you are there, write us a mail and tell us how it is looking like&#8221;. I think I made some new friends. They even gave me an ural sticker for my alu panniers. Anyway, Harry, his wife and I studied some maps and a picture began to draw itself.
    Before leaving them I took a last picture of them, bought an ural cup (made out of steal!) and headed towards the unknown... (spooky).

    As I was riding and riding and riding again, searching for a place to put my tent down, I heard the sound of my bike becoming louder and louder. I thought man is that cool! I don't know whats happening but this bike is becoming more and more awesome... Than I looked into my mirrors... oh damn it's just another f800gs. On second sight I saw how awesome it looked like. It was fully farkled: alu panniers, dieserto-thingy-windshild-stuff, extra lights, and some nice highway pegs. He then overtook me and made a sign meaning I should to stop.


    His name was Christoph and he went all around Europe on his bike. He asked me where I came from and where I was heading to (because I looked like someone who was kinda lost). I said from France and no clue! &#8220;Perfect!&#8221;. He told me about a festival that would take place that night 40km from here between the mountains next to a lake. It's an annual thing and they light up the mountains and the lake. He told me that there would be cold beer, meat from grill and some riders from all over the world.

    • &#8220;Are you interested?&#8221;
    • &#8220;Are you kidding me? Of course I am, you already hooked my in when you told me about that beer!&#8221;
    He put back on his helmet and told me to follow him, that he had to pick up his daughter before heading there. We did some stops where he told me about the sights that we crossed, about the mountains and about fun facts about this region. As we approached to the actual side he showed me around to show me some spots where I could spend the night or plant my tent. He was really really nice with me and I thank destiny for that random meeting.

    Anyway we got his daughter and headed to the festival. He offered me the entrance and than he offered me a cold beer. I really can't thank him enough. The festival ended with a nice firework on the lake. A perfect evening. We spent hours talking about road trips, adventures we had lived etc. He went all over the world riding and he's even the navigator for some road trip 'travel agency'. He told me that once someone complained that &#8220;he was irresponsible for letting people drive for 1000kms a day&#8221;, his answer: &#8220;If I want to I even ride 2000!&#8221;. The next weekend he rode to Istanbul for a coffee. That's the spirit!

    Before leaving I asked him if he was an ADVrider. He told me no, so I told him about our little community and I think, no I hope he'll look around and tell us some stories, even if he prefers to &#8220;tell them to people he's meeting &#8211; oldschool&#8221;. As I asked him how I could repay him he told me to do one thing: tell people about that festival and to keep on the spirit. The best way to get information out there is to ride and tell.

    He asked me where I planned to sleep and I told him about my wildcamping. With a big smile he told me that he knew a nice spot right next to this festival, a nice forest where I could plant my tent. I drove me there and we said goodbye. I'm sure we'll meet again. And maybe that festival will become an annual thing for me.
    Oh and another fun fact: This f800gs he was riding... it's his 3<sup>rd</sup> one:deal

    I decided to cross the forest and see what's behind it. A nice playground for children. Ok that will do it for me!


    Pics of the day:


    Here is the Ural video I was talking about:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NgQgkPwojM


    [​IMG]
    Beertree :freaky


    [​IMG]
    Nice art in vienna

    [​IMG]
    Schni Schna Schnitzel!!

    [​IMG]
    They make some great stuff Ural, I think BMW could really learn from these guys!

    [​IMG]
    Harry and Birgit

    [​IMG]
    Inside the Ural factory

    [​IMG]
    Nice farkled bike :D

    [​IMG]
    Everybody this is Christoph - thanks again!


    #17
  18. lemovice

    lemovice Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    145
    Location:
    france
    welcome;I live near of Limoges :D
    #18
  19. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,883
    Location:
    :o)
    Day 10 (15/8/12): ~700km – 2860Total km


    Ah what a weak up! Getting out of my tent and there it is, I'm surrounded by the alps. I even think I had some sparkles in my eyes because when I shouted out “That's better than TV” a woman who was walking her dogs stared at me with a big smile. I turned to her and told her that she was very lucky to live here and again that it was better than TV. She asked me where I came from and I told her my story and about last night and how I ended up in a playground in front of her house. We had a nice chat and than one of her dogs became nervous and began to jump. He wasn't so exited about our chat and obviously wanted to continue his walkout.
    She asked me if I had a bit of time and if I wanted to wait for her come back. Of course I said and she told me that she's going to make me a nice coup of coffee.


    Ah great stuff! I just finished tiding up the place and she called me to come over. Big surprise, not only the coffee was ready but she made me a real breakfast! How I love Austria – nothing ever bad happens here... Well at first I only wanted to stay at hers for half an hour because I had no plan in sight and I didn't want to lose precious riding time but at the end I spent one and an half hour there. She was a sports teacher who trains athletes for the olympics and in her spare time (one week per year), she's riding her bicycle and going from Austria to another country trough the alps. She hasn't got much free time because she's working with her husband on that big 'alpine pasture' with a couple of sheep, dogs and even a donkey. We had a great chat about trips and how great it is to meet people on the road and not knowing where you're going to be the next day. She talked about doing a great trip next year because she'll be celebrating a 'round birthday' (ah women... never want to give their age) and she'll be able to spend more than a week outside. She wants to go to Netherlands and or to France. I told her to stop by since Lille is like a hundred kilometers away from Amsterdam. I really hope she'll come so that I can repay her that nice breakfast!


