Last October I did a great ride in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace>Europe</st1lace> for a week and so I decided it was so great that I would want to do it over and over again. So with the help of a friend in <st1:country-region><st1lace>Germany</st1lace></st1:country-region> I purchased a 1998 Honda TransAlp 600 and proceeded to gather all the things that I would need to have for it for three weeks in <st1lace>Europe</st1lace>. The motorcycle was acquired from a private seller in the Stuttgart area and my friend Thorsten took the train down to pick it up for me and ride it back to his home on the Moselle River. I had the bike months before my planned arrival then, so I would be able to begin riding as soon as I arrived. The bike had just over 25 thousand kilometers on it and though it was eleven years old, it looked really nice. I had thought about getting an f650, and I had even bought an F650 here in <st1:State><st1lace>Arizona</st1lace></st1:State> with the intention of shipping the bike to <st1lace>Europe</st1lace>, but this was going to work out better just getting one over there. I found a complete three piece set of Givi luggage on German Ebay and won them, two E45’s and an E36 for 123 Euros. They were in great shape and although we thought they were black from the pictures, turned out they were gray, but that was fine, they would look good on the bike. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o> </o> I ordered the necessary mounting in a Givi Monokey kit from Polo Motorrad for 99 Euros and it too would be waiting for me when I arrived. <o></o> <o></o> The only thing about the bike was that the rear tire was like new, and the front one needed replacing. This was a problem because we could not find a new front tire to match the rear as they were out of production, so we had to replace both tires as they do allow mixing of tires in <st1:country-region><st1lace>Germany</st1lace></st1:country-region>. This meant that a new pair of tires had to put on and I opted for Tourances for it. Thorsten ordered the tires for me and made arrangements to have them put on same day I arrived. I felt safer knowing that the bike would have brand new tires anyway, because I think they old ones had been on the bike for many years as I believe the bike had little use the last few years. <o></o> So, the plan, was that there really was no plan, other than I would show up, I would ride as much as I could for 3 weeks, not go too far or too fast but see as much stuff as I could while enjoying as many winding back roads as I was able to. I had a few ideas on some historical places and cemeteries from the wars I wanted to see, but nothing was solid, there were no reservations other than a plane ticket and I would just wander the landscape. <o></o> Now that I have returned home comes the part where I have to try and choose the best of the over 9,000 photographs and share with you the experience that is riding without a schedule in some of the most beautiful places in the world. This will take a while to all get done, so I hope you enjoy the ride report as much as I enjoyed the ride.