    When I finally decided to hit the road she gave me some great tips about “must see” sight seeings. I decided to check these sight seeings out since Obertraun seems to be a known city in Austria. Then my aim was Italy though the Alps. I really can't retrace my path on a map because I got lost several times. The thing I really really dislike about TomTom Rider is that he doesn't recognize the “passes” so that it's impossible for you to say “hey I want to take this one and that one to go through the alps”. I know I went trough Lienz, Sillian and then to Italy. As soon as I got into Italy it started to rain... I was sure it was some kind of sign “get out of here it's gonna blow”. But I promised the Ural dealer to go and see what it does look like so I had no choice but going into the country and “explore it”. Ok that exploration went on for 30kms. Than I decided that Italy didn't want me to explore it and I headed back to Austria. I think that was the very first sign that Italy is a bad rider country. More on that later.


    Anyway I decided to go back to Italy tomorrow and see how it'll look like than... Luckily I saw the Dolomites from where I came from and that got me my smile back on my face.


    ANYWAY, I did some twisty roads and at some point it was getting dark. I was searching for a place to crash down for the night when I suddenly saw “der Staller Sattel” in 45km. That name reminded me something of. Oh yeah sure it was the pass Christoph told me about. It was open every 30min for a ride because the road is too small to fit 2 motorcycles. Wow I simply needed to do that one! I changed my plans and thought one more couldn't hurt, could it? My lucky day, it was just open on my side and I didn't have to wait for another 30minutes. The pass was great and ever better because I was alone in the dark. Man how about putting some Aux lights on my GS? I'll think about that! The view was amazing. I'm sorry for the bad quality pics that are about to come up, but I still don't know how to fix my camera right.


    Once the pass crossed I was lost. I mean really really lost this time. It was dark and I came out at a spot where I saw not one soul. Not even a farm or something. I decided to head on until I'd find a hotel or something to use their lights to see where I'd be on my map.
    At one point I found that rare oasis and I lay myself on the ground with my map. I had to look really lost because a couple asked me if I needed some help I looked up, smiled and said sure why not. I asked them where I was...

    • here next to Lienz
    • you've got to be kidding me, I was there 6 hours ago.
    • Hmm darn mate you made a circle
    Was I pissed? Hmm kinda yes kinda no. Sure I lost a day but as they said “it must have been great”. It sure was! I decided to look at it on the bright side. I asked them how to get to Switzerland and they showed me 2 roads... The one I came from and another one I did that very morning.

    • Impossible sorry. Isn't there another way? I refuse doing the same thing twice or going back somewhere. (I think this is a part of my 'men pride').
    • Sure there is another way but this will cost you like 3 hours.
    • Oh time is the one thing I have more than enough, don't you worry!
    They showed me a way without really showing me. They said some thing about going there and there but as couples are doing, they didn't have the same way and I decided to find my own one once they're gone.


    We started to chat a bit and than the woman asked me if I wanted to join them for a drink. Hmm.. again a rhetoric question! Of course I'm in. All I needed to do was to find a bar. I got back on my bike and headed down the road finding one a km away. All I had to do now was to wait and study my card: I needed a way to go to Switzerland but I needed to stay close to Italy to see what it really does look like. Than I got an idea. What if I arrived a day early to surprise my GF at her uncles birthday? Seemed to be a great idea to me. I phoned her mom and she arranged everything so that I only needed to ride.
    A couple of minutes later the nice couple arrived. Her name was Mona and she was doing art work for underprivileged kids in Munich. His name was (I really think that this isn't his correct name) Alexander and he's selling antiques. She has got a website if you want to learn more about her artistic book stuff with children: http://www.horncastle-verlag.de
    We had a great chat about the world, politics, traveling and languages. All in all it was a very very nice evening. Then when they headed back to the hotel and payed for all the drinks. Very nice indeed! Mona asked the bartender where I could plant my tent for the night and was really really worried about where I'd sleep that night. She's a very good person. The bartender told me I'd build it up behind the bar and at that moment I realized that this was why I'm riding a bike. You are living everyday something new, you discover each day new stuff and you keep in touch with people. That's impossible with a car: a car is a frontier, a bike is a bridge. Adventure is not knowing where you're going to sleep the next night.


    Anyway I didn't tell them that I wanted to arrive a day early, that's meaning that I need to equalize my loss. I needed to drive the night, making as many km as possible. I decided to head to Innsbruck, then to Landeck over the Reschenpass to Graun in Italy to end up in St Moritz in Switzerland. What a program!


    I rolled all night until 4 in the morning when I felt too tired to continue my road. I found a nice Bus station in which I took a nap for 2 hours and headed on...


    Pics of the day:


    [​IMG]
    Wow what a great start into the day!


    [​IMG]
    Thank you for the Breakfast Brigitta and for the lucky stone! He brought me luck


    [​IMG]
    LANDSCAPES =D


    [​IMG]
    I love lunch time! Sausages with cheese in it!



    [​IMG]
    Hmm Close to front page...



    [​IMG]
    I love the Alps


    [​IMG]
    :eek:)


    [​IMG]
    Great Pass, If you're there do it!


    [​IMG]
    Thanks again for the beer and the nice evening Mona!



    #19
  20. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,883
    Location:
    :o)
    Hi Lemovice!

    Where do you live in France?
    #